RABAT, OCTOBER 5 - What was to have been the first beer festival ever in Morocco has been banned by Casablanca three days prior to its scheduled opening. The order came from the regional administration, with immediate effect. All ads for the event - organized by the Brasseries du Maroc company - must thus be removed immediately. According to a statement, the event ''does not comply with the regulations and laws in force'', nor is it in line with the ''ban on organizing any activity connected to the drinking of alcoholic beverages''. The festival was to have been held October 8 to November 8 in many parts of Casablanca. Though it began quietly, the event ended up drawing a great deal of attention in newspapers, local magazines and on television.
Thereafter came the public's reaction, with a focus on the fact that a beer festival was being organized in a country where alcohol cannot be served to Muslims. A Facebook page was started against the holding of the festival as well.