Somalia Bans Christmas, New Year Celebrations

Somalia has issued a ban on
Christmas celebrations in the Muslim-majority country after the Southeast Asian
sultanate of Brunei announced a similar prohibition earlier this month with the
threat of five years in jail.
Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow, director
general of Somalia’s religious affairs ministry, said that Christmas and New
Year celebrations threatened the country’s Muslim faith.
“There should be no activity
at all,” he told reporters, adding security forces had been ordered to
break up any such festivities. Continue…

“All events related to
Christmas and New Year celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture, which
could damage the faith of the Muslim community.”
Sheikh Nur Barud Gurhan, of the
Supreme Religious Council of Somalia, also warned against celebrations, saying
they could provoke al-Shabab “to carry out attacks”.
Last year, the armed group
launched a Christmas Day attack on the African Union’s heavily fortified
headquarters in the capital Mogadishu, killing three AU soldiers and a
Somalia, which issued a similar
ban in 2013, follows the Islamic calendar that does not recognise January 1 as
the beginning of the year.

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