Somalia bans Christmas and New year celebrations, says they are ‘un-Islamic’

Somalia bans Christmas and New year celebrations, says they are ‘un-Islamic’


[Another “grinchy” Islamic nation besides Brunei (see )]


Sharia-compliant hearts are three sizes too small. Meanwhile, in the West, those who oppose this bigotry and intolerance are branded bigoted and intolerant by an intelligentsia determinedly heedless of what is coming.

Islamic Tolerance Alert from Somalia:”Somalia bans Christmas and New year celebrations, says they are ‘unislamic,’” by Nancy Agutu, The Star, December 23, 2015:

Somali government has banned festivities during Christmas and New Year.

Ministry of Religious Affairs said events related to the celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture, which could damage the faith of the Muslim community.

Director General Mohamed Khayrow on Tuesday ordered security forces to be on the look out for such activities.

“All security forces are advised to halt or dissolve any gatherings. There should be no activity at all,” Khayrow said.

The Director General was speaking in Mogadishu accompanied by Vice Chairman of the Supreme Religious Council Nur Gurhan.

New Vision media on Wednesday reported that Gurhan cautioned marking the festivities “might motivate al Shabaab militants to launch attacks in Somalia”.

Somalia has been the target of various attacks that compelled Kenya to send its troops to the country for aid.

“We Islamic Scholars are warning against the celebration of such events which are not relevant to the principles of our religion,” Gurhan said.

He further warned leaders that holding festivities besides the two Islamic Eids would amount to immorality….

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4 comments on “Somalia bans Christmas and New year celebrations, says they are ‘un-Islamic’

  1. Nur Gurhan, Vice Chairman of the Somali Supreme Religious Council, says:

    … holding festivities besides the two Islamic Eids would amount to immorality …

    Tell that to this French cleric:

    Muhammad’s birth to be commemorated at same time as Christmas

    Catholic World News
    December 23, 2015

    For the first time since 1558, Mawlid—the Muslim celebration of Muhammad’s birth—will fall this year on December 24 and 25.

    Christians and Muslims “should give thanks to God, each in his own tradition, for the good news that is the birth of Jesus or Muhammad,” Father Vincent Feroldi wrote on the French episcopate’s website.

    The priest, who directs the National Service for Relations with Muslims, said that it is a fitting time for Christians and Muslims to meet in “fraternity and amity” and in “mutual respect and recognition.”

    It is also an apt time for Christians “to discover the place given to Jesus and Mary in the Qur’an,” he added.

  2. You bet they’re “un-Islamic” and why not after this: “Since the Council, we see that the Popes themselves have embraced the same modernist errors that are ravaging the Church from top to bottom and that were warned against by the great St. Pius X in 1907, when he admitted that these errors were to be found “in the very veins and heart” of the Church:

    They [Modernists] put their designs for her [the Church’s] ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her. Moreover they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt.” (

  3. [Add another Islamic state to the list]

    Three Muslim countries — Somalia, Tajikistan, and Brunei — now banning Christmas celebrations


    “The ban is ridiculous. It projects this image that Islam does not respect the rights of other religions to celebrate their faith.” Uh, yeah.

    “Christmas celebrations banned in Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei,” Guardian, December 23, 2015:

    The governments of three countries – Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei – have banned Christmas celebrations this year, with punishments ranging up to a five-year jail term.

    Somalia issued a ban on Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in the Muslim country on Wednesday, saying the festivities “have nothing to do with Islam”.

    “We warn against celebration of Christmas, which is only for Christians,” Sheikh Mohamed Kheyrow, director of Somalia’s ministry of religion, said on state radio. “This is a matter of faith. The Christmas holiday and its drum beatings have nothing to do with Islam.” He said the ministry has sent letters to the police, national security intelligence and officials in the capital Mogadishu instructing them to “prevent Christmas celebrations”.

    The announcement had echoes of Islamist militants al-Shabaab, which controlled the capital Mogadishu until 2011. Among their edicts was to ban Christmas celebrations.

    It was not immediately clear what prompted the government announcement. Somalia is almost entirely Muslim, but it hosts thousands of African Union (AU) peacekeepers, including from the majority-Christian countries Burundi, Uganda and Kenya. The country, which is struggling to emerge from two decades of fighting and chaos, has also seen a growing number of Somalis returning from Europe and North America, sometimes bringing foreign traditions and attitudes with them.

    Officials also said that Christmas celebrations may attract attacks from the Islamist militants al-Shabaab.

    “Christmas will not be celebrated in Somalia for two reasons; all Somalis are Muslims and there is no Christian community here. The other reason is for security,” Abdifatah Halane, spokesman for Mogadishu mayor, told Reuters. “Christmas is for Christians. Not for Muslims.”

    “Security”: in other words, we have to ban Christmas celebrations, because Muslims might blow them up.

    Last 25 December, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on the main AU base in Mogadishu, which lasted several hours and left three peacekeepers and a civilian contractor dead.

    The majority Muslim but nominally secular central Asian republic of Tajikistan has also issued its toughest-ever ban on seasonal celebrations, banning Christmas trees and gift-giving in schools.

    The country has been cracking down on Christmas and New Year’s in recent years, and banned Father Frost – Russia’s equivalent of Santa Claus – from television screens in 2013. Halloween celebrations in the capital, Dushanbe, have also been targeted by police, with revellers dressed as zombies and vampires reportedly being detained in 2013 and 2014.

    The oil-rich sultanate of Brunei, has also banned Christmas celebrations, under a shift towards hardline Islamic law. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the world’s richest men, announced last year he would push ahead with the introduction of sharia law, eventually including tough penalties such as death by stoning or severed limbs.

    Religious leaders in the sultanate warned this month that a ban on Christmas would be strictly enforced, for fear that Muslims could be led astray. “Using religious symbols like crosses, lighting candles, putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings … are against Islamic faith,” imams said in sermons published in the local press.

    Punishment for violating the ban is a five-year jail sentence, and the government warned last year that Muslims would be committing an offence if they so much as wore “hats or clothes that resemble Santa Claus”.

    Although Christians are free to celebrate, they have been told not to do so “excessively and openly”, in a directive that has had a chilling effect on the south-east Asian nation, which sits on a corner of Borneo island.

    Businesses have been warned to take decorations down and authorities have stepped up spot checks across the capital. Hotels popular among western tourists that once boasted dazzling lights and giant Christmas trees are now barren of festive decor. “This will be the saddest Christmas ever for me,” a Malaysian expatriate resident told AFP, requesting not to be named for fear of reprisals from authorities. “The best part of Christmas Day is waking up and having that feeling that it is Christmas, but there’s just none of that here and you just feel deprived.

    “All this is just because of what the sultan wants. In 2013, I saw many Muslims together with Christians having a good time at their house parties. Everything was normal and good,” he said.

    Most people are too scared to speak up about the ban, and while some privately gripe about the rule they know there is little to be done. “I will be working on Christmas after church. We just have to cope,” a Filipino waitress – one of Brunei’s many guest workers – said.

    Some people dared to post pictures on social media depicting Christmas cheer using the hashtag #MyTreedom, part of a global campaign to highlight oppression against Christians. At least one church in the capital sported decorations that were visible from the street, a rare glimpse of holiday cheer in the otherwise decoration-free city.

    “The ban is ridiculous. It projects this image that Islam does not respect the rights of other religions to celebrate their faith,” said a Muslim mother in the capital, also too scared to provide her name. “Islam teaches us to respect one another and I believe it starts with respecting other religions even if what is being banned are ornamental displays.”

    Others were more tempered, and urged the prohibition to be respected. “It is an Islamic country and so with respect to the law, churches need to keep decorations indoors,” said a Christian Bruneian, unfazed by the strict rules. “The meaning of Christmas for us isn’t all about Christmas decorations.”

    However, the prohibition does not extend to the business interests of the sultan, whose estimated $20bn fortune includes the historic Beverly Hills Hotel – part of his Dorchester Collection with branches in London, Paris, Milan and Rome.

    It is Christmas as usual this year in the upscale Le Richemond hotel in Geneva where guests are greeted by lavish displays in the hotel lobby, include bowls overflowing with pine branches, ornaments and candles aplenty. The Le Meurice hotel in Paris advertises a Christmas eve seven-course gourmet menu for €650 – before drinks – while the Beverly Hills Hotel is also decked out for the holidays.

    Before unveiling the hardline law, the sultan had warned of pernicious foreign influences such as the internet and indicated he intended to place more emphasis on Islam in the conservative Muslim country.

  4. [And of course “the” Islamic State]

    Islamic State brand Christmas festivities “heretical”. In Kirkuk two Christian cemeteries desecrated

    by Joseph Mahmoud

    In Mosul, the jihadists posted signs that prohibit Muslims from celebrating Christmas, branding Christians as “heretics.” In Kirkuk extremist groups desecrate two cemeteries. But the Christian community claims the right and the desire to celebrate the holiday. Christian lawmaker denounces decimation of the community.


    Baghdad ( ) – New attacks have been launched against Christians and Christmas celebrations in northern Iraq by Daesh [Arabic acronym of the Islamic State, IS] and other extremist groups. AsiaNews sources in the north of the country report that Isis militants in Mosul have posted signs in the city ordering Muslims “not to celebrate” Christmas in any way with the Christians, because “they are heretics.” While in Kirkuk, groups of Islamic extremists stormed two Christian cemeteries, desecrating and destroying several graves.

    Iraqi Christians have denounced these most recent attacks, threats and intimidation and say they will not stop them from celebrating the feast.

    The Chaldean Patriarchate also condemns the violence and intimidation of the Iraqi Christian community, and does so using the Koran and which states that Christians are not heretics and the Trinity is a theological expression of the revelation of the One God.

    The Muslim holy book, say the leaders of the Chaldean Church, describes Christ as the “carrier of the word of God.” Christians are not polytheists or infidels and this is why the Koran says that “they are the closest to those who believe.”

    Some residents in the Iraqi capital, interviewed by AsiaNews, invite Muslims to “follow their faith” and “to leave us free to live and celebrate ours” as the Koran itself states, when it prohibits “constructions” on the subject of faith and says: “I have my religion and you yours. ”

    Meanwhile, the Christian MP Yonadam Kanna, president of the Rafeedain group, present the Parliamentary Assembly a document that shows that over 700 thousand Christians have left the country because of the conflict and violence in the last 30 years. This migration already started in the last years of the regime of Saddam Hussein and have significantly increased in recent years.

    The emergence of the Islamic State and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain in the summer of 2014 are the latest in a series of attacks, with the desecration of churches and places of worship, violence to individuals and groups, uprooting and dispossession of assets and property. From a population of more than 1.5 million in 2003 today, the community counts less than 500 thousand.

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