Somalia, Brunei Ban ‘Excessive’ Celebration Of Christmas

JP Carroll | National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

As Christmas approaches, so do cops looking to search the homes of Christians in Somalia and Brunei who will actively prevent the peaceful celebration of Christmas. All three countries have banned celebrating the Christian holiday, and have threatened to land people in jail who do so for five years.

The government of Somalia, which the U.S. attempted to free from dictatorship in the 1990s, has declared: “The Christmas holiday and its drum beatings have nothing to do with Islam.” Somali officials have rationalized banning Christmas traditions both as a cultural matter and a security issue.

As a Muslim-majority country, Somali officials see the values espoused by Christmas as antithetical to their Muslim faith. Last Christmas, Islamist terror group al-Shabaab attacked a military base.

In the oil-rich Muslim-majority country of Brunei, sharia law has been imposed upon everyone living in the country, including Western expatriates. Many of the country’s largest privately owned hotels, which attract foreigners for business travel, are no longer allowed to have Christmas trees up in their hotel lobby.

Imams have publicly declared that any Muslim who embraces any part of the holiday, including candle-lighting, carol-singing or wearing Santa hats, could land in jail. Christians are supposedly allowed to celebrate their holiday in the country as long as they don’t do so “excessively and openly.”

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