The Sultan of Brunei, which is a Muslim majority state, has declared that anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas could face a five year jail sentence. Brunei a tiny but oil-rich state stated the punishment would apply to anyone found sending festive greetings or wearing Santa hats. Strange ah?
“These enforcement measures are intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the ‘aqidah’ (beliefs) of the Muslim community.”said The Ministry of Religious Affairs
Non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate Christmas on the given conditions that they must do so only within their communities and also first alerting the authorities.
Local Islamic religious leaders (Imams) have promoted the ban, warning the Muslims that following the traditions of Christmas may lead to imitation of anther faith :
“During Christmas celebrations, Muslims following that religion’s acts such as using their religious symbols like cross, lighting candles, making Christmas trees and singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings, using signs praising the religion, putting up decorations or creating sounds and doing anything that amounts to respecting their religion are against Islamic faith,” the Imams told sources
“Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue. But as Muslims and as a Zikir Nation, we must keep it away as it could affect our Islamic faith.”
Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has ruled the former British colony for nearly 50 years, introduced the ban on Christmas last year.
In the same year, the sultan caused controversy by introducing Sharia criminal law, which allows fierce punishments like stoning, whipping and amputation.
Source : Fox News