There’s no holiday spirit in Somalia, as the predominantly Islamic country has banned the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s. According to the Somali Ministry of Religious Affairs, events related to the two holidays are contradictory to Islamic culture, and they could damage the faith of the Muslim community.
Somali Director General Mohamed Khayrow said on Tuesday that security forces have been ordered to look out for anyone who is celebrating the holidays or getting into the spirit. Clearly, there’s nothing jolly about this East African country.
Khayrow stated, “All security forces are advised to halt or dissolve any gatherings. There should be no activity at all.”
The Director General made these comments while speaking in the country’s capital city of Mogadishu. He was accompanied by the Vice Chairman of the Supreme Religious Council, Nur Gurhan. Together, the two men have put a stop to any Christian enjoyment in the country.
Gurhan warned that celebrating the Christian holidays had potential to enrage al-Shabaab militants and provoke them into launching an attack against the country. Somalia has been targeted by several attacks, causing the neighboring country of Kenya to send troops to the country as a form of aid.
Guhan said, “We Islamic Scholars are warning against the celebration of such events which are not relevant to the principles of our religion.”
The vice chairman also warned Somali leaders that celebrating holiday festivities other than the two Islamic Eids represented a high level of immoral behavior. The country’s Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs banned Christian celebrations in 2013.
Christmas is celebrated on December 25, based on the Gregorian Calendar. However, the Islamic Calendar is based on the cycle of the moon, and the dates do not match up from year to year. The Gregorian Calendar is currently in year 2015, while the Islamic Calendar is in year 1437.
In addition to banning Christmas, Somalia has also banned other Christian holidays such as Easter.