Somalia bans Christmas, New Year festivities

MOGADISHU:Somalia’s government has banned celebrations of Christmas and New Year in the country, saying the festivities may attract militant attacks.“All events related to Christmas and New Year celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture, which could damage the faith of the Muslim community,” the director general of the religious affairs ministry told journalists.Sheikh Mohamed Khay­row said security forces had been ordered to break up any such celebrations. “There should be no activity at all.”Sheikh Nur Barud Gurh­an, of the Supreme Religious Council of Somalia, said non-Muslim festivities might provoke the ire of the Shebab, Al Qaeda’s East Africa branch which is headquartered in the country.“We are warning against the celebration of such events which are not relevant to the principles of our religion,” he said, saying it could provoke the militant “to carry out attacks”.Brunei has also announced a similar prohibition.


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