Brunei bans Christmas under shari’a law

by 1389 on December 24, 2015

in 1389 (blog admin), Christmas, Shari'a

Location of Brunei

Daily Mail (UK): The super-rich ruler who stones gays, now bans Christmas: Sultan of Brunei threatens Muslims who celebrate it with up to five years in prison while Christians must keep theirs secret

(h/t: Jawa)

  • Christmas trees, carols and even Santa hats are off in the Borneo nation
  • Muslims caught celebrating are threatened with up to five years in prison
  • The nation’s non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate in their communities
  • But revealing their celebrations to Muslims would also lead to jail time
  • In 2014 the country introduced an anti-gay Sharia Penal Code, which includes the execution of any Muslim for sodomy
  • The sultan owns the hotel chain with the Beverly Hills Hotel and Dorchester among others – and those properties are decked out Christmas

The super-rich ruler of Brunei has told residents of his country that if they plan on celebrating Christmas, they could face up to five years in jail.

In fear the the religious holiday will affect the faith of its country, the tiny oil-rich nation’s Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, has banned the public celebration of Christmas.

Any Muslims caught celebrating Christmas, and non-Muslims who are discovered organising celebrations, could face the lengthy prison sentence.

While non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate the holiday within their own communities, they must not disclose their plans to the nation’s Muslims – which make up 65 per cent of the 420,000-strong population.

Around 20 per cent of Brunei’s residents are non-Muslim, including substantial Buddhist and Christian communities.

‘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 in a statement.

The small Borneo nation prohibits propagating religion other than Islam to a Muslim, and breaking this is a violation of the penal code.

Other banned activities include putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs and sending Christmas greetings, reported the Borneo Bulletin.

‘Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue,’ the imams are quoted as saying in the Bulletin.

‘But as Muslims…we must keep it [following other religions’ celebrations] away as it could affect our Islamic faith.’

Some Burnei residents, however, are risking jail time by still celebrating Christmas and uploading pictures to social media as part of a #MyTreedom campaign that celebrates religious freedom.

Imams have told followers to abide by a government edict banning celebrations that could lead Muslims astray and damage their faith.

The tiny state on the island of Borneo is ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and relies on oil and gas exports for its prosperity.

The nation embraced a harsh new penal code in April 2014, led by 68-year-old Bolkiah.

At the time, he said: ‘Today I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow,Thursday, May 1 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases.’

The change means people can face conviction by Islamic courts and fines or jail terms for a range of offences such as pregnancy outside marriage, failure to perform Friday prayers and propagating other religions.

A second phase of the law comes into effect in May this year covering theft and alcohol consumption by Muslims, which would be punishable by whipping and amputation.

The death penalty, including death by stoning, will be introduced in the final phase a year later for offences such as adultery, sodomy and insulting the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad.

Most of the laws will also apply to non-Muslims.

The Sharia Penal Code calls for the stoning of people who commit a variety of sexual ‘crimes’ including sodomy, adultery and rape.

The strict Islamic law code also includes flogging, stoning and amputation.

‘By the grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled,’ the sultan said at a legal conference in Brunei’s capital last year.

Even before that law was passed, there was a ten year prison sentence for gays.

The land of gold-plated mosques and wooden water villages is so rich from its oil and gas resources that no one pays tax.

Alcohol is also banned in the nation.

Under the Sharia code theft and alcohol consumption are punishable by whippings and amputation.
More here.

The back story…

Wikipedia lists the costly five-star hotels that make up the Dorchester Collection, which is owned and controlled by the State of Brunei. Back in 2014, some of Hollywood’s A-list celebrities made a show of boycotting the hotels in solidarity with the homosexual activists of the Hollywood Left. While the celebrity boycott contingent was unconcerned about persecution of Christians in Brunei, it is our concern at 1389 Blog.

The jihad never sleeps.
Neither does the counterjihad.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Gramfan December 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Pay wall so here is more – as if we needed it!

Faith leaders from across Britain have condemned a growing crackdown on Christmas in Muslim countries.

Brunei threatened yesterday to imprison for up to five years anyone who celebrates the Christian festival in public. The former British colony’s new penal code could also hand out $20,000 fines for any ceremony contrary to Sharia, including singing religious songs, sending festive greetings or putting up Christmas trees, crosses or candles.

Somalia’s leading clerics issued a similar edict in 2013, which they reiterated yesterday. Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow, the religious affairs minister, said that “all events related to Christmas and new year celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture”. They could “damage the faith of the Muslim community” and risk attracting terrorist attacks from Al Shabaab, he added.

In China, which has 70 million Christians and is set to overtake America as the world’s largest Christian country within a decade, large outdoor crosses on hundreds of churches have been dismantled by officials from the atheist Communist party. Some churches have been demolished in the eastern city of Wenzhou, dubbed the “Jerusalem of China”.

After a year in which Christians have seen their churches burnt, homes razed and worshippers beaten, murdered and jailed, the bishop of Leeds said that the world had stayed largely silent.

The Right Rev Nick Baines said that women and girls had been forced into “sexual slavery and subjected to rape at will” simply because of their faith.

Writing in The Times, he urged the “religiously illiterate western intelligentsia” to lose their scruples about condemning the persecution.

Ephraim Mirvis, Britain’s chief rabbi, said: “Faith communities have a responsibility to stand together to oppose discrimination. The shocking ban on public celebrations of Christmas in Brunei is reflective of an intolerance that, as Jews, we simply cannot countenance.” Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that “the answer to an upsurge of religious extremism” was not to ban the celebration “but rather to encourage the true spirit of Christmas in hospitality, generosity and respect for each other”.

In Israel, Ben-Zion Gopstein, a rabbi, called Christians vampires this week and said that “Christmas has no place in the Holy Land”. Mr Gopstein, who is the head of Lehava, a group that opposes the integration of Jews and non-Jews wrote: “Missionary work must not be given a foothold. Let’s throw the vampires out of our land before they drink our blood again.”

The persecution of Christians goes far beyond Christmas. According to the Catholic University of Notre Dame in Paris, Christians suffer 80 per cent “of all acts of religious discrimination in the world”.

It is most acute in the Middle East, which is home to some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. “Middle Eastern Christians have been forgotten, abandoned, even betrayed by the western countries,” said Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan at a conference in Rome this month.

Religious intolerance around the world

Sudan – Conversion from Islam is a crime punishable by death, and suspects have been tortured by the authorities.

North Korea – All forms of religion not sanctioned by the state are restricted, but Christians experience the most severe persecution. It is estimated that tens of thousands are in prison camps facing hard labour or execution.

Burma – Religious and ethnic minorities face intense intolerance, discrimination and violence. In January, two Kachin Christian women volunteering as teachers with the Kachin Baptist Convention were raped and murdered in Shan State, allegedly by the Burmese army.

Saudi Arabia – Under the new terrorism law, criticising the government’s interpretation of Islam can result in a prison term ranging from three to 20 years.

Iran – The authorities have raided several church services this year, imprisoning worshippers and church leaders, particularly evangelical Christian converts.

Uzbekistan – The government brands evangelical Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremists” and they face fines, detention and arrest.

Oliver Moody, Jerome Starkey, Hannah Lucinda Smith and Philip Willan

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