Celebrations of Xmas (Christmas) has been banned in public in Brunei and warning has been issued that putting up festive decorations or singing carols could threaten the faith of Muslim country.
The conservative Islamic country on the island of Borneo allows non-Muslims to celebrate Christmas, but only within their communities. For that, they must alert the authorities first.
It is pertinent to mention here that of the 420,000-strong population of the oil-rich state, at least, 65 percent are Muslims in Brunei.
According to the Borneo Bulletin, “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 said.
“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 (following other religions’ celebrations) away as it could affect our Islamic faith.”
By posting Christmas pictures on social media like Twitter using the #MyTreedom hashtag, some Brunei residents rejected the ban.