Indonesian Muslims call Christmas ‘sinful’

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Muslim worshippers gather for an evening collective prayer and zikr outside a mosque in Banda AcehThe “Ulema Council,” a group of Islamic leaders in the northern Indonesian province of Aceh, have warned the Muslim community not to celebrate the Christmas holiday, calling it “haram,” or sinful.

While Indonesia is considered a moderate Islamic nation, the province of Aceh is governed by Shariah law. Christians in the province have also been warned to “respect” Islamic traditions. Last year several small churches were shut down by the local government for ostensibly violating permit laws on places of worship, a justification often used by radical groups to put pressure on Christian places of worship.

The council of Aceh, the only region in Indonesia where Shariah law is enforced, has also called on Muslims not to “celebrate” Christmas and New Year. A few days before the holidays, the movement’s leaders issued a statement saying that the two events do not belong to the Islamic tradition, and for this reason should not be celebrated.

In a statement to fellow Muslims, the leaders of the Islamist movement said that they should not send “greetings” and “best wishes” to Christians because “Christmas is not an integral part of the Islamic tradition.” This obligation also applies to local hotels and other accommodation facilities, which are already required not to hold celebrations or balls.

Finally, the council wanted the authorities to be strict in enforcing Islamic law and severely punish anyone who violates it.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The “Ulema Council,” a group of Islamic leaders in the northern Indonesian province of Aceh, have warned the Muslim community not to celebrate the Christmas holiday, calling it “haram,” or sinful.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Muslim worshippers gather for an evening collective prayer and zikr outside a mosque in Banda AcehThe “Ulema Council,” a group of Islamic leaders in the northern Indonesian province of Aceh, have warned the Muslim community not to celebrate the Christmas holiday, calling it “haram,” or sinful.

While Indonesia is considered a moderate Islamic nation, the province of Aceh is governed by Shariah law. Christians in the province have also been warned to “respect” Islamic traditions. Last year several small churches were shut down by the local government for ostensibly violating permit laws on places of worship, a justification often used by radical groups to put pressure on Christian places of worship.

The council of Aceh, the only region in Indonesia where Shariah law is enforced, has also called on Muslims not to “celebrate” Christmas and New Year. A few days before the holidays, the movement’s leaders issued a statement saying that the two events do not belong to the Islamic tradition, and for this reason should not be celebrated.

In a statement to fellow Muslims, the leaders of the Islamist movement said that they should not send “greetings” and “best wishes” to Christians because “Christmas is not an integral part of the Islamic tradition.” This obligation also applies to local hotels and other accommodation facilities, which are already required not to hold celebrations or balls.

Finally, the council wanted the authorities to be strict in enforcing Islamic law and severely punish anyone who violates it.

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