» 12/29/2015, 00.00
Banda Aceh bans Christmas and New Year again
Decision taken by city mayor and provincial governor. Holidays not part of Islamic calendar and thus "morally wrong to celebrate them." Non-Muslims will be able to ring in the new year, but not in public.
Banda Aceh (AsiaNews) - Christians cannot greet each other with "Merry Christmas" and Muslims cannot celebrate the New Year. This was decided by the administration of Banda Aceh, capital of Aceh province in northern Sumatra and the only place in Indonesia where shariah is law. For the third consecutive year, citizens have been prohibited from making any reference to the birth of Christ and Muslims banned from celebrating New Year's Eve because they "are not part of Islamic culture."
The prohibition for Muslims to celebrate the New Year was announced by Zainal Arifin, Deputy Mayor of Banda Aceh: "We have reached an agreement that in Banda Aceh - he said - the celebrations for the new year are banned because they are not part of the Islamic calendar or Islamic culture”.
The prohibition applies only to Muslims: "From the moral point of view - said Arifin - is totally wrong for all Muslims in Aceh to celebrate the New Year. We allow those who are not Muslims to celebrate the event, but they must do so in private not in public, to avoid disturbing the local population. " Last year, mayor Djamal had ordered non-Muslims to celebrate "at home".
Illizza Sa'aduddin Djamal is the first female mayor of Banda Aceh and was a founder of the regulations. The province, however, is governed by Zaini Abdullah, former "foreign minister" of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), a separatist Islamic group that reached a peace deal with Jakarta in 2001.
Aceh province began to introduce Islamic law (shari'a) in 2005, following the deal. Many in Aceh oppose greater restrictions, especially with regards to women wearing jeans and tight skirts , travelling astride motorcycles, or dancing in public because they "stir desire" and a ban on St. Valentines Day.
24/12/2013 INDONESIA - ISLAM
Banda Aceh, Islamic extremists prohibit New Year celebrations
A popular hotel in the province of Aceh has canceled a special evening of dance and concerts because of fundamentalist threats. Governor and police responsible for enforcing Islamic norms, including a ban on drinking alcohol. Concerts and dances "on any other day of the year", but not a "Christian holiday".
Christian politicians against Sharia for non-Muslims
Muslim-based parties have proposed a bill to apply Islamic law to all citizens of the Indonesian province. The proposal comes amid debate aimed at drawing up a new law to govern Aceh following the Helsinki peace accord.
West Aceh police checkpoints and raids against jeans and tight skirts
Since yesterday, police special forces for the implementation of sharia on women and girls of the city of Meulaboh to cover the offending clothing with tunics in accordance with Islam. Police bring more than 20 thousand coats to be distributed free in public places. Controversy of moderate Muslims and human rights activists.
13/04/2016 09:14:00 INDONESIA
Aceh, elderly Christian woman publically whipped for selling alcohol
The woman, 60, was caught breaking Islamic law in Aceh also now also regulates the life of non-Muslims. She is the first Christian to be punished under sharia, with 30 lashes. Two others accused of adultery given 100 lashes.
25/06/2015 INDONESIA - ISLAM
Aceh: nine sentenced to flogging for selling food during Ramadan
The owner of a kiosk and eight assistants. The officers also seized food and drinks from private citizens. Obligation of fasting imposed on non-Muslims. Policy of "zero tolerance" in the province against those who do not respect Islamic law.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
15/10/2016 INDIA - VATICAN
15/10/2016 BANGLADESH - CHINA
14/10/2016 UNITED NATIONS
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.