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    » 12/29/2015, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Banda Aceh bans Christmas and New Year again

    Mathias Hariyadi

    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.

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    See also

    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".

    27/04/2006 INDONESIA
    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.



    27/05/2010 INDONESIA
    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.



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