The government of Somalia recently banned Christmas in this Muslim country in East Africa.  In 2009 Islam law Sharia was adopted. 

An official of the Ministry for Religious Affairs argues:
“Those celebrations are not in any way related to Islam.”
“Having Muslims celebrate Christmas in Somalia is not the right thing, such things are akin to the abandonment,” local media quote Mohamed Kheyrow, top official at Somalia’s justice and religious affairs ministry, as saying. “Christmas will not be celebrated in Somalia for two reasons; all Somalis are Muslims and there is no Christian community here. The other reason is for security,” Abdifatah Halane, spokesman for Mogadishu mayor, told. “Christmas is for Christians. Not for Muslims.”

This is dangerous appeasement to the Islamist militants al-Shabaab, which controlled the capital Mogadishu until 2011 and banned Christmas celebrations.

Two other Muslim countries have banned Christmas as well:

The central Asian republic of Tajikistan and the oil-country Sultanate of Brunei.

Tajikistan is banning Christmas trees and gift-giving in schools as well as  Father Frost, who is the Russia’s equivalent of Santa Claus.

Brunei banned Christmas celebrations under Islamic law. “Using religious symbols like crosses, lighting candles, putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings … are against Islamic faith,” imams told. Punishment for violating the ban is a five-year jail sentence.

The arguments of the governments in Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei are NOT in line with the teaching in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad. They are anti-Islamic indeed:

  1. Jesus, called Isa Ibn Maryam, son of Mary, is a very important and respected prophet in the teaching of the Qur’an. He is the immediate predecessor of Muhammad, but not the son of God. To celebrate his birth is 100 percent in line to honor him. In Surahs 5:46-47 the Qur’an addresses the recommendation to Christians: ” We sent Jesus son of Mary, confirming what he already possessed of the Torah. To him we revealed the Evangel in there is guidance and light, confirming what was in the hands of the Torah, a guidance and homily to the pious. So let those follow the Evangel judge in accordance with what God revealed in it.”
  2. Jesus is on the same level like Muhammad. Surah 2:285:  “All believe in …His messengers. We make no distinction between any of His messengers.”
  3. The strongest common base of Christians and Muslim in their belief in the same God. All Holy Books contain God’s words, including the Bible. Thus they are part of the Muslim faith as well. Surah 2:136 strongly suggests a common tradition: „ We believe in God, and in what was revealed to us,/ In what was revealed to Abraham, to Ismael, to Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes,/In what was revealed to Moses and Jesus,/In what was revealed to prophets by their Lord,/We made no distinction between any of them,/And to Him we surrender.“
    Distinction is blasphemy.The Qur’an demands as much respect to Jesus as to Muhammad.
  4. Surah 5:48 tells about God’s wish of diversity in the best way to serve him. Only he will make a judgement: „For every community We decreed a law and a way of life. Had God willed, He could have made you a single community- but in order to test you in what He revealed to you. So vie with one another in virtue. To God is your homecoming, all of you, and He will then acquaint you with that over which you differed.“ Any pure Islamic state without respect to Christians (and Jews) living there is a contradiction.
  5. In Surah 5:66 and 5:68 God demands to continue to observe the Gospel: “Oh People of the Book (name for Christians and Jews in the Qur’an), you follow no religion unless you practice the Torah and the Evangel and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.”
  6. Somalia,Tajikistan and Brunei  are  members of the United Nations and obligated to allow the practice of all religions. You must follow agreements and rules demands Surah 17:34.

To promote true peace on earth we need a policy of zero-tolerance-against-intolerance.

This is a must of effective foreign affairs to protect human rights and peace on earth today and contain the radicals.

The Christian and true  Muslim countries must therefore demand by their ambassadors from the governments of Somalia,Tajikistan and Brunei tolerance and respect to Jesus and the UN obligations, and from those not-informed officials, who still have to learn the true teaching of  the Holy Qur’an and the teaching of Muhammad.

Globalo Founder Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann has published a book about the “Codes of Tolerance”. In German by Herder Verlag in Freiburg. In Arabic by in Cairo.