Somalia Reverses Its Decision to Ban Christmas and New Year's Celebrations
Somalia government has officially dismissed the alleged ban on Christmas and New Years parties in Somalia, reversing its earlier decision which sparked speculations locally and internationally, officials said.
Religious affairs minister, Abdikadir Sheekh Ali Ibrahim, told Voice of America on Thursday that the ministry official earlier order to ban on the celebrations was only for security purpose and was not meant to restrict christian faithful in his country.
Citing Security concerns, Director general of religious affairs ministry announced a ban on Christmas or New Year's parties.
Religious affairs minister has stressed that while authorities reserve the right to cancel the party for security reasons, any Christians in Somalia, including African Union peacekeepers, diplomats and embassy officials, have the all right to celebrate the Christmas or New Year holidays.
"The troops or other Christians in Somalia are free to practice their religion on their own, because we Muslims do Eid festivals in non-Muslim countries freely," Ibrahim said. "Anyone can do a party that is not spreading another religion or ideology, and people can do the New Year celebrations." Last year Al-Shabab attacked a Christmas party at the African union based in Mogadishu, inflicting serious security concerns over such celebrations. (Source: allafrica.com)