Shariah Law in Brunei: The Grinch That Stole Christmas

If convicted of celebrating Christmas in Brunei, you will go to prison for five years.

Offenses include putting up Christmas trees, singing religious Christmas songs, sending out Christmas cards, or wearing Santa hats. Non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate Christmas behind closed doors, but become subject to penalties if they do it anywhere that a Muslim could find about about it. Muslims who do anything Christmassy are always subject to penalties.

Who do we have to thank for this? The sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

Why is he doing it? To implement shariah law. Yep, that wonderful multicultural shariah law, which we have absolutely no reason to dislike in any way.

Residents are defiantly tweeting #MyTreedom for religious freedom, but obviously an absolute monarch is hard to get on your side.

Meanwhile, in an amusing coincidence caused by Islam’s constantly moving lunar calendar, on December 24 Brunei celebrated Maulidur Rasul, which commemorates the birth of Muhammad. The main focus of the celebration was a religious procession. Christians are forbidden to hold any religious processions or parades under shariah law.

I think I’ll go put up a few more decorations. Christmas decorations.

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