February 2016 Church & State - February 2015

Around The World: Indonesian State Bans New Year’s Celebrations

  AU admin

Officials in the Indonesian state of Banda Aceh have banned residents from celebrating New Year’s Day, according to the Jakarta Post. Banda Aceh is majority Muslim, and its government enforces a conservative interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah.

“It is haram [forbidden] for Muslims to celebrate New Year, so the administration has banned everyone from celebrating it,” Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin told press, and added that the state would “consistently” apply Shariah principles. They also banned residents from celebrating Christmas.

The Indonesian government granted Banda Aceh a measure of autonomy to help end its violent insurgency. Despite this peace agreement, the state has long been a center of extremism in the region. 

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