|The Islamist Sultan of Brunei|
I guess Gay Christians are really fucked
(London Daily Mail) - Lighting candles, putting up decorations and even wearing Santa hats will be off the cards in Brunei this Christmas – with offenders threatened with up to five years in jail.
The tiny oil-rich nation has banned the public celebrating of Christmas, following concern that it will affect the faith of its Muslims.
Any Muslims caught celebrating Christmas, and non-Muslims who are discovered organising celebrations, could face the lengthy prison sentence.
While non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate the holiday within their own communities, they must not disclose their plans to the nation's Muslims – which make up 65 per cent of the 420,000-strong population.
The nation is also home to substantial Christian and Buddhist communities.
'These enforcement measures are…intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community,' said the Ministry of Religious Affairs in a statement.
The small Borneo nation prohibits propagating religion other than Islam to a Muslim, and breaking this is a violation of the penal code.
Other banned activities include putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs and sending Christmas greetings, reported the Borneo Bulletin.
'Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue,' the imams are quoted as saying in the Bulletin.
'But as Muslims…we must keep it [following other religions' celebrations] away as it could affect our Islamic faith.'
Imams have told followers to abide by a government edict banning celebrations that could lead Muslims astray and damage their faith.
The tiny state on the island of Borneo is ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and relies on oil and gas exports for its prosperity.
The nation embraced a harsh new penal code in April 2014, led by the 68-year-old Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
The Sharia Penal Code calls for the stoning of people who commit a variety of sexual 'crimes' including sodomy, adultery and rape.
The strict Islamic law code also includes flogging, stoning and amputation.
'By the grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled,' the sultan said at a legal conference in Brunei's capital last year.
Even before that law was passed, there was a ten year prison sentence for gays.