|Mogadishu International Airport (Photo by Somaliboy)|
Americans sometimes talk about the days when Christmas was banned by the Puritans without realizing that it is still being banned in certain parts of today’s world.
Somalia is an example of one such current situation. Not content to just ban Christmas, Somalia’s government has also banned New Year’s. This is because both holidays are intensely disliked by a local Al-Qaeda branch, the Shebab.
Because the Shebab deems these holidays damaging to the Muslim faith, past celebrations have provoked the group “to carry out attacks.” Last year, for example, “Shebab militants launched a Christmas attack on Mogadishu airport that killed at least 12 people.”
Because the Islamic calendar recognizes a different start to the year than January 1st, New Year’s is far from an official holiday in Somalia. Private parties, however, will be allowed for “foreign diplomats, aid workers and soldiers living in the fortified airport compound.”
Copyright December 23, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved