Former Roman Emperor Caligula exercised absolute power over the Romans. Debauched and debauching, he indulged himself in an endless pursuit of carnal lust and murder for fun until his own murder. If there were three words that described him, it was indulgent, lascivious, and bloodthirsty. That was almost 2,000 years ago.
There have been many who aspired to his example, and most fall short. However, in the tiny island nation of Brunei we have the Sultan, Hassanul Bolkiah, as a possible runner-up. As a New York Post article last year noted, the sultan has established the full practice of Sharia Law as the law of his kingdom. Amputations, jail time, flogging and stoning are now regular punishments for things like forgetting to go to mosque on friday, hiring non-Muslims as baby sitters, or eating during Ramadan among a host of other crimes. However, this same sultan is also known for his pedophile sex parties, veritable slavery of the women who become part of his harem, and his famous boat named “Tits.”
But living a life of sex and violence mean little in Islam, as long as one stays a Muslim. For the sake of piety, this same rule has now banned celebrating Christmas on pain of five years in prison, Via the Borneo Bulletin and the UK Daily Mail:
Muslims are prohibited from imitating the customs and practices of other religions that are not related to Islamic faith, Imams said in the Friday sermon yesterday.
“In a hadith narrated by Ibnu Umar (may Allah the Almighty be pleased with him), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, ‘Whoever imitates a people is one of them’,” they added.
“During Christmas celebrations, Muslims following that religion’s acts – such as using their religious symbols like cross, lighting candles, making Christmas trees and singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings, using signs praising the religion, putting up decorations or creating sounds and doing anything that amounts to respecting their religion – are against Islamic faith,” Imams said.
“Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue. But as Muslims and as a Zikir Nation, we must keep it (following other religions’ celebrations) away as it could affect our Islamic faith.”
Imams also said Islam does not prohibit its Ummah from interacting with other believers so long as it does not fight or resist Muslims.
“According to the State Mufti’s Fatwa (decree), believers of other religions that live under the rule of an Islamic country according to Islam may practise their religion or celebrate their religious festivities among their community, with the condition that the celebrations are not publicised or displayed openly to Muslims.