Saudi religious police warn against celebrating NYE

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The numerals

The numerals "14" that will complete the 2014 display on Times Square on New Year's eve. (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s religious police has warned that “punitive measures” will be taken against those who celebrated New Year’s Eve on December 31, Arabic daily Okaz reported.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vices (Haia) based its warning on a religious edict issued by the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars banning such celebrations, the newspaper said.

The conservative Islamic kingdom follows the Muslim lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, which stems from the Christian religion.

Its new year is based on the moon and most recently started on November 3.

Haia officials are known to deliberately search for people buying items used to celebrate Christian holidays and confiscate them.

Similar warnings have been issued by Islamic groups in other countries, including in Malaysia where Malaysia International Institute of Islamic Cooperation (Ikiam) said New Year’s Eve reflected the Jewish culture and would cause Muslim youths to commit sins.

“The celebrations will have excessive entertainment, which can cause the majority of Muslim youth to let their guard down and commit a lot of sin,” Ikiam leader Datuk Mustapha Idrus said.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: bored

i'm sick of people judging others by their own standards. let them be the way they are.. let them say whatever they deem appropriate.. it's none of our business. should the whole world be clones of us? guess what? they see endless flaws in our way of life as westerners, just the way we see in theirs and perhaps more.

Posted by: George

Saudi's strict rule against NYE celebrations will definitely help 100s of Dubai hotels to mint money.

Posted by: rednrosy

@chuck your statement does not hold upto scrutiny
Divorce rates in a very conservative society such as KSA is higher than the european average.
Kuwait is way off the scale.
One country after the other is putting on restrictions to prevent citizens going to KSA due to misstreatment, rape, violence etc.
The largest part of divorces and teen pregnances occur in the bible belt in the USA, not the decedant east and west coast.
We fully accept the empowerment of women in our socient and enact laws to protect them and we also enforce those laws.
As such your statement does not hold up under scrutiny.

Posted by: Paolo C

When are we going to celebrate the end of such infame people?

Posted by: Coeurderoy

Without temptation there is no virtue....
If the faith is so weak that having festivities for something not directly faith related will lead you astray it is not worth keeping...

In practice the biggest threat to the ethics of young people in KSA, Malaisia and other conservative countries (independently of what is the faith or lack of that is professed by the country leaders) is incredible boredoom....

Promoting virtue should be done by demonstrating the moral value of the virtues you profess not scaring people.

What ever you do or do not do out of fear has no positive or negative value, if it is good there is no honour in it since you did it out of cowardise and if it is bad the shame is only relative to the level of threat you suffered, in no case can you be proud of doing something because you where forced to..., even if you really wanted too your motives are suspect...

Posted by: Geko

Chuck, UK elevator is the best place to carry out that list? obviously no pregenancies and abortions only a murder.

Posted by: James


Hey Chucky, hows does your little list compare to state mandated religious and gender persecution?

And if you don't think crimes such as rape and addiction aren't prevalent in Saudi then you need to look a bit closer buddy...

Also have a think about a society that condones the systemic abuse of domestic workers.

Have a think about a society that targets both the rapist and the victim under law.


No, Europe ain't perfect (far from it), but it is a paradise compared to the shifting sands of the Kingdom





Posted by: Lena

Totally agreeing with you! (I wouldn't have been able to say it this nicely...)

Posted by: Chuck

The world has seen the fruits of the European strengthen virtue via temptation approach. Teen pregnancies and abortions, addictions of all sorts, rape, the list goes on buddy...

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