By Beatrice Thomas
Kuwaiti MP Hamdan Al Azmi calls for crackdown on festive celebrations in Gulf state
A Kuwait MP has called for a crackdown on Christmas celebrations in the state amid claims that shops were making a “mockery” of Islamic culture by selling items related to the occasion.
Less than two months after slamming the sale of Halloween items as “signs of Satanism”, MP Hamdan Al Azmi has warned Deputy Premier Sheikh Mohammad Al Khalid Al Sabah and Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al Saleh of the consequences of failing to take action against Christmas celebrations.
He said celebrating such events was “inappropriate” in an Islamic culture and authorities should not allow anyone to profit from such activities, Kuwait media reported.
While Christmas is a Christian celebration, in parts of the Gulf shops sell Christmas decorations and embrace the holiday. In the UAE, some malls have lavish Christmas decorations in a nod to the large expat and tourist populations.
Al Azmi said permission to promote foreign occasions in Muslim land amounted to “mockery” and that Christmas celebrations offended local religious teachings.
He urged the Deputy Premier to intensify efforts to monitor activities in camps and chalets, claiming some youths were planning to organise Christmas parties in these areas.
In October, Al Azmi said allowing Halloween items to be sold in Muslim countries was a “travesty and mockery of our religious sensibilities”.
“Such items ... are commonly known to be signs of Satanism,” he was quoted as saying by the Kuwait Times newspaper.
“Allowing shops to continue selling these items is a stab at the Kuwaiti society’s identity, and we cannot accept this.”