Halloween, All Hallows Eve, it is known by many things with varying pasts, but Halloween is generally celebrated in modern times as a time for horror films and candy. Pumpkin everything is in the air, cider is prevalent, and every kid is itching to dress up in costumes to trick or treat.
Unfortunately not everyone is so fortunate, but more than money sometimes dictates whether one can have Halloween. Sometimes, schools or countries ban Halloween.
In Malaysia, according to the Malaysian Insider, the National Fatwa Council issued a fatwa to ban Muslims from celebrating Halloween. They explained that Halloween was the “Christian celebration of the dead” and called for Muslims to “pray for the deceased” instead. The fatwa used to ban Halloween was verbalized on the council’s website.
“Halloween is celebrated using a humorous theme mixed with horror to entertain and resist the spirit of death that influences humans. The Halloween celebration is clearly against the values of shariah. It cannot be celebrated by Muslims.”
The Malaysian Insider also reported that some believe the move, among others, was an attempt by “Malaysia’s Malay majority” to “use Islam to hold on to the reins of power.” This is not unusual in the Middle East, as the International Business Times reported on a similar Islamic ban on Halloween.
In the country of Jordan’s case, it was more than a suggested ban on the holiday, the government announced a complete ban on it.
The reason suggested by the Jordanian government was that two years prior, violent protests and riots broke out around one city. Ziad Al Zoubi, the Jordanian Ministry spokesperson, confirmed it was forced to make the ban public after a few groups came to them asking for permission to hold Halloween parties.
In fact, last year was the site of unrest during Halloween as well. The Muslim Brotherhood attacked a cafe where people were celebrating Halloween. They even published a statement of condemnation for the very celebration they attacked.
“We watched[,] with disgust and shame last night[,] homosexual and Satanic rituals in an Amman cafe. This presents a challenge to the values of the Jordanian people and their Arab and Muslim identity, as well as a violation of religious laws.”
Reports also suggest that the group set fire to the cafe that was holding the celebration. The Muslim Brotherhood did not call for a ban on Halloween but did believe that those who celebrate it should be prosecuted under the law for “performing a grotesque act.”
NBC News reports that officials in Beijing, China posted signs in the subways putting a ban on Halloween costumes and suggesting those who defied the ban would face arrest. The state-run Beijing News reported on the exact language of the sign.
“In order to avoid mass panic, Beijing subway passengers will be prohibited from wearing fancy dress or wearing face makeup on the train.”
The reason given was that “costumed riders” could “easily cause a crowd to gather and create trouble.” Beijing Police released a series of photos of prohibited looks in question. They included the ghost-faced Scream mask, skull masks, and zombie face paint. No reason for the restrictions were given.
Normally, one might suggest that that is why they are glad to be an American. In America, people feel that freedom expression is guaranteed, but that does not seem to always be the case. CBS Connecticut reports, in Newington, two schools issued a ban on Halloween because it might offend some. Reports have stated that parents received letters from the school principals stating that because “Halloween is a holiday not celebrated by everyone, it shouldn’t be celebrated at their schools.”
A school ban should come as no surprise, as the Inquisitr reported on multiple instances of public or charter schools using bans against things they feel are offensive.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you feel that a ban on Halloween from a city, country, or school is appropriate?
Leave your comments below.
[Image Via Wicked Horror]