Saudi authorities issue warning to New Year revellers

The Saudi Arabian religious police have warned the public against celebrating New Year’s Eve, an Arabic newspaper in the kingdom reported on Sunday.

According to the Arab News, The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vices based its warning on a religious edict issued by the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars banning such celebrations.

Officials will tour markets across the kingdom to prevent the sale of red roses and other things used for celebrating New Year. An official said punitive measures would be taken against those who celebrate the New Year publicly.

The Saudi ulema consider celebrating Christmas/New Year to be unIslamic as it is based on the Gregorian calendar and is not an Islamic practice. However, while most Muslims in majority Muslim nations do not participate in Christmas festivities, celebrations are usually tolerated.

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