Clinton-Linked Sultan Bans Christmas

Says celebrating Christian holiday ‘could damage the beliefs of the Muslim community’

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah as they sit for dinner at the Istana Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on September 6, 2012 / AP
December 22, 2015

The sultan of Brunei, whose government is a Clinton Foundation donor, has forbidden his citizens from openly celebrating Christmas, the Telegraph reports.

The small Asian nation’s government warned that honoring the Christian holiday would "damage the beliefs" of the country’s Muslim majority:

The conservative Muslim country on the island of Borneo stated the punishment would apply to anyone found sending festive greetings – or wearing Santa hats.

Non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate Christmas – but they must do so only within their communities and first alert authorities.

At least 65 percent of the 420,000-strong population of the oil-rich state are Muslims.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs said in a statement: "These enforcement measures are ... intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community."

Brunei contributed between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2002 to help construct the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas, the Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this year. Former President Bill Clinton has also visited the country several times.

The sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, has an estimated net worth of $20 billion and a lavish collection of planes, helicopters, thousands of luxury cars, and a 1,788-room palace. He has been accused of holding "sex parties" with underage girls.

After he made a recent decree to enforce sharia law—in which he said he would punish crimes such as homosexuality, sodomy, and adultery with the amputation of limbs, public flogging, or death by stoning—Hollywood celebrities boycotted the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, owned by the sultan.