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Maldives police seize Christmas tree

19 December 2020, MVT 08:28
Police 'arrested' and removed a Christmas tree that was placed outside Kaani Beach Hotel, Maafushi. PHOTO: FACEBOOK
19 December 2020, MVT 08:28

Maldives Police, confirmed on Friday, that authorities at Maafushi, Kaafu Atoll had taken into custody a Christmas tree.

The incident took place at approximately 2030 hours, outside Kaani Beach guesthouse.

According to the Police, once the presence of a tree standing in violation to Maldives' Religious Unity Act (Act No. 6/1994) was reported, officers attempted to sway the people responsible to take it down.

However, as the discussion prove unsuccessful, Police removed the tree and brought it to the Maafushi Police Station, where it is apparently now located.

With origins in 16th century Germany, decorated evergreen conifer trees, real or artificial have become one of the most well-known symbols of Christmas across the globe.

Although Muslims recognize Jesus as a prophet decreed worthy of utmost respect, the celebration of his birth has been known to offend the sensitivities of some religious factions.

Translation: "It is a Maldivian dressed as Santa Claus? 1 business, 1 country. Muslims in all the islands. Business opportunities should be equal for all. Resorts are also in Maldives. Many Maldivians are employed there. Then Christmas and New Year decorations should be stopped there too".

In the island nation of Maldives, where Maldivians are declared Muslim at birth, authorities seemingly turn a blind eye to celebrations of Christmas that take place in resorts across the archipelago.

The holiday period generates some of the highest revenue raked in by the tourism sector annually.

However, despite locals also being present in those resort islands, authorities use a stronger hand to enforce these laws in local islands, where the festivities housed by guesthouses and other tourist outlets, are similarly meant solely for the enjoyment of foreign visitors.

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