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Somalia Votes To Implement Sharia

Source: Al Jazeera (Mecca)
Posted: Monday, April 20, 2009

The Parliament of Somalia has voted unanimously to implement Sharia, or Islamic law, across Somalia. The effect of this change on the public holidays of Somalia is yet to be assessed.

Currently, Somalia observes public holidays for the Islamic New Year, for the Ashura, for the Prophet's birthday, and for both the Eid al Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It is thus unlikely that another Muslim public holiday would be added. However, as both Eids are currently observed for only one day, it is possible that one or both of the Eid public holidays would be extended to last 2 or 3 days each.

As for non-religious public holidays, apart from January 1st, there are only 2, June 26 and July 1st, corresponding to the dates on which each half of Somalia gained its independence in 1960 (British Somaliland on June 26, 1960, and Italian Somaliland on July 1st). It is unlikely that these 2 dates would be dropped from the official list of public holidays in Somalia.

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