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Moroccan Salafist scholar says celebrating Amazigh New Year is Shariah non-compliant

Moroccan Salafist preacher Hassan Kettani. / DR
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Salafist preacher Hassan Kettani has stirred controversy on social media after claiming that celebrating the Amazigh New Year is Shariah non-compliant.

«A Muslim who believes in God and followes his messenger, Mohammed, shoudn’t be celebrating what is called the Amazigh new year», he wrote on his Twitter account.

The Salafist, sentenced in 2003 to 20 years in prison, before obtaining a royal pardon in 2012, recalled having «repeatedly mentioned that Muslim scholars have declared that it is forbidden to celebrate a pre-Islamic holiday, regardless of its origins».

«Making the so-called Amazigh year an official national holiday is unacceptable and could divide people», he argued. Hassan Kettani's tweets were however considered by several Internet users «dividing».

For the record, politicians, trade unionists and activists from Amazigh movements called on the government to recognize this celebration and to declare January 13 a public holiday.

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