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Bosnian Muslim group tells followers to boycott new year’s eve

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The Islamic Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina has called on Muslims in the country not just to boycott the upcoming New Year eve celebrations, but to “turn off the lights early and let everyone see you’re boycotting everything happening on that night” it said in a statement released on Wednesday.

By taking part in the celebration, Muslims would “violate God’s boundaries, and do something their master hates and despises” said the organization.

The group’s statement cited quotes from a book by Almir Dumica, “Pearls of the Sunnah in the Mosaic of Time”, in support of their position.

“On that night, turn off the lights early and let everyone see you’re boycotting everything happening on that night. Do not fear anyone's objections. Don’t you have a right to choose? Do not say, ‘how can I do that, I will change nothing, most people do it. I will be declared a black sheep’,” Dumica writes in the book.

“On that night go to bed on time, happy and satisfied that the Allah gave you many benefits that you do not consider often, and which you would become aware of only if you lost them,” the Islamic Community said in its release.

“Think about your health and family ... the peace and security you enjoy. Then, each night of the year will be much more dear to you than the New Year’s night is to any of those who eagerly await it all year, while a blessed feeling of triumph will overcome your soul and body, because piousness and reason will have won over passions and ugly customs,” the statement concludes.

The Islamic new year, which is when the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Madinah on Muharram first, was celebrated this year on November 25.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Slavic population underwent a large-scale conversion to Islam after the region’s occupation by the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 15th century, giving it a distinctive role within the Balkan region. Muslims are about 1.8 million, or roughly 8 percent of the total previous Yugoslavian population. They constitute the majority ethno religious group in the state according to Cole, John and Sam Beck in their book “Ethnicity and Nationality in Eastern Europe”.