Christmas in Algeria

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"Santa Claus" came down to the streets of Tizi Ouzo, without asking permission, and here he is ... making the rounds gleefully in his carriage full of bells, attracting people who are weak in their faith and distributing "presents" to them.... All this happens without anyone saying anything or raising any objection, from the Ministry of Religious Affairs to the last of those authorities who are zealous for Islam.

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* Anyone who wanders among the food shops in this city will notice that they are devoting themselves to making Christmas cakes.... The owner of one of the shops told us that on the eve of the holiday, the demand for these cakes exceeded the supply, despite their high price.... He also said that sometimes, the lines of citizens who won't do without these cakes even reach outside the shop. This reflects the devotion of some residents of this region to this occasion [i.e. Christmas]. In addition, the streets of Tizi Ouzo are not without stores selling Christmas trees...

* It appears that the fears... concerning the Christianization of the Kabylie region have in effect come true this time, and it has become clear that President Bouteflika's admonition to the region's population to uphold Islam and not to surrender to the lures of Christianization ... stemmed from knowledge of what is going on there. "Santa Claus" appearing there, overtly this time, is a sure sign of the swiftly descending danger that has come into [our] Algerian home. Will the relevant authorities -- and first and foremost the Ministry of Religious Affairs - seize the initiative, or will [Algeria] be left to its own devices, in confronting the death arriving from the West?

Santa Claus is coming to town! Oh, the humanity!

The fact that Santa Claus is making this writer quake in his boots -- aside from being hilarious -- speaks volumes. I get mildly annoyed at worst when I learn that someone has an opinion different from mine -- unless that results in the person wanting to harm me and he is in a position to do so (a rare event thanks to the Founding Fathers and many others who have fought for freedom). Either that person is wrong or I am about to learn something new. But this guy is sweating bullets!

It's like Jolly Old Saint Nick is telling him there's no such thing as Allah or something....