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Christmas Lights were NOT Banned in Cardwell, North Queensland


Circulating rumours claim that the local council in the small north Queensland town of Cardwell have banned the displaying of Christmas lights after receiving a complaint from a local mosque.

Facebook phising

Brief Analysis

The message is a hoax. No such ban has been implemented and it appears that Cardwell does not even have an official mosque. Cardwell area council has denied the rumour. The story began spreading after it was posted to a popular Australian Facebook Page.


Christmas Lights in Cardwell, North Queensland have been banned by the local council after a complaint from the new Al Shalalah Mosque built in the town just weeks ago. Iman Adnan Janutab said that the towns 100 Muslim residents found the lights to be an offensive celebration of Christmas and urged Christians to practice their beliefs privately within their homes, and not in public. The Council said in a statement that the request was approved because the needs of the religious minority needed to be respected. Please share THIS MESSAGE! So we can put Christmas lights up! THIS IS AUSTRALIA AND WE DESERVE TO LIVE OUR WAY

Detailed Analysis

Around November and December every year, stories decrying the supposed banning of various Christmas events or traditions begin to circulate, raising ire and consternation as they travel. Often, blame for the alleged bans are laid at the feet of Islamic communities supposedly offended by Christmas and/or overly political correct councils, community groups or businesses.

Almost invariably, the rumours turn out to be nonsense. And the case described here is no exception.

In early December 2013, a rumour began spreading that claimed that the town of Cardwell had banned the displaying of Christmas lights after receiving a complaint from a local mosque. The rumour gained momentum after it was posted to a popular Australian Facebook Page.

However, the claims in the story are untrue. The Cassowary Coast Regional Council has published the following statement on its website dismissing the rumours:
A hoax statement has been posted on a facebook page about Christmas lights in Cardwell. Council HAS NOT banned Christmas lights in the town.
The council has reiterated the statement on its own Facebook Page, noting:
Just in case you (like us!) have been caught up in this one, don't believe the hoax statement on another facebook page about Cardwell's Christmas lights/decorations. Council HAS NOT banned Christmas lights in Cardwell.
The Facebook Page that posted the message has since removed the false post.  A Page admin has explained in a comment that the "well written calculated lie" about the ban was sent to him and that he was initially fooled by it.

As far as I can ascertain, tiny Cardwell, with a population under 1400 people, does not even have an official Mosque.  Nor could a find any information about an "Al Shalalah Mosque", new or otherwise.

Sending on such absurd nonsense serves only to spread misinformation and cultivate misunderstandings and resentments among different sectors of the Australian community. If this message comes your way, please do not repost it. And please let the sender know that the information in the message is untrue.

Last updated: December 2, 2013
First published: December 2, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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