Friday, May 18, 2012

Not so simple, saying “Merry Christmas”

Until some years ago, nobody batted an eye at the traditional “Merry Christmas” greetings at Christmas. Suddenly emerged the post-modernists, protesting the religionization of Christmas, and advocating as appropriate greetings “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”! Now the stakes are considerably upped as in America some Islamic clerics have ruled it a grand sin for a Moslem to wish anyone a “merry Christmas”. According to cleric Al-AhMad' "saying Merry Christmas is even worse than fornication or killing someone." (

In Malaysia, even Christians had restrictions placed on their expression of Christmas felicitations. As reported by Malaysian Insider, “Parish priests and church youth leaders were required to get “caroling“ permits before they could "visit their fellow church members and belt out 'Joy to the World,' [or] 'Silent Night, Holy Night.'" For 30 years, it had been required that permits be obtained because Carols are conducted in public, outside residences of hosting Church members. The conditions for obtaining a permit include submission of full names and identity card numbers of the clergy at police stations. But last Christmas new conditions were added including that the full names and contact information of the house-holders that would be visited. (

Even in western countries, moslems are aggressively putting pressure on Christians at Christmas. For example at the university of London, apparently to appease moslem folks, readings from the Quran were featured during the Christmas service; while "a posh Montreal suburb chose rather to remove a nativity scene and menorah from town hall rather than acquiesce to demands from a Muslim group to erect Islamic religious symbols."

As an example of tawriya in action, a Sheik has suggested a way out to bail out pious moslems from the "great sin" of having to acknowledge Christmas; while at the same time not sounding antagonistic. On YouTube, a Sheikh suggests Muslims to tell Christians, "I wish you the best." ( He explains the ingenuity of this new Christmas greeting: whereby the latter might "understand it to mean you're wishing them best in terms of their [Christmas] celebration." (here the ‘wily’ sheikh giggles), you actually “mean in your heart I wish you become a Muslim." Of course, in the thinking of the learned Sheikh, being a muslim is the best for anybody. Such “creative lying” is fully endorsed in Islam and is known as Tawriya. For more on this Islamic doctrine, see

Meanwhile elsewhere on the planet, Christmas carols, greetings and symbols were the least considerations as Islamic militants went on a killing spree. In Northern Nigeria, the major assaults of the period inclued the Boko Haram massacre of over 40 people at St Theresa’s (in Madalla, Niger state) and MFM Church (Jos, Plateau State) on Christmas day. (see

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