A Muslim leader in Australia has publicly taken issue with a radical Muslim fatwa that instructs Muslims not to wish Christians Merry Christmas or to join in the celebrations of the unbelievers in any way. Unfortunately, however, other Muslims in Australia have defended the radicals.
“Australia’s radical Muslims are trying to sabotage Christmas, according to the nation’s most senior Islamic leader, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali.” This from news.com.au, with thanks to Agent Azure.
“The accusation from the Islamic mufti is based on a Wahabist edict from Saudi Arabia, which he said had been circulating among Australia’s fundamentalist Muslims. The edict tells conservative Muslims how they should respond to Christmas, which is not celebrated by followers of Islam.
“Sheikh al-Hilali said the strongly worded edict, issued some years ago, amounted to religious intolerance and would not be supported by mainstream Muslims. ‘Other Australians would look at people who believe this as people who live on Mars, not Earth,’ he said.
“The edict says Muslims must not greet anyone with the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ and must not return the season’s greetings to anyone who offers them.
“It also says that Muslims must not:
“Offer or accept any food or drink linked with the celebration of Christmas.
“Send greeting cards for or import or sell anything related to Christmas.
“Put up Christmas lights or keep Christmas trees or have any signs relating to the Christmas season.
“According to Sheikh al-Hilali, the edict also asks: ‘How can you Muslims participate with Christians in their festivals and celebrations? How can you greet them on this occasion in relation to the falsehood in their religion which is a symbol of their misguided, disbelieving creed? Isn’t that giving support from you for their false religion?'”
These kinds of restrictions on Muslims not only participating in Christmas, which would be understandable, but even extending good wishes to Christians, are actually rather common worldwide. You can even find them among Muslims in the United States. This one is from Illinois (with thanks to “Allah.”) They are, of course, manifestations of the same assumptions of superiority (of Muslims) and corruption (of Christians) that give rise to the institutionalized oppression of dhimmitude.
“But several fundamenalist sheikhs who have seen the edict disputed Sheikh al-Hilali’s interpretation. They said the edict was not intended to spoil Christmas for Christians, but merely to keep Muslims away from a celebration their religion does not recognise.
“Although many religions did not recognise the Christian celebration of Christmas, Sheikh al-Hilali said all Muslims needed to be tolerant of other people’s faiths. Sheikh al-Hilali, a moderate Muslim, has been highly critical of Australia’s fundamentalist Islamic leaders, who he said had been weak in condemning terrorism and had ‘followed in the footsteps of Osama bin Laden’.
“‘They want that reputation – to appeal to simple Muslims – that they are people applying jihad. These people bring a rigid and incorrect understanding of Islam to Australia and they bring harm to their religion,’ he said in an interview with The Australian. Sheikh al-Hilali’s criticism of the Christmas edict is a further reflection of the tension between mainstream Muslim leaders and fundamentalist clerics.
“Fundamentalist Muslims, who adhere to a strict and conservative version of Islam, make up only a small proportion of Australia’s 280,000 Muslims. But this small group is the main focus of ASIO.” That would be the Australian Security Intelligence Organization.