Christmas in the world of Islam is often far from joyful. Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90
Middle East

Hate Rises With Christmas

What should be a joyous season always seems to highlight tensions between Christians and Muslims

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With the advent of the birthday of Christ, the advocates of hatred and its jurists emerge from their hiding places. Chief among these Islamists are the Muslim Brotherhood, carrying with them an assortment of fatwas prohibiting any form of engaging with the Christians or their holiday.

Among those fatwas is that of Ibn al-Qayyim, which forbids “congratulating the rituals of unbelief (ie. non-Islamic religions).” Not only does this brand of fatwa contradict the cultural values and principles of the 21st Century, but they contradict the Koran itself. The Muslim holy book commands righteousness, and reads:

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes — from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. (Koran 60:8)

Prohibiting Muslims from engaging with Christians in the Arab countries that the two communities share as their homelands is a blow to the very foundations of coexistence, dialogue and mutual respect.

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