Add News     Print  
Article List
Call for ban on marking Xmas extremist thought Respect non-Muslims’ holy days

Recently, an MP in Kuwait’s parliament “warned Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al- Sabah and Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh on the consequences of failure to take any action against the celebration of Christmas in the country, particularly since many commercial establishments have been found to be selling items related to the occasion” (see Arab Times 14-12-2013).

Such anti-Christmas calls contradict with Kuwait’s history of tolerance: when an MP in a democratic Kuwaiti parliament attempts to invoke religious or sectarian hatred against others, he does not reflect the nature of Kuwaiti open society.

Celebrating Christmas does not weaken or undermine Islamic values and doctrines. In fact, allowing our Christian brothers and sisters to freely celebrate Christmas will improve Kuwait’s positive image around the world. The MP who warned against allowing celebrations of Christmas does not seem to understand that there are Christian Kuwaiti citizens!

Therefore, demanding asuppression of Christmas celebrations in addition to ignoring the rights of hundreds of thousands of our expatriate friends and partners, such unviable action violates the rights of citizens. I do believe that the problem of extremism and religious radicalismliesin some persons and not in the religion of Islam. Zealots, bigots and hardline religious conservatives do not believe in democracy or pluralism.

However, the most worrying attitude which may incite religious and sectarian hatred and violence is the belief that it is only Muslims who can go to heaven! Extremists and religious radicals undervalue the importance of holy days in other religions. For example, Christians, Jews and people of other faiths do actually believe in the viability and truth of their faiths.Christians and Jewish people do believe in the truth of their respective faiths, thus they have all rights to practice the ceremonies of their own religions without interference.

Moreover, many Christians and Jews do actually act according to specific set of moral laws inspired by their religious traditions. As a Muslim, I have no right to limit the freedom of conscience of people of other faiths. As a good and righteous Muslim I am supposed to respect the dignity of other people. If a Christmas celebration or Yom Kippur fasting are essential parts of other people’s religions, I will show all respect to such traditions.

Frequently igniting religious hatred through using anti-non-Muslim, anti- Semitic or anti-Christian rhetoric does not strengthen one’s Islamic faith. Those who are more tolerant than others tend to invoke the best practices of their own faiths. Banning Christmas celebrations does not reflect tolerance, but a strange desire to antagonize Millions of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. Khaled Aljenfawi

By: Khaled Aljenfawi

Read By: 3652
Comments: 0

You must login to add comments ...
About Us   |   RSS   |   Contact Us   |   Feedback   |   Advertise With Us