More interfaith dialogue and mutual understanding:
Liberal Website On Controversy Among U.S. Muslims Regarding Celebrating Christmas MEMRI
The liberal Arabic website Elaph.com recently reported that the Mufti of Washington D.C., Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, prohibited Muslim children from having their photos taken with Santa Claus, as this is a" sin" and "an abomination" that contravenes the tenets of Islam. The site emphasized that the Mufti's position does not represent the view of most Muslims living in the U.S., and that the imam of a mosque in Maryland has even urged Muslims to celebrate Christmas along with the Christians as a means of promoting their integration in American society.
The issue of Christmas celebrations has been a bone of contention among Muslims in Australia as well. Australian sources reported that Sheikh Yahya Safi, the imam of Australia's largest mosque, the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, has ruled that Muslims must not extend Christmas greetings to Christians. The Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Muhammad, said in response that these were irresponsible statements and that Islam respects other religions.
The following are excerpts from the Elaph article:
Washington Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti: Taking Pictures With Santa – An Abomination
"Muslim children's affection for Santa Claus could have been an opportunity to prove that [the Muslims] are part of the multi-cultural social fabric of the U.S., after [some] other groups in American society have accused them of a tendency to isolate themselves socially. American-Muslim parents hoped that this year's Christmas celebrations would break the ice between their children and their Christian friends..."
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti