Indonesian Ulema Council declares a religious decree (fatwa) to ban Christmas apparel and adornments that depict the Christian tradition.
The religious decree, known as fatwa, goes as far as to forbid anyone from dressing up as Santa Claus or to expose other religious symbols traditionally associated with Christmas. It has been speculated to criticize the celebration of Christmas with decorations and attire, especially displayed in public areas. With some calling it, “a foreign culture with which we must not mingle,” reports Breitbart News
The report also states that Hasanuddin, the head of the Council that drafted the fatwa, says fatwa was created in response to the ‘Christmassy atmosphere spreading all over Indonesia. ” He further adds that the Christian celebration “hurts people’s faith very much” since “Religious images and accessories are used intentionally to show the identity of a certain religion, and represent its tradition and rituals.”
For this reason, Hasanuddin has declared the following:
“Use of non-Islamic accessories is against the law, as it is asking Muslims to wear them.”
The Indonesian Ulema Council has demanded the Muslim community not “mix” Christian traditions with the Islamic faith. They have been barred from selling, buying, or wearing anything that reflects Christmas.
Sydney Morning Herald weighed in on the topic:
[Fatwa] also says that Christmas Day and associated celebrations are among the “falsehoods that a Muslim should avoid … and therefore, a Muslim is neither allowed to celebrate the Christmas Day nor is he allowed to congratulate them.”
According to International Christian Concern, a human rights organization promoting religious freedom for international Christians:
Indonesia is presently suffering from an “increasingly emboldened radical Islamic sub-group that is applying public pressure to adhere to conservative Islamic law.” The group warned that fatwas like this may be used as a reason to attack or discriminate against non-Muslims during Christmas.
In November 150,000 Muslim marched in protest at the capital city of Jakarta, calling for the death penalty for the capital’s Christian governor. In another event on December 15th, a group of radical Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) that imposes sharia law, stormed a car dealership whose employees were wearing Christmas outfits and threatened the owner, reports Breitbart.
In response to this uprising, the government has placed 155,000 security personnel throughout the country to protect Christians during the holiday season, it has been reported.
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