Sheikh Hussam al-Ilani, the imam at Ghufran Mosque in Sidon urges Muslims not to buy children Christmas presents
The Daily Star/Dec. 25, 2014
BEIRUT: Muslims must understand that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are exclusively Christian holidays, a south Lebanon sheikh said Thursday, urging Muslim parents to resist temptations and pressure to buy their children Christmas gifts. “Some Muslims make a mistake by erecting a Christmas tree in their homes and dressing up their children in ‘Santa Claus’ outfits,” Sheikh Hussam al-Ilani, the imam at Ghufran Mosque in Sidon, said in a Christmas day statement.
“They even take it further by visiting the toy store and buying gifts and asking the shop’s owner to send ‘Santa Claus’ to their homes to give the gifts to their children,” he added, making a point of writing “Santa Claus” inside quotes.
Those parents believe that celebrating Christmas is a way of achieving national unity, he added, but they are wrong.
“Christmas and New Year’s are for Christians and not Muslims,” Ilani insisted. “This is not extremism. It’s what all Muslims and Christians must know and understand.”