For another year running, Islamic clerics have raised a ruckus about the question of whether Muslims can wish others a “Merry Christmas” or celebrate the holiday.
The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), ostensibly the country’s highest Islamic authority, said on Wednesday that the question was “still up for debate,” and urged Muslims to refrain from making any mention of Christmas.
“It’s better if they don’t [say ‘Merry Christmas’],” Ma’ruf Amin, the MUI chairman, said in Jakarta.
“It’s still up for debate whether it’s halal or haram , so better steer clear of it. But you can say ‘Happy New Year.’ ”
He also called on Muslims not to attend any Christmas parties or celebrations, saying that such a move would certainly be considered haram, or forbidden in Islam.
“The MUI has issued an edict forbidding Muslims from attending such rituals, because they are religious in nature. It would be haram for any Muslims to take part,” Ma’ruf said.