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Jakarta Post

Can Muslims say 'Merry Christmas'?

  • Mahmudi Asyari and Muizzudin

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, December 24 2008   /  10:49 am

Indonesian Muslims still have very different opinions about wishing someone "Merry Christmas". Some of them believe it is OK to do so, while some others see it differently. The former group base their opinion on the spirit of religious tolerance and the latter group consider it harmful for the religion and relate their opinion with the forbidden action of mixing one religion with another. This group seems to be dominant in Indonesia. In defending their opinion, they use a hadith as mentioned in Bukhari: "It related from *Aishah that a group of Jews came to God's Messenger and said, 'as-sam *alayk (death be on you). I understood it and said to them, as-sam wa al-la*nah (on you be death and curse). God's Messenger said, 'Be calm! O *Aishah, for God loves that one should be kind and lenient in all matters.' I said. 'O God's Messenger! Haven't you heard ...