Stop celebrating new year, saying 'Merry Christmas', Muslims told

A baby trying to grab a hold of a Christmas decorative bauble hanging from a Christmas tree at Mid Valley Megalmall in Kuala Lumpur, December 24, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A baby trying to grab a hold of a Christmas decorative bauble hanging from a Christmas tree at Mid Valley Megalmall in Kuala Lumpur, December 24, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy May

SHAH ALAM, May 6 — Muslims must refrain from celebrating New Year and stop saying  “Merry Christmas”, a speaker at a University Teknologi Mara (UiTM) event said today.

“We shouldn’t wish Merry Christmas because it means that Jesus is reborn,” Irena Handano, manager of the Chinese Muslim Association of Indonesia or Pusat PITI said.

Uttering the greeting means one has acknowledged and agreed with it, she added.

She also questioned the practice of celebrating the new year on January 1 when Muslims have their own calendar, Hijriyah or Qomariyah.

Muslim New Year is on 1 Muharram, she added.

The Muslim convert also said Valentine's Day, April Fool's Day, Easter and Halloween are all part of Christian culture used to attack Islam by appearing to be "fun".

"So it is important to arm yourselves with knowledge to protect yourselves from the Jewish or Christian influence," she said.

There is already a long list of fatwas issued by each state's religious bodies on the dos and don'ts for Muslims, including the ban on the poco-poco dance by the Perak Mufti and the ban on saying "Rest in peace", by the National Fatwa Council.