KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang today said discouraging Muslims from wishing Christmas greetings went against the teachings of Islam.
While calling upon Malaysians to turn the country into one of the world's foremost nations for interfaith dialogue, understanding and tolerance, he criticised the view of PAS Youth leader Mohamad Khalil Abdul Hadi who yesterday warned Muslims not to celebrate Christmas.
“It is a primitive view which is alien to the Constitution, the Rukunegara and all the precepts to unite multiracial, multilingual, multi religious and multicultural Malaysia,” Lim said in a statement.
Lim said when notable figures such as Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim extended their Christmas greetings to the rakyat, it did not make them become less of a Muslim as a result of such greetings to Christians.
“It is clear Mohamad Khalil has a long way to go to become a fully acceptable political leader,” he said.
Lim even cited Turkish President Recep Erdoğan's Christmas message posted on Sunday, which stressed Turkey's cultural diversity.
“Last week, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, together with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, took part in Christmas celebrations with Christians in Amman.
“Have Erdogan, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas become less of a Muslim because of such Christmas greetings and celebrations?” he asked.
Yesterday, Sinar Harian reported Muhammad Khalil as reminding Muslims not to be part of the Christmas celebration because it was an acknowledgement of the Christian religion.
“Christmas has an element of syirik (idoltary) which is against Islam’s teaching. They claim that God had a child, which is against our beliefs as Muslims.
“They celebrate Christmas with such elements and claim that Prophet Isa (Jesus) is the son of God,” he reportedly said during a lecture in Kuala Terrengganu on Sunday night.
Khalil reportedly said any non-Muslim celebration should not be celebrated by Muslims as it involves the belief of a wrong religion.
However, he said if it involves culture of a certain race, it was fine for Muslims to be part of the celebration.