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Not Wishing ''Merry Christmas'' Doesn't Mean Muslims Insults the Christians (Mufti Menk)

I'm sure you heard of this issue of  ''Merry Christmas'' Did you hear it? I heard that people started saying Mufti menk said you shouldn't say Merry Christmas to the Christians. I'm sure you heard that? Why do you want to just take a small piece of the statement and hold it out like this and make it seem like we are people who do not believe in a multicultural coexistence, multi religious coexistence and so on let me tell you I was asked about it recently in Singapore and the reason I'm making mention of this is to show you that look we're not stupid but sometimes people who want to look at it based on how the media has portrayed it may come to a decision or a conclusion that is not enlightened.

You see I grew up in Zimbabwe, we interacted from a young age with the Hindus, the Christians, the Jews those who are from the African traditional faiths and so on and we got along, we mixed in the schools from a young age and as I grew up I went to a high school that was purely Christian Catholic and that was the best option we actually had. They allowed me whatever I had and obviously we catered for them, they catered for us. There was a lot of respect and that's how we developed okay.

However when it came to Christmas there were so many Christians who didn't believe in it, they said no ways this is wrong. I recall a young boy I even know his name and he was with me, he didn't used to like to participate in religious studies because he belonged to a certain sect of Christianity and he used to say these guys don't know what they're talking about because x y & z; and he gave his reasons that's not the topic today but there are Christians who don't believe in Christmas, they don't participate in it, is there anything wrong if they don't believe in Christmas and there's nothing wrong, they didn't participate in it, there's nothing wrong but the minute they put a block on someone else who believes otherwise then there's a problem and that's what we're saying so the question you have to ask yourself?

Did you stop people from celebrating what they want? NO! Did you ban them? NO! Did you disallow them? Did you spread hatred against them? NO! All you said is ''Laqum Deenakum Waliya Deen'' You have your faith and I have mine. There were a few Hindus who were with me at school one of them used to eat beef and I said how come you eat beef, isn't this supposed to be your your one of the gods that you consider, you know they consider cow a God and with respect to them, with due respect to him but he says no this is a special beef. I didn't understand that but it was just that okay, I'm not such a strict Hindu that's what it meant.

There were other Hindus who told him you are wrong and there were other Hindus who tried to correct him but he kept on eating it and then when it came to ''Eid Ul Adha'' of the Muslim, they would never congratulate us why because we are sacrificing or slaughtering their God so to speak we never ever felt bad because we don't expect and please don't expect a Hindu to tell you Eid Mubarak at ''Eid Ul Adha''. Respect them and understand that what you are doing is blasphemous to them but they've allowed you to continue it doesn't mean they hate or they are intolerant

It just means that they believe differently and they have a separate system of belief and it would be insulting to them to actually come onto this side here and tell you look as much as you cutting my god but well-done welcome and enjoy it, you know enjoy that you don't expect it come on use your brain, this is what tolerance and coexistence is all about, it's not about a statement is more about allowing them to believe what they have to with respect in a way that you respect what they have as well that's all it is so what happened is as time passed it was amazing because when it comes to the other faiths, we found the same people didn't participate in some rituals of other faiths that did not make them bigots but they respected each other.

There was a young man who became a Muslim from the Hindus, the day they when they die what happen, they burn the body, they cremate that body so this young man his father had died and they were cremating the body and they asked him as the oldest son to actually like light the fire and he said look as much as you want me to do it and that's my father but I'm sorry it goes against my beliefs and it caused the commotion until some of those who are wise who knew they said look that's the man's beliefs, come on, leave him let the next son do it. How can you impose on him some the idea is to coexist with your difference that's what makes you a rainbow nation and that's what it is but you don't shove your opinion down the throats of others just like now in the Western world they are banning you from covering your hair.

Some countries that would create another problem like the Honorable Minister said it would make people feel that they are at war with the system because hey you know what this is my basic right to believe something I believe this is wrong, I believe this is right that's the idea so from among the Muslims there are those who believe that it's okay to participating in Christmas and from among the Christians there are those who believe that it's not okay to participate in Christmas, look at the irony but the idea is if you believe that by all means go ahead you are answerable to Allah not to me.

If this one believes otherwise go ahead but please don't impose it on me. If I don't want it's one of those things, come on, you don't live and let live. Today the problem is with all parties we believe we are the only ones who are right so we want to shove our opinions down the throats of the rest of the world, if not, they are the problem, they are the terrorists, they are the issue, watch out the words you are using will be used against you as well so be careful so this is why we say.

You know still we used to sit and eat together as young boys in college. You know you have your lunch they have their lunch, we know that if you have a beef burger please don't offer it to the Hindus, it's insulting it's blasphemous, they would actually feel so hurt so exactly the same could be said about pork and the Muslims do you agree. Imagine if your friend says this is a pork belly come on taste it, it's nice you know come on, come on, how would you feel, they respect you and you get along with them you build the nation.

You contribute towards the building of the nation together but you have different dietary restrictions which are respected so this is something that we need to talk about. It's got nothing to do with this person is intolerant and there is a big difference between difference of opinion and intolerance. I can differ with you right now. I can differ with you on 100 matters but I'm so tolerant. I promote tolerance. I promote coexistence. I promote the fact that all of us should contribute towards the development of our nation. I hope now no Muslim would ever wish ''Merry Christmas'' again. Thank you.

My Allah guide us and show us the right path (Ameen)



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