Opinion: "Christians Find Surprising Allies in Fight to Defend Christmas"

December 23, 2005

Source: The Ottawa Citizen


On December 23, 2005 The Ottawa Citizen reported, "Christian groups battling the 'war on Christmas' have found surprising allies in some Jewish and Muslim groups, especially in the United States, who say any religion is more hospitable than aggressive secularism. 'It is assumed that Muslims would object to someone saying, "Merry Christmas." In fact, we don't,' says Ibraham Hooper, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Muslims are sympathetic toward the urge to worship and believe that a society with more spirituality, rather than less, can only be good, he says. Although religious groups in Canada laugh off the idea of battling over Christmas, the holiday 'holy war' has been building momentum across North America for years... Mr. Hooper says people of other faiths simply want the same freedom to celebrate their religious holidays that Christians have. 'We don't seek public recognition,' he says of Muslims, "but as the community is growing and maturing, we ask to be recognized. In terms of numbers, we would ask the same respect'... In Washington, D.C., recently, a small group of Jewish leaders spoke in defence of public Christmas celebrations, preferring at least some faith to no faith. 'Jews and other non-Christians have a stake in maintaining morality, based on a Judeo-Christian ethic,' Don Feder told Religion News Services. 'The disappearance of Christmas undercuts that ethic'... Len Rudner, national director of community relations for the Canadian Jewish Council, said this country really doesn't have the cultural conflicts that the U.S. does. The war on Christmas is a straw man, he says, and Christmas trees as 'seasonal shrubs' is just silly."