Stories about Christmas being banned because of ­potential offence to any one ­ethnic group have become almost as much a part of the ­festive season as brussels sprouts — but a multi-faith group has decided it is time to put a stop to the tradition.
Concerned about the divisive effect of such stories, the Phoenix inter-community initiative, a group of bloggers, activists and community representatives, have come together to try to demonstrate support and respect for Christmas among different faiths.
Julie Siddiqui, vice-president of the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), said: “Almost every year for the last few years we see some sort of story in the local or national papers that local authorities have changed the name of Christmas, are not having lights, or have banned it.”
“I think it’s damaging in terms of community relations. No one is asking for Christmas to be banned, Muslims certainly haven’t. The inference is often that it’s coming from Muslims.”
Through it’s online Happy Christmas 4ALL campaign, Phoenix hopes to counter such myths, highlighting participation by non-Christians in traditional activities. One of the posts on its Facebook page shows pictures of Muslim students ­taking part in a nativity play. - GNS