In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
Secularist groups ask governments to avoid using Christian terms in December. “We are appalled that others mix us into this debate”, says German Islamic representative Aiman Mazyek.
Is the celebration of Christmas offensive for non-Christians? Not so, says the President of the Muslim Central Council in Germany, Aiman Mazyek.
The renaming of Christmas has been proposed by several political parties in European countries like the United Kingdom, Germany or France.
In Germany, the Green party proposed to rename St. Martin Day (11 Novemeber) to “Sun, moon and stars festivity”. Meanwhile, the operators of the Christmas market in Berlin said they want to call it “Winter market”.
But these kind of debates are “embarrassing”, the Muslim representative in Germany Aiman Mazyek believes. He and other Muslims in the country are “not at all” offended by the Christian connotations of Christmas, he said in an interview with a radio station, according to Livenet.
“Actually, [Christmas] reminds Muslims about Jesus, who has an honourable position in Islam”, Mazyek said.
He went on to say that “it is not right that Muslims are used as an argument to change these things (...) We are appalled that others mix us into this debate”.
Asked about what Muslims do during Christmas in European countries, Mazyek said: “Many do the same things as other citizens. It is a time to reflect, an opportunity to prepare for the coming year”.