Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

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Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:05 pm

Group aims to promote Christmas respect among all faiths, calling for end to scare stories about banning traditions.


'Most Hindus and Muslims that I know actually celebrate Christmas,' says Vidhya Ramalingam. Photograph: Alamy

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."

One of the most notorious examples of scare stories was the widely reported claim that Birmingham city council had banned Christmas, replacing it with Winterval to avoid offending non-Christians, even though it was untrue.

Through it's online Happy Christmas 4ALL campaign, Phoenix hopes to counter such myths, highlighting participation by non-Christians in traditional activities. For example, one of the posts on its Facebook page shows pictures of Muslim students taking part in a nativity play, while others highlight common religious beliefs shared by different faiths.

Phoenix is also encouraging non-Christians to enter into the spirit of goodwill by getting involved in volunteering, particularly on and around Christmas day. While Siddiqui says some Muslims do celebrate Christmas with a tree and a special meal, for others it is a good time for them to put something back into the community. "We should, all of us [volunteer], especially those of us that aren't doing much on Christmas, rather than just those [Christians] who are having to sacrifice their own Christmas."

She is volunteering at her local church in Maidenhead on Christmas Day and said ISB members are helping out at Christian charities or non-faith groups like the homelessness charity Crisis at Christmas. It is simply continuing the tradition over the years of non-Christian professionals in essential professions such as medicine volunteering to work over Christmas to relieve their colleagues, according to Siddiqui.

As well as the ISB, there are representatives from a number of groups involved in Phoenix, including the Jewish group JDC Europe and the Three Faiths Forum. Another member, Vidhya Ramalingam, from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, said: "The idea is to promote volunteering at Christmas and volunteering to take over the work of some Christian charities. It's been done a lot in the US where Jewish, Muslim and Hindu groups will take over Christian charities' work on Christmas day. It's also a time when people feel alone so we also encourage checking up on neighbours and making sure no one feels vulnerable."

Ramalingam, a Hindu, added: "I don't know anyone who actually wants to ban Christmas and most Hindus and Muslims that I know actually celebrate Christmas."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/24/christianity-religion


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Re: Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:19 pm

Good post ! cheers


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Re: Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:17 pm

Hi FTL. As soon as I saw the name of the Hindu I was suspicious of the the article you posted above. The surname splits up to:
Ram a lingam.

Should you not know it, lingam is the Sanskrit word for Phallus, or penis! Lol, I'll leave it there to your imagination.

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Re: Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:24 am

stardesk wrote:Hi FTL. As soon as I saw the name of the Hindu I was suspicious of the the article you posted above. The surname splits up to:
Ram a lingam.

Should you not know it, lingam is the Sanskrit word for Phallus, or penis! Lol, I'll leave it there to your imagination.

Hi Stardesk I love you x

Thanks, no I didn't know that affraid lol!

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Re: Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

Post by SEXY MAMA on Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:45 pm

stardesk wrote:Hi FTL. As soon as I saw the name of the Hindu I was suspicious of the the article you posted above. The surname splits up to:
Ram a lingam.

Should you not know it, lingam is the Sanskrit word for Phallus, or penis! Lol, I'll leave it there to your imagination.

Hindus worship Ram's penis

Im not joking!
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Re: Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:30 pm

Hi Mama, yes I know that and also the Yoni, the female parts. Sex figures strongly in Hinduism. But as I said to FTL the name Rama lingam is suspicious. I don't know if they're touting for money, if so people should investigate them first.

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Re: Christmas 'is not just for Christians'

Post by Guest on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:34 pm

I didn't think this thread was about insulting or ridiculing other religions but about how Christmas celebrations get cancelled due to worries about offending other religions.

Mostly I think this idea of other religions banging on about how they get offended comes from America where it often does.

True in places in the UK it gets banned but really that's down to the spineless locals who fail to stick up for it.

Here in North Wales it's been wall to wall nativity plays and choral services and very very Christmassy. Not for us the watered down Winter Festivals. pah! Just wouldn't wash here.

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