Avoid wishing ‘Merry Xmas,’ insist Indonesian conservative Muslims


If the world is ready for Christmas with just five days to go before the 25th, Indonesia is yet to decide if they will be a part of the celebration.

Until now, Islamic conservatives are indecisive over whether or not celebrating Christmas the country is “Haram” or “Halal” (whether it’s prohibited or permitted by Islam), reported an Indonesian news site.

Indonesia's top Muslim clerical body said on Wednesday that it is best for Muslims to avoid saying greetings such as “Merry Christmas” to others.

“It’s better if they don’t say ‘Merry Christmas,’” said Council Chairman Ma’ruf Amin who was quoted as saying by Jakarta Globe, “It’s still up for debate whether it’s halal or haram, so better steer clear of it. But you can say ‘Happy New Year. ”

According to the council, it is Haram for Muslims to attend Christmas parties or celebrations.

“The MUI has issued an edict forbidding Muslims from attending such rituals, because they are religious in nature. It would be haram for any Muslims to take part,” Ma’ruf was quoted as saying.

The Christian holiday has always been part of the yearly December discussions tackled by conservative groups and clerics in Indonesia.

Din Syamsuddin of Muhammadiyah, one of the country’s biggest Islamic organizations, has previously commented that he greets his friends a Merry Christmas and said that it’s just a simple greeting, however he would still advise fellow Muslims to not say “Merry Christmas” but should respect the rights of Christians from all over the world to celebrate it.

“If it’s just a matter of the greeting, that’s not forbidden,” he was quoted as saying, adding that “We hope that all Muslims will respect the celebration of Christmas and help to keep peace [at churches] during the occasion,” he said.

According to the CIA statistics, out of its 248.6 million total population, Indonesia is 86 percent Muslim while only a 3 percent is comprised of Roman Catholics.