On Wednesday, December 14, the nation’s independent clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims partaking in the Christmas festivities.
The fatwa issued by MUI forbids Muslims from wearing Christmas accessories or clothing that symbolizes the Christian holiday.
While the fatwa encouraged Muslims to continue and preserve friendship with their non-Muslim friends by wishing them well for the major religious holidays, it prohibited them from taking part in any of the festivities related to Christmas, particularly the wearing of accessories symbolic to religions of other faiths.
The fatwa is primarily referring to the banning of Muslims to wear Santa hats.
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In line with the prohibition, the recently issued fatwa by the MUI likewise forbids companies and businesses compulsory imposing the wearing of Christmas accessories while at work. The same advice was likewise issued by the independent clerical body last year.
MUI concluded their decree with a stipulation that the Indonesian government must “prevent, monitor and punish” those entities who urge Muslims to wear Christmas accessories.
While everyone considers it fair that people of other religion and faith will have apprehensions about celebrating Christian holidays such as Christmas, it should be emphasized that MUI’s decree is not recognized as a law in Indonesia and as such will not hold the government legally liable to have it enforced across the archipelago.
Image credits: Abna24