Christmas: Once a Year Too Often?
Liberal Saudi Author and Journalist
Like every holiday, I suppose, Christmas comes but once a year, but that's once too many times for some, apparently, though not for the 'liberal' Saudi Mr. Nakshabandi, whose more positive opinion is implied in his words on Christians and (I guess) on some Islamists:
I listened to the Christmas sermon in a few churches, and they called for love and forgiveness. I also listened to a few Friday sermons [in the mosques] and most dealt with the ban on celebrating Christmas and threatened [anyone doing so] with hell. One side calls for love and the other side threatens damnation! ("Saudi Author: Nothing Wrong With Muslims Joining Christmas Celebrations," Memri, Special Dispatch No. 5577, December 26, 2013)Well, there's got to be at least a balance between hatred and love! But maybe even that balance is insufficient for some haters who want the utter destruction of love, as Mr. Nakshabandi goes on to point out:
Tune the radio to any news channel. Most of the news items concern a killing here and a bombing there . . . and the vast majority, most unfortunately, are connected to Muslims. To [dissociate] ourselves [from these acts], we term [those perpetrating these actions] extremist terrorists. However an extremist is also someone who rules that celebrating the holidays [of non-Muslims] is forbidden because he objects to a world engulfed in love and prefers hating and ostracizing the other and even hopes that the other will die, if possible.Mr. Nakshabandi hopes for peace on earth, "that love should prevail throughout the world." He believes that we would be happier if we all tried harder for that . . . but we find ourselves as fathers, mothers, siblings confronted by those who haven't left hatred behind. Mr. Nakshabandi nevertheless has hope:
Do we need love or killing? I hope the day will come when Muslim religious scholars have the courage to admit that participating in the celebrations and festivities of another -- any other -- is a good deed that is not motivated by love for this religion or other but by the desire that love should prevail throughout the world.If only the Islamists agreed . . .