MUI issues fatwa forbidding Muslims from wearing Christmas accessories

‘Tis the season for fatwas about Christmas again.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the nation’s independent clerical body, today issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from wearing Christmas clothing or accessories to celebrate the Christian holiday.

The fatwa, which was published in its entirety in Detik here, called on Muslims to preserve friendship with people of other faiths by wishing them well in their religious holidays, but drew the line at Muslims themselves partaking in the festivities, particularly with the wearing of attributes symbolic to other religions.

Essentially, that means the fatwa boils down to forbidding Muslims from wearing Santa hats.

In addition, MUI’s fatwa also forbids businesses from forcing their Muslim employees to wear Christmas accessories at work. This is a follow up from last year, when MUI issued the same advice.

For their final point of the fatwa, MUI decreed that, “the government must prevent, monitor, and punish” those who force Muslims to wear Christmas accessories.

While it’s fair that people of other faiths might have misgivings about celebrating Christmas against their will, it should also be noted that the MUI’s fatwa is not law in Indonesia and the government does not in fact have any legal obligation to follow it.

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