A multi-faith group in Britain is working to put a stop to talk about Christmas being banned in the UK because of potential offence to some ethnic group. The Phoenix initiative, consisting of bloggers, activists and community representatives, want to demonstrate support and respect for Christmas among different faiths.
Julie Siddiqui, vice-president of the Islamic Society of Britain said almost every year there had been stories that local authorities have changed the name of Christmas, or are not having lights, or have banned it.
“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.”
Vidhya Ramalingam of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Hindu: “I don’t know anyone who actually wants to ban Christmas and most Hindus and Muslims that I know actually celebrate Christmas.”
Birmingham city council was once reported to have banned Christmas. Phoenix hopes to counter such myths, highlighting participation by non-Christians in traditional activities. One of the posts on its Facebook page shows pictures of Muslim students taking part in a nativity play.
Siddiqui says some British Muslims do celebrate Christmas with a tree and a special meal. For others it is a good time to put something back into the community. Phoenix is encouraging non-Christians to enter into the spirit of goodwill through volunteering.
She is volunteering at her local church in Maidenhead on Christmas Day. Other members are helping out at Christian charities or non-faith groups like homelessness charity Crisis at Christmas. IN FULL: » The Guardian | SEE ALSO: » An atheist at Christmas: Oh come all ye faithless
Peace on Earth, goodwill to all men