Denmark: 'Christmas isn't dangerous', says Muslim politician

Denmark: 'Christmas isn't dangerous', says Muslim politician

Via EkstraBladet (Danish):

Kurdish-Turkish Serdal Benli celebrates Christmas and says schools shouldn't censor Christmas so as not to insult some students.

"Christmas is a beautiful and harmless tradition. Christmas isn't dangerous. Muslims recognize Jesus as a prophet too and the curious practice, some school choose here, is a big misunderstanding in the name of holy tolerance."

Serdal Benli has Kurdish roots and was born in Turkey. He came to Denmark when he was four.

The Muslim man is also chairman of the Employment and Integration committee in Gladsaxe, and a MP candidate for SF.

Serdal Benli deeply disagrees with the schools' approach. He sings all the verses in 'A Child is Born in Bethlehem', and likes Danish and Christian Christmas traditions.

"Christmas was a big prize for me throughout my childhood in this country. To come to church and experience Christmas, learn about Christianity and hymns, and the differences between religions is a positive thing, and I'm appalled by the signal that people are sending to these children by censoring away our differences.

He thinks that schools who take immigrant children into consideration are benefiting neither integration nor diversity.

"The children should learn of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other traditions, instead of people sending negative and wrong signals to the children, which increase the differences.

Serdal Benli (32), celebrates a type of Christmas with his 28 year old wife, who's origins are from Turkey, but was born in Denmark.

"On Christmas even we meet, like so many others, make candy and good food - preferably duck or something else delicious. And we give each other gifts," says Serdal Benli,who also decorates for Christmas with pine and Christmas lights.

This year he didn't buy a tree. "We've done some of that when my nephews and nieces, who love Christmas, were here. Children are naturally curious, and it's wrong to keep them away from each other's holidays, instead of recognizing the differences and celebrating each other's traditions. I basically believe that knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religious equips children to engage in diversity. I don't understand the fear of contact at these schools. It's not dangerous. It's important we learn of each other and have the opportunity for it.