Norway: Muslim labour leader against dropping Christmas traditions

Norway: Muslim labour leader against dropping Christmas traditions

Via Aftenposten (Norwegian):

Masud Gharahkhani, head for AP (Labour) in Drammen city council, sees no problem with Christmas celebrations, Christmas hats or school services. Last week the 5th grade at Øren school in Drammen had a 'winter celebration' instead of a Christmas celebration. Drammens Tidende also reported of a girl who was not allowed to wear a Christmas hat during the event, and that traditional hymns were replaced by more neutral songs.

Masud Gharahkhani, who is himself Muslim, says such things are 'misguided and unacceptable'.

"I myself went to a Norwegian school and experienced Christmas traditions and Christmas season. It's important that children get to experience Norwegian culture and traditions."

He will take up the issue with Drammen's mayor. "If this is about integration, they've misunderstood. It's important to know different religions." He added that children are healthier by experiencing it.

The Muslim says that Christmas hymns with Christian content are no problem either.

Q: What with services at school?

A: I took part in that, I recommended it for my children, and see no problem with the school arranging services, as long as students and families have a choice not to go.

The school denies that Norwegian traditions were censored and says that the teachers and students had decided on their own to hold a winter-themed event.