Every year, I hear about a pamphlet or a message inciting Lebanese Muslims not to celebrate Christmas and calling it a holiday for the “Kuffar”. I never knew who’s behind these campaigns but they definitely do not reflect the values and traditions of our Lebanese society. Muslims and Christians in Lebanon are used to celebrate their holidays together, whether it’s Christmas, Ramadan, Adha or Easter. I personally love attending Iftars during Ramadan and wish everyone around me a Merry Christmas, whether they are Muslims, Druze or even atheists.

Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with Muslims refusing to celebrate Christmas, but what’s unacceptable is using the “Kuffar” pejorative to describe others. If Muslims want to celebrate Christmas with their Christian friends, they should be free to do so the same way Christians should be free to have an Iftar with their Muslim friends.

All in all, Christmas is a joyous time of the year where people bring gifts to each other and have family dinners. Most Muslims I know celebrate Christmas and even put Christmas trees at their place because they love the customs and traditions. I don’t believe there’s a need to dig into religious interpretations and label people as “Kuffar” and spoil the holidays for everyone. Lebanese in general should be free to celebrate any holiday and can refrain from doing so if they are not comfortable with it.

Merry Christmas to all my Muslim and Christian friends!