Season of goodwill

For a country without a historic Christian minority, the UAE actively welcomes celebrations such as Christmas. Photo: Sarah Dea / The National
For a country without a historic Christian minority, the UAE actively welcomes celebrations such as Christmas. Photo: Sarah Dea / The National

Wishing someone a merry Christmas has become a fraught subject in the West, with some in the US and the UK advocating the use of “Happy holidays” instead. The UAE’s approach to this subject is somewhat less over-thought.

Is really there any difference between a Muslim wishing their Christian colleague a merry Christmas and the greetings being reciprocated in the case of Eid Al Fitr for example? Or, for that matter, both wishing their Hindu friends a happy Diwali or the UAE’s substantial population from Kerala a fruitful Onam festival? It does not diminish one’s own faith to extend good wishes to another celebrating theirs.

In a region where religious minorities of many kinds may sometimes fear any overt observance of their faith, the UAE’s tolerance of all is noteworthy. So to our readers who are observing festivities today, we wish a happy Christmas.

Published: December 24, 2014 04:00 AM

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