How do Muslims see Christmas?
Muslims at Christmas: Of course I love Christmas
Muslims do not believe that Jesus was God's Son. But you don't have to do that to respect Christmas.
There was never a Christmas tree in our living room on Christmas Eve, but the plastic plants with the red tips that were also there. When I was little, my brothers, cousins and I sat in front of the TV and mom rolled out flatbreads for our Christmas dinner in the kitchen: rolls of dough with potato filling, a family recipe my grandma made. The dough had to be soaked in oil on a cloth and stretched out again and again until it was almost transparent. Then my mother and my uncle filled the wafer-thin cakes: Mama held up one end of the towel, my uncle held the other end. Then they rolled it together. Then the rolls were rolled again in the shape of a snail and placed on the tray and put in the oven. There was also bulgur salad and rolled up grape leaves. There were no presents.
The adults drank Turkish tea and us children, Papa cooked cocoa with whipped cream. Sometimes we were even allowed to spray ourselves. With the warm cup in hand we looked Jack Frost on DVD until we fell asleep while my parents, aunts and uncles chatted and cracked sunflower seeds in the kitchen.
On the evening of Christmas Day we always went for a walk together in the empty streets. Conversations, Christmas music and laughter could be heard behind the lighted windows. I looked into the apartments and was always happy because it looked just like in the films we had seen before. To this day we have never had a tree or a goose and we don’t give each other anything. But the holidays are special for us too because we get together as a family.
Many do not seem to be able to imagine that. Because, as a Muslim, I apparently want to abolish Christmas - or my belief should at least be a reason that Christmas is slowly disappearing: The integration officer Annette Widmann-Mauz has just been criticized because her press team sent a Christmas card that said, "No matter what you believe in ... we wish you a peaceful time and a good start into the new year. " If you haven't noticed what the problem is: The word Christmas is missing. And according to the critics, this is a sign that the Christian is disappearing in Germany. And that seems to be due to non-Christians, to people like me. If a Christmas market is called a light market, I should be jointly responsible for it.
I used to get angry when it was suggested that Christmas would go away because of me and my beliefs - I always felt an urge to show and prove that I was looking forward to the Christmas season, even if I wasn't celebrating. Now I lean back and come to terms with it. I come to terms with the fact that my religion is an enemy image and a projection screen for negative things. I don't know any other way. No, I don't want to get rid of Christmas. I don't know anyone who wants that either. Of course not, because who would want to miss two public holidays?
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I, my family, and any other Muslim do not believe that Jesus was God's Son. But we don't have to either to respect Christmas. I love Christmas, but I don't need a Christmas tree or presents. We get our presents to Bayram for Ramadan. My mother used to tell me, "At Christmas we are happy for the Christian children," and we did. My mother honored the Christian holidays. She explained the Christian faith to us very early on and was happy about the many pairs of shoes on the doorstep of our Christian neighbors - perhaps also because it usually only looked like this on our doorstep.
During my time as a high school graduate until my final years as a bachelor's student, I worked in cafes and bakeries and heard a question that other Muslims in the service industry often heard before Christmas: "Can you take the shift on Christmas Eve?" Of course I could. I worked double shifts on Christmas Eve so my Christian colleagues could be with their families. After work, I went home with the rest of the cake. Our festive dinner and my family were waiting for me there again and I ate chocolate cake, nut cake and crumble cake with my cocoa and cream.
On the morning of Boxing Day, our Cologne neighbor comes for breakfast every year, brings home-baked vanilla croissants and tells my mother about Christmas Eve: what and how much she had cooked, why one sister-in-law was annoying again and how tired she is, and mine Mother basically tells her exactly the same thing every year. And when the tree has to leave our neighbor's apartment, my older brother helps her carry the huge thing down.
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