JAKARTA: Indonesia’s top Islamic body said Thursday that Christmas decorations in malls, amusement centres and public places were “excessive and provocative” in the Muslim-majority country.
Christmas ornamentation had been put up in an “excessive and provocative way”, said Muhyidin Junaedi, one of the chairmen of the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI).
“It should be done in a proportional manner as Muslims are the majority here, otherwise it will hurt their feelings,” he told AFP. Furthermore, he stated that the MUI issued a recommendation urging mall and recreation centers to tone down the Christmas celebrations so they do not offend muslims who are rather strong in their faith.
“We received complaints from a number of malls’ employees who are forced to wear Santa Claus costumes which are against their faith. Such things should not have happened,” he said.
“We need to restrain Muslims from joining the festivities,” Junaedi added.
He said that the body had no plan to turn the recommendation, made on Tuesday, into an Islamic edict. Nearly 90 percent of Indonesia’s 234 million people are Muslim, most of whom practise a moderate version of the religion.