Religious controversies dominate Christmas in Europe in 2017
This year's Christmas season in Europe has been dominated by religious controversies in nearly every country.
Published: December 25, 2017, 9:29 am
Most of the conflicts stem from Europe’s multicultural political elites, who want to ensure that Muslims will not be offended by the Christian festival.
FreeWestMedia has however reported on the various threats against several Christmas events. Also many traditional Christmas markets have been renamed so as not to reflect their Christian roots in the name of “tolerance”: Amsterdam Winter Parade, Brussels Winter Pleasures, Kreuzberger Wintermarkt, London Winterville, Munich Winter Festival. In Halle, the Christmas market was renamed “Wintermarket.”
In Munich, advertising for a multicultural “winter market” included a snowman covered in a burqa. The chairman of the AfD in Bavaria, Petr Bystron, noted the irony of the symbol: “A burqa snowman as a tolerance symbol?”
In France, the annual Christmas market in the Croix-Rousse district of Lyon was cancelled because of the high security costs involved in protecting the event from Islamic terror.
When the city’s annual festival of lights opened, the military governor of Lyon, General Pierre Chavancy, said that, because of the “sensitivity” of the event, 1 500 soldiers and police, backed up by dogs, river brigades and mine-clearers, would be deployed to provide security paid for by the French taxpayer.
In Norway, a primary school in Skien announced that its Christmas festivities this year would include not only the usual reading of Bible verses but also two verses from the Koran which refer to Jesus. Bruce Bawer explained the implications: “Stigeråsen School’s Christmas plans provide yet another example of dhimmitude: craven European submission to Islam.”
Bawer is an American writer who has been a resident of Norway since 1999. He is a literary, film, and cultural critic and poet who has also written about gay rights, Christianity, and Islam.
In Spain, the Madrid city hall also refused to place a nativity scene at the Puerta de Alcalá, one of the city’s most iconic monuments. Local politician José Luis Martínez-Almeida accused the authorities of “enthusiastically collaborating in the celebration of Ramadan” but “trying to hide all the Christian symbols of Christmas.” He added: “We want to reclaim our cultural and religious roots.”
In Germany, a school in Lüneburg called off a Christmas party after a Muslim student complained that Christmas carols during school was incompatible with Islam. The school’s decision to reschedule the event as a non-compulsory after-school activity generated “a flood” of “Islamophobic” responses according to German weekly Focus.
Alexander Gauland, the leader of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), said the school’s action was “an unbearable, involuntary submission to Islam” and a “cowardly injustice” toward German children.
Angry parents wanted to know from Headmaster Friedrich Suhr why “non-Christian” Christmas songs such as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” would not be banned.
The attacks on Christianity drew strong words from Italian politician Samuele Piscina. Based in Milan, Piscina is part of the anti-immigration party of Matteo Salvini, Lega.
“The word ‘Christmas,’ a symbol of our faith and our culture, does not discriminate against anyone. Striking the emblems of Christmas does not guarantee anyone’s respect, does not produce a welcoming and inclusive school and society, but fosters intolerance towards our culture, our customs, our laws and our traditions. We firmly believe that our traditions must be respected.”
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