According to Metro, A religious council has issued a fatwa telling Muslims not to wear Christmas clothing.
The Indonesian Ulema Council said that people should respect Christians’ right to celebrate, including by wearing Santa hats, but should not join in because it is ‘haram’ i.e. not permitted in Islam.
The fatwa, or religious ruling, issued on December 14 says that the government should ‘prevent, monitor, and punish’ businesses who force Muslims to go against this.
The ruling prompted a ‘raid on Santa hats‘ at a shopping mall in the second largest city, Surabaya, when police escorted members of the hardline Islam Defenders Front to check if any shops had required staff to wear Christmas clothing.
According to the Jakarta Post, some businesses do require all workers to wear Santa hats in the holiday season, and many Muslims and Christians alike join in with the holiday celebrations.
But police have been criticised for helping to enforce the fatwa when it isn’t legally binding, as well as for appearing to support a hardline group.
While not part of the government, the council of senior clerics which issued the ruling is respected in Indonesia.
Their fatwa has prompted debate across the country about whether businesses should have the right to ask their employees to wear Santa hats.
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