Saturday, December 03, 2005

Australian religious groups call for the end of Christmas.

Australia: Its two groups and they are getting hammered.

A leading Islamic body says the use of the term "Christmas" is politically incorrect because it excludes too many people in multicultural Australia. The Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations wants a community debate to find an alternative – suggesting the word "festive" as a possible replacement. And a Queensland Jewish leader has called for an end to the "automatic imposition" of Christmas on the community, saying the season has been reduced to a "shopping festival". The attacks have outraged Christian churches, family groups and civic leaders. Even other Muslim groups have slammed the call. Islamic Council of Queensland president Abdul Jalal said Muslims have "no right" to question what Christians called their religious festival. Premier Peter Beattie said Christmas was an important celebration that should "stay put". He said: "Christians should be able to celebrate the festivities as Christmas." Brisbane Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said Christmas should continue to be celebrated as a "very important" date on the Christian calendar. Queensland Churches Together – representing 11 denominations including Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches – described the name-change proposal as "absurd". And Family Council of Queensland president Alan Baker described the plans as "impertinent and intolerant". He said: "No one is suggesting that other religions change the name of their celebrations, such as Ramadan for Muslims or Hanukkah for Jews." Queensland local councils scoffed at suggestions they shun Christmas. Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney said: "Christmas is not politically incorrect and there is only a small group in the population that believe it is – and they're nuts." Caboolture Shire Council Mayor Joy Leishman said the call to rename Christmas was ridiculous.
But there is an interesting way on how to phase out Christmas in future generations.
"....But the Islamic-relations forum director, Kuranda Seyit, told The Sunday Mail it was time for Australia to fall in line with places such as the UK, where councils have renamed Christmas "Winterval" and replaced references to Christmas on signage with the words "Festive" and "Winter". "Australia is now so diverse and there are so many cultures and festivities, we need to acknowledge the need to be inclusive of our identity." He expected his plan would insult some people, but urged a "step-by-step" approach. "A word like Festive is a good word but the community should make an effort to come up with an alternative to Christmas. Schools will take a leading role in terms of political correctness. The younger generation will grow up and say 'it's not fair'." Queensland's Jewish Board of Deputies president David Paratz said the extent of Christmas celebrations and partying had got out of hand – as had the commercialism surrounding the festival. Christmas was considered just a "shopping festival" by many people, he said. "It can't be assumed everyone is a Christian. People should not be faced with the automatic imposition of Christmas."
I doubt Paratz or Seyit would be approving of people going to Israel and Saudi Arabia to ask them to phase out Hanukkah or Ramadan. But the interesting point is the use of schools to indoctrinate children to be more "receptive" to the idea. Earlier this year a union rep was bitter about the reelection of John Howard and said schools did not do enough to teach progressive(liberal) values. The fear of schools being less an educational system and more a brainwashing system is a reality.

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