We at SDR are so proud to be able to quote Egyptian political and religious leaders Christmas wishers and wish for them the best of wishes in return.
Its remarkable and of great importance for east and west to get and shake hands and who ever give respect receives it back ten fold.
The following is from the latest MEMRI news letter:
This year the Muslim holiday celebrating the Prophet Muhammad's birthday fell close to Christmas, and a number of Muslim political and religious leaders took the opportunity to send an ecumenical message. Egyptian President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi extended Christmas greetings to the Copts; the Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi 'Allam and other prominent Egyptian Muslim authorities expressed similar sentiments. Last year, Sisi attended Christmas Mass in Cairo and was greeted with cheers. King 'Abdullah of Jordan likewise sent Christmas greetings this year, and stressed the need for unity and equality of citizens of both faiths.
These leaders' comments come against a general backdrop of religious and sectarian violence in the Middle East, and specifically in response to Muslims who forbid greeting non-Muslims on their religious holidays – a prohibition commonly endorsed even by non-militant streams of Salafism and Wahhabism.
The following are excerpts from their statements:
Cartoon in the official Egyptian daily Al-Ahram: "The Prophet Muhammad's Birthday and Christmas Fall At The Same Time"
On the presents: "Dignity, Happiness, Love, Good, Tolerance"Next to the Santa smiley: "May you be well every year" (a traditional holiday greeting in Arabic)ahram.org.eg, December 23, 2015
Sisi: "We Wish [Our Christian Brothers] A Happy Holiday And We Share Their Joy From The Bottom Of Our Hearts"
On December 22, 2015, in a public address on the occasion of the celebration of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, Egyptian President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi extended Christmas greetings to Egypt's Christians and emphasized the need for national unity. He likewise stated that if Muslims do not share in the Christians' holiday spirit, it is a "tragedy":
"The holidays of our brothers and our folk, the Christians, are drawing near... We wish them a happy holiday and we share their joy from the bottom of our hearts. If you do not feel the same, it's a tragedy. If you think that this is not a part of your religion, it's a problem. Please note that I am not saying this just so you hear it. You know this already. I am saying this so that the Egyptians will practice it.
"Do not listen to people who divide us. I never allow anyone to say to me: Our brothers who are like this or that. Nobody should describe anyone by his appearance or his religion. We are all... Egyptians.
"I say on the eve of their celebration: Happy holidays. I say this with all my love and appreciation... I say these things so that you will teach them from the mosque pulpits. What divides us destroys us. What divides us destroys us. There is no difference. We are united, and God willing, we will remain united. This is not just talk. We must say it and practice it."
Egyptian Grand Mufti Shawqi 'Allam: Islam Encourages Sending Christmas Greetings
In comments on the occasion of Christmas, Egyptian Grand Mufti Shawqi 'Allam said that offering Christmas greetings is considered a meritorious action that is encouraged by Islam. He added that the exchange of holiday greetings among compatriots of different faiths strengthens the spirit of love and camaraderie, which is something that Egyptians are in need of today in order to bequeath a humane faith-based culture to coming generations. According to the Mufti, "all of the divine messages firmly fixed in us lofty values and principles regarding relations with other people of various religions and races, so that we might follow these values and principles and bring peace, coexistence, and love to our societies."