Another minuscule issue turned dramatic by an op-eder! What is the target this time? None other than Christmas trees! Mr. Israa AlـMatouq "addresses religious tolerance" in just about the same line of thought as the conservative Swiss argument for banning the minaret.

In a nutshell, the Christmas tree is not an innocent, aesthetically and olfactory pleasing fauna. Oh no kids! Do not be mistaken, it is an invasive symbol of Western culture=religion=capitalism (all lumped into one demon for him). Thus, the presence of Christmas trees is an attack on the preservation of our societies and Islamic values.

Mr. Israa, nobody in the West necessarily sees the Christmas tree as a religious symbol. We are not talking about a nativity scene here. In fact, I think the origins of the custom are originally pagan. I do not think this detail would help win my argument with you that the Christmas tree is benign, but lets get some facts straight. The only thing truly Christian about it is the angel or star that often gets put on top. We could always substitute that for a minaret if you want to strike a compromise between you and your other side of the mirror-the Swiss conservatives.

You would do much better banning Western invasions such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, MAC makeup products, Starbucks and blackberrys, all of which I believe have had a much more disruptive effect on society.
"The responsibility of protecting any religion lies on the shoulders of the State and not on certain individuals. The UNESCO has identified and promulgated religious tolerance since it does not call for indifference or blindly following what others believe. But what is happening today is that we are blindly following what others are practicing under the pretext of religious tolerance.

The Christmas tree is not just an ordinary tree but a lifestyle; and imitating the West and adopting its concepts without judging what suits our societies; weakens our loyalty and compliance to Islamic issues. I think that the best solution is to raise new generations that will be able to maintain their thoughts and beliefs and strengthen the Islamic identity armed with culture."

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