Most of the time, I write about the Quran, not Muslims. Today, I want to highlight someone who presents on Muslims. On Slate’s Youtube channel, an American born Muslim named Aymann Ismail created a series of videos recording the perspectives and experiences of Muslims who are living and transitioning/growing up in the western world. Though I have no real authority to designate anyone’s perspective as “normative Islamic belief,” I think it’s safe to categorize Ismail as a liberal outlier. Given the season, and the freshness of Maryam in our minds, I thought it would be nice to share Ismail’s video on the inclusion of Muslims in Christmas, and the inclusion of Christmas in Muslim households.
The subject of Christmas–it’s hypocrisies, contradictions, virtues, meanings–is well hashed out. While I was tempted over the season to write a little piece about holiday practices and festivities, it failed to catch enough passion in me to inspire thoughts worth even two cents. But then I had a conversation with a friend, and she dropped reference to the traumatic childhood disappointment of learning that Santa Claus wasn’t real. This dusted off some old thoughts in my mind, and the more I examine them the more upset I get. Continue reading