CAIRO – Father Christmas, Snow Maiden and New Year tree would not appear this year in Tajikistan’s TV after top media authorities decided to ban the Christmas figures which do not reflect national culture of the Muslim majority country.
"Father Frost, his maiden sidekick Snegurochka (Maiden Snow), and New Year's tree will not appear on the state television this year, because these personages and attributes bear no direct relation to our national traditions, though there is no harm in them," Saidali Siddikov, deputy head of the state broadcaster in the mainly Muslim nation, told Asia Plus news agency.
"The state TV channels have made such a decision themselves and the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting has just approved it," he said.
Can Muslims Celebrate Christmas?
For years, Father Frost (a translation of 'Dyed Moroz'; the Russian version of Father Christmas), his granddaughter Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden) and decorated New Year's trees used to appear on Tajik TV.
The Christmas traditions were inherited from Russia during its time in the Soviet Union.
The traditions are part of a large secular New Year's holiday celebration held annually in Takistan, with fireworks and parties broadcast across state channels.
Despite the new ban, Siddikov confirmed that state television would still show its regular New Year holiday programming, complete with snow, parties, music, songs and dancing.
According to Moscow Times, the erection of trees and celebration of Father Frost has been criticized by religious leaders in recent years.
Nonetheless, a 70ft (22m) tall New Year's tree paid for by the mayor's office is an annual fixture in Dushanbe's main square, Asia-Plus said.
Christmas is the main festival on the Christian calendar. Its celebrations reach its peak at 12:00 PM on December 24 of every year.
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called "Isa". He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).
Tajikistan is one of the five Central Asian countries of the ex-Soviet Union which won independence in 1991.
Muslims constitute nearly 90 percent of Tajikistan’s 7.2 million population, according to the CIA Factbook.
Under the Soviet rule, any sign of religion such as hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, or performing prayers was punishable.
Muslims have their own identity and in order to keep this identity Muslim scholars said that Muslims must not celebrate Christmas or holidays of non-Muslims.
By participation in Christmas, it is possible that slowly one may lose his or her consciousness of this basic point of difference between Islam and Christianity.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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