Muslim leaders send Xmas greetings

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year: (left to right) Jokowi, Sheikh Mohammed and Erdogan extending their Christmas message to not only their respective citizens but to people around the world celebrating the season this year.  — AgenciesMerry Christmas and Happy New Year: (left to right) Jokowi, Sheikh Mohammed and Erdogan extending their Christmas message to not only their respective citizens but to people around the world celebrating the season this year. — Agencies

PETALING JAYA: Leaders of Muslim countries have extended their Christmas messages to their citizens as well as to people around the world who celebrate the occasion.

“Congratulations to all Christians in the world on Christmas, ” said the United Arab Emirates’ Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum.

He conveyed the greetings in Arab on his Twitter account.

UAE’s foreign minister and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Zayed al-Nahyan also tweeted his greetings, saying: “We would like to wish all of our Christian brothers and sisters in the UAE and around the world a peaceful and Merry Christmas.”

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also wished a Merry Christmas to all celebrating in the country and across the world.

According to Anadolu Agency, Erdogan highlighted in his Christmas message the Turkish tradition of ensuring nobody was discriminated against based on “race, language, religion or denomination”.

“We attach great importance to all our citizens freely practising their cultures, religions and traditions, ” he said.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, sent his wishes to the Christian community, saying that this year’s celebration was different for the country and the world amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Christmas is unlike past years when the year-end joy fill us all.

“The pandemic has changed a lot of things and taught (us) lessons, ” he said on Christmas Day.

He hoped that Christmas would bring “peace and safety”, and “blessings always accompany our steps”.

Selangor’s royal couple also wished Malaysians a Merry Christmas, hoping that the unity of the nation and comfort of home would renew their spirits.

Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin said Christmas was about spending time with family and friends.

“During this season of giving, let us take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. May this wonderful time of the year touch your heart in a special way.

“May the unity of our nation and the comfort of your home, renew your spirits this festive season.

“To all Malaysians celebrating, at home and abroad, Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin and I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, and wishing you much happiness throughout the New Year, ” said Sultan Sharafuddin in a Facebook post on Friday.

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar extended his wishes to Malaysians.

A greeting card with the “Merry Christmas” wish and “Happy Holidays” caption was posted on the Sultan’s Facebook page on Christmas Eve.

“Sending our warmest festive greetings to you and your family.

“Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!”

Singapore mufti Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir wished the Christian community in the city-state a happy and meaningful Christmas amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In what has been a very challenging year, we find meaning, comfort and hope in very special days that rekindle our faith in God and our love for humanity.

“The commemoration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas day will certainly renew the hope of Christians that with God’s Grace and Mercy, humanity will overcome all trials and tribulations, ” he said in a the statement sent to the bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore.

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