Fatwa issued banning Muslims from wearing Santa hats

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An Indonesian religious council has issued a religious decree (fatwa) prohibiting Muslims from wearing Christmas clothing.

The Indonesian Ulema Council declared it ‘haram’ for Muslims to wear Santa hats, whilst acknowledging Christians’ right to celebrate Christmas.

The fatwa proposes that the government ‘prevent, monitor, and punish’ businesses who force Muslims to put on clothing which goes against their religion.

Incited by the fatwa, members of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) raided a shopping mall in Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya, to check whether businesses had asked employees to wear Christmas clothing such as Santa hats. The FPI members were escorted by Surabaya Police and East Java Police’s Mobile Brigade.

The Surabaya police have been condemned for helping to impose the fatwa as well as showing support for the extremist group.

Although the fatwa has prompted debate across the country about whether businesses can demand their employees to wear Santa hats, many Muslims feel they shouldn’t be judged for wearing the hats. More than 90 per cent of Indonesians describe themselves as Muslim, but the vast majority practice a moderate form of the faith.