A campaign to save the traditions of Christmas from the interference of politically Council leaders were told: 'There seems to be a secularising agenda which fails to understand the concerns of religious communities.
'The approach of some is to exclude mention of any specific religious event or celebration in order to avoid offending anyone. The usual result of such a policy ends up offending most of the population.'
The letter added: 'Any repetition of public bodies and local authorities renaming Christmas, so as not to offend other faith communities, will tend, as in the past, to backfire badly on the Muslim community in particular.
'Sadly we have seen it is they who get the blame - and for something they are not saying.'
The warning from the Council came as public organisations appeared to be redoubling efforts to obliterate Christmas from the calendar or at least remove any Christian element from the celebrations.
The Royal Mail this year has removed any Christian references from its Christmas stamps. Notorious local authority attempts to stamp out Christmas include Birmingham's 1998 decision to name its seasonal celebrations 'Winterval' and Luton's 2001 attempt to change Christmas into a Harry Potter festival by renaming its festive lights 'Luminos'.
The letter from the Forum to town halls comes at a time of deepening anger over attempts by powerful organisations to ban any public reference to Christianity. ........
The letter to councils from the Forum said: 'We are conscious that all in public life wish to be similarly inclusive, but some seem to believe, for instance, that talk about Christmas is offensive to those of other faith communities.
'This is something which we have looked at together on the national Christian Muslim Forum and all of us, both Muslims and Christians, wish that people in public positions would take correct town halls was launched by an influential coalition of Christian and Muslim leaders yesterday.
Leaders of the two faiths warned that attempts to suppress Christmas bring a backlash and Muslims get the blame.
And they said that while Christmas causes no offence to minority faiths, banning it offends almost everybody. .......
The angry rebuke came from the Christian Muslim Forum, a body set up earlier this year with the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Tony Blair.
The body sent a letter to town halls in the name of Anglican Bishop of Bolton David Gillett and senior Islamic cleric and Government adviser Dr Ataullah Siddiqui. It pleaded for an end to the suppression of Christmas and the restoration of its Christian meaning.
another look at how they deal with religious festivals.'
The two leaders added: 'It is important for the 77 per cent who claim affiliation to one faith or another that these festivals should be seen and recognised, rather than banished from the public sphere.' Daily Mail 1 Dec 2006
Labels: Christianity, England, Established church, festivals, Islam, political correctness, politics, secularism