Ali Sallabi Tries to Defend Turkish Concert at Mitiga with a Fatwa on Congratulating Christians – Al Marsad

Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood Qatar-based ideologue Ali al-Sallabi, who is a leading member of Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s International Union for Muslim Scholars, conveyed on Sunday evening a fatwa from the Union’s Fatwa Department permitting congratulating Christians on Christmas.

(Libya, 27 December 2020) – The fatwa relayed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ali al-Sallabi was clearly a face saver for the Christmas/New Year concert held at Mitiga airbase last night for Turkish soldiers stationed in Libya. The concert was attended by the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and his “war delegation” along with Libyan officials such as the GNA’s Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha, Defence Minister Salah al-Din al-Namroush, and the Muslim Brotherhood head of the State Council Khaled al-Mishri, brought widespread condemnation and indignation throughout Libya.

In order to justify the embarrassing event at Mitiga, Sallabi posted on his Facebook official page: “It is permissible to congratulate Christians with ‘Bless you on Jesus’s birth, HIs servant and messenger and His Word delivered to Mary’, or by saying ‘May God lead you to what pleases Him”, wishing them guidance.” He said that such normal courtesies are considered a part of righteousness and are not considered acts of disbelief or polytheism.

As for Muslims celebrating Christmas, not the New Year as Turks did at Mitiga, Sallabi said: “Muslims have specific festivals from the rituals ordained by God, and nothing else is prescribed, especially since their celebration of Eid is one of their religious rituals, and it is not permissible for a Muslim to participate in other rituals of other faiths.”

What Sallabi seems to have missed is that the condemnation was not against the celebration of Christmas or the New Year per se, but the fact that the event was to entertain a large number of occupying foreign Turkish soldiers and the fact the event took place at the location of the RADA Deterrence Force which acts as the religious police in the capital Tripoli. Several RADA security members were seen guarding the hall during the concert.

© AlMarsad English (2020)


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