Imam discusses punishing Muslims for celebrating Christmas

Mar 13, 2023 by

by Neil Johnston and Gabriella Swerling, Telegraph:

Hafiz Muhammad Mateen Anwar hosted a community meeting over damage to a holy book that led to a schoolboy receiving death threats.

An imam involved in the row over a damaged Koran that led to a 14-year-old schoolboy receiving death threats, spoke about punishing Muslims for celebrating Christmas, The Telegraph can reveal.

Imam Hafiz Muhammad Mateen Anwar, of the Jamia Masjid Swafia mosque in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, warned worshippers not to wish others a merry Christmas, described homosexuality as “barbaric” and music as “toxic”, and also made sectarian remarks about more liberal followers of Islam.

The revelations came just days after he hosted a community meeting at the mosque alongside police and council leaders with the mother of an autistic Year 10 schoolboy who pleaded for forgiveness for her son after he brought a Koran into Kettlethorpe High School as a forfeit for losing a Call of Duty video game.

[…]  The evidence bundle reveals that in a sermon three days before Christmas last year, Imam Anwar said that in an Islamic state, Muslims would be punished for taking part in the festivities of another religion. “It is very important who you conform to, whose lifestyle you adopt,” he said. “If you conform to them you are becoming part of them.”

Quoting a Muslim scholar, he added: “The one who conforms with the disbelievers on the days of their celebrations should be given “tazir”, a punishment… Anyone from the religion of Islam, claims to follow Islam, anyone who begins to take part in the celebration of disbelievers, that person should be punished.”

He said that he lived in the UK, where there was not Sharia law, but said: “What I’m trying to explain to you is how important these scholars took the subject of copying the disbelievers, of following their celebrations. One who congratulates a non-believer on the day of their celebration is also to be punished.”

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