Sheikh 'Alaa Al-Musawi, who is the head of the Shiite Islamic Endowments in Iraq, said during a sermon that was uploaded to the Internet on December 25 that the non-Muslim monotheistic traditions and holidays, such as Christianity and Christmas, have been completely distorted, and that Jesus was not born on January 1 as the Christians claim. He also criticized Christians for participating in depraved acts such as drinking alcohol, singing, and mixing of the sexes during Christmas celebrations. He further criticized Muslims who have been influenced by these "shameless and corrupt" celebrations and who imitate the West by buying trees and toys.
Following are excerpts:
Sheikh 'Alaa Al-Musawi: You know that all the monotheistic religions and revelations of the past have been totally and utterly distorted. The divine books and the teachings of the prophets have been distorted. Even the ceremonies commemorating the prophets have been distorted. Take the birth of Jesus, for example. The entire Christian world will be celebrating the birth of Jesus in the coming days, which are also the beginning of the Gregorian year. The truth is that Jesus was not born on January 1. He was born on a different date.
Look at the [Christians'] celebrations! There is not a single depraved act that they do not commit: drinking alcohol, unruly behavior, singing, clamorous celebrations, forbidden mixing of the sexes, and other abominations, all over the world. The nature of these festivities does not befit the occasion they claim to be celebrating. They claim to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They even expect the entire world to greet them on the occasion, because Jesus is a prophet revered by all, especially the Muslims.
Some may say: "Why do we care about this? That's their business. They have another religion, they can believe whatever they want. They can distort, and they can celebrate in this inappropriate manner. This is none of our business." The problem is the intermingling [between Muslims and Christians]. Some Muslims have started to be influenced by this tradition. They have started participating in Christmas and New Year's celebrations, buying all kinds of stuff at Christmas markets – Christmas trees, toys, whatever. They have started participating in clamorous, shameless, and corrupt celebrations, imitating the West.