After his 14-year-old sister Safaa tweeted a picture of the family’s Christmas tree, the family of well-known former One Direction singer Zayn Malik started to receive death threats from extremists accusing him of “insulting Islam.”
Malik’s father is a Muslim, while his mother was born a Christian.
“Christmas is very important to [his mother] because she was brought up a Christian. The hate that Safaa received was just disgusting,” said a source close to the family. “How anyone can send threats to a child for posting a picture of a Christmas tree is beyond belief.”
An asylum seeker in Germany bought components for the bomb he was making with an Amazon gift card. Authorities believe Jaber al-Bakr, who was arrested by German police and later killed himself in prison, was planning to conduct a terror attack in on the Berlin airport.
Even though all the purchases were made from the same seller, German police were only alerted to al-Bakr when they received a tip from a fellow refugee from Syria who knew al-Bakr had become radicalized in Germany.
A Christmas message from notorious jihadi Omar Hussain, a former Brit fighting in Syria, urged his fellow Islamic State supporters in the UK to knock out drunken holiday revelers, steal their money and send it to the front.
“The time of year is coming again where getting ghaneemah [war booty] from the kuffar [non-believers] couldn’t b any easier. Christmas time the kuffar are loaded with money,” he wrote through a message app.
“Wait around the corner from a pub at night… It only takes a few punches for a drunk kafir to fall unconscious. Take a few ikhwa [brothers] with u and u can rob him of all his things. From watches, jewellery, money, phone, jacket, etc.”
Hussain also told his fellow ISIS supporters not to worry because after the attack, the victims would not have their mobile phones to call the police and anyway, they would be too drunk to remember the faces of their attackers.
A priest in Italy cancelled the display of a nativity scene at a local cemetery because he thought it could anger relatives of non-Christians who are buried there.
“A small corner of the cemetery is reserved for Muslim graves,” said Fr Sante Braggiè. “A crib positioned within sight of them could be seen as a lack of respect for followers of other faiths, hurt the sensibilities of Muslims, as well as Indians and even atheists.”
A German school in Turkey for expat children was banned from displaying any Christmas decorations or even mentioning the holiday altogether. The previous week, the choir of the elite school, which receives funding from the German government, was prevented from singing at the German consulate in Istanbul.
"The topic of Christmas traditions and celebrations will not be discussed, taught or sung about, effective immediately, according to the notice by the Turkish management," the head of the school's German department reportedly wrote.
The Indonesian Ulema Counil, an independent clerical organization, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from wearing Christmas clothing or any accessories having to do with Christmas. The fatwa was particularly aimed at stopping employees at shopping malls from wearing Santa hats during the holiday season.
To that end, the members of the extremist Islam Defenders Front — escorted by police — raided malls in East Java to check whether or not employees were abiding by the decree.