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UK: Qur’an row imam spoke about punishing Muslims for celebrating Christmas



A few years back, some fake ex-Muslims harshly criticized me for criticizing Maajid Nawaz. The British supermarket chain Tesco had run an ad featuring hijabbed Muslims celebrating Christmas, and Nawaz had said that anyone who looked askance at this was “Islamophobic.” I pointed out that the number of observant, Sharia-adherent Muslims who celebrated Christmas was vanishingly small, if there were any at all, and was called “bigoted” for this. So what do those alleged ex-Muslims think of the statements of Imam Hafiz Muhammad Mateen Anwar?

“Koran row imam suggested Muslims could be punished for celebrating Christmas,” by Neil Johnston and Gabriella Swerling, Telegraph, March 12, 2023:

Imam Hafiz Muhammad Mateen Anwar: ‘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’

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.

However, the Islamic holy book – which Muslims are taught to handle with respect and care and, in some cases, wash their hands before touching it – was dropped on the floor, causing a small tear on the cover and scuffing to some pages.

‘Defend the honour of the Koran’
Imam Anwar appeared on a panel with Chief Insp Andy Thornton and Insp Glen Costello of West Yorkshire Police, two teachers and the boy’s mother, where he told the meeting: “When it comes to the honour of the Koran we will stand and defend the honour of the Koran no matter what it takes.”…


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