In Norway, the city of Skien an elementary school has announced that its Christmas celebrations this year will include not only the usual reading of verses from the Bible by students but also two verses from the Quran. All of the verses are about Jesus whom Islam considers a prophet and not the Son of God.
Historically, Norway has been called a Christian country. Majority of the population are members of the Church of Norway with 71.5 percent of the population. The people are officially belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway. The Norwegian official holidays are Christmas, Easter and their National Day. Even though many Norwegians do not attend church regularly since the country still celebrates its one thousand year old Christian heritage. At Christmas time, the streets are decorated with lights and wreaths. Every home has a Christmas tree, and you can’t turn on the radio without listening to Christmas hymns.
Since Christmas is not an Islamic festival and holy day, this misleading innovation will guide the whole generation of Norwegian children grow up thinking that Allah and the Quran have something to do with Christmas.
When the school’s spokesperson was interviewed by the newspaper, he explained the reason for including the Quran verses. He said that “to create respect and understanding between different religions” Quran verses are added.
But critics say that how the two Quran verses in a Christmas program would serve to increase any child’s awareness of the extensive theological differences between Christianity and Islam.
Hanne Tolg, the blogger who broke the story herself noted that inserting Quran verses into a Christmas event will do nothing but cause misunderstanding.
In a commentary for the Gatestone Institute (think tank that publishes articles, particularly relevant to Islam and the Middle East), Bruce Bower (American writer who has been a resident of Norway) warned, “the school’s Christmas plans provide yet another example of dhimmitude: craven European submission to Islam.”