The Iraqi Catholic Church called the fatwa “false, malicious and far from the correct knowledge of religions.
Rabat – An Iraqi Sunni authority, Sheikh Mahdi Al Sumaidaie, said in his Friday prayer message in Baghdad that Muslims are forbidden from taking part in New Year’s celebrations.
“It is not permitted to celebrate the New Year or congratulate it or participate in it,” the sheik said on the official Facebook page of Dar Iraqi Iftaa, a Muslim religious authority in Iraq. “Taking part in their celebrations is taking part in [disbelief],” he added.
The Chaldean Catholic Church called Sumaidaie’s religious opinion, or fatwa, “false, malicious and far from the correct knowledge of religions.” The church’s statement added, “Sheikh Mahdi al-Sumaidaie oversees two Sunni brigades within the People’s Mobilization Force, which is composed of Shi’ite factions, some of whom are closely tied to Tehran.”
According to Al-Monitor, Sumaidaie quoted 14th-century scholar Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyya in his speech, who said, “Congratulating Christians on their holidays is like congratulating them for prostrating unto their cross and believing that Jesus is the son of God.”