GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Friday, September 05, 2008

A raging religious debate....

Only in Saudi Arabia - can muslims have birthday parties???

When Hala al-Masaad invited her girlfriends over to celebrate her 18th birthday with cake and juice, the high school student was stepping into an unusual public debate. Is celebrating birthdays un-Islamic?

Saudi Arabia's most senior Muslim cleric recently denounced birthday parties as an unwanted foreign influence, but another prominent cleric declared they were OK.

That has left al-Masaad with mixed feelings about her low-key celebration last month. She loves birthday parties because they make her feel she has "moved from one stage of life to another."

"But I sometimes feel I'm doing something haram," she said sheepishly, using the Arabic word for banned.

The Saudi ban on birthdays is in line with the strict interpretation of Islam followed by the conservative Wahhabi sect dominant in the kingdom. All Christian celebrations — and even most Muslim feasts celebrated elsewhere in the Islamic world — are prohibited as alien customs.

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