Despite edict, Brotherhood leader offers holiday greetings to Copts

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie offered holiday greetings to Egyptian church leaders and Copts for Christmas, Badie’s media adviser, Walid Shalaby, said Sunday.

Abdel Khaleq al-Sherif, member of the Brotherhood Shura Council and the World Federation of Muslim Scholars, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that such greetings are “not banned.”

“It’s a social felicitation. It’s allowed by Sharia. It’s our duty toward our brothers,” Sherif said.

The Brotherhood has always been keen throughout its history to offer Christian Copts holiday greetings, he said.

“Saying otherwise would be [repeating] rumors circulated by media,” he said.

The Islamic Legitimate Body of Rights and Reformation, an independent committee of Muslim scholars that includes Islamists such as Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater, had issued a religious edict that banned giving holiday greetings to Copts. The edict sparked controversy.

In an interview on satellite channel MBC Masr, Pope Tawadros II denounced the edict and blamed it on the media.

Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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