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Video calling Christmas a ‘false festival’ viewed globally

A YouTube video, said to be shot in Victoria, in which Sheikh Younus Kathrada equates wishing people Merry Christmas to being worse than murder, has attracted international attention.
Sheikh Younus Kathrada
A still image from a video showing Sheikh Younus Kathrada.

A YouTube video, said to be shot in Victoria, in which Sheikh Younus Kathrada equates wishing people Merry Christmas to being worse than murder, has attracted international attention.

The video, bearing the logo Muslim Youth of Victoria, is 38 minutes and 21 seconds long and shows a man identified as Kathrada on a stage. It does not show a congregation or any other persons.

The video and selected cuts of the video have appeared on websites across the world such as The Times of Israel and Breitbart.

The man asks why Muslims should wish Christians a Merry Christmas.

He goes on to say it would be better for Muslims to commit every known sin, including murder, rather than acknowledge a “false festival.”

“If a person were to commit every major sin — committing adultery, dealing with interest, lying, murder … If a person were to do all of those major sins, they are nothing compared to the sin of congratulating and greeting the non-Muslims on their false festivals,” the man says.

“There are those who will say to them ‘Merry Christmas.’ What are you congratulating them on? Congratulations on the birth of your Lord? Is that acceptable to a Muslim? Are you now approving of their beliefs? By saying that you are approving of it,” he says.

But the man in the video also says nobody should do any harm to non-Muslims.

“This doesn’t mean that we treat the non-Muslims in a bad way or that we deal with them unjustly. I’m not saying, and I’ve never said, go out and just kill them, and do this to them,” he says.

“No! Because Allah tells us not to allow the enmity that may exist between you and a people to cause you to be unjust toward them,” he says.

“Rather, be just.”

The video gained exposure when posted on the website MEMRI.org on Dec. 23.

Kathrada has a YouTube channel with numerous videos and a Facebook page with 11,550 followers.

The Muslim Youth of Victoria Facebook page also posted the video, also over 38 minutes, on Dec. 16. The site, which has 1,062 followers, says: “The Muslim Youth of Victoria was formed in 2014 by a sincere group of brothers with the goal of serving the community.”

Nobody from that group could be reached for comment.

Calls to a phone number listed as belonging to Younus Kathrada went unanswered.