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Egypt's Islamists say no to Christmas greetings

December 28, 2011
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CAIRO—An ultraconservative Egyptian Islamist group says sending Christmas greetings to Christians is "against our beliefs."

Nadar Bakar, spokesman of the hard-line Al-Nour party, told The Associated Press Wednesday that Muslims should only give greetings to Christians on "personal occasions," not religious ones.

Al-Nour represents the ultraconservative Salafi movement, which wants to strictly impose Islamic law in Egypt. Al-Nour has won a surprisingly strong 20 percent of the vote so far in Egypt's staggered parliamentary elections.

The remarks prompted Egypt's Al Azhar, the most eminent religious institution, to issue a religious edict approving Christmas greetings. The country's most influential Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, responded by sending "its best Christmas wishes to our brotherly Christians and Muslims as well."

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