Abu Dhabi Hotel Does not Regret $11 Mn. Christmas Tree

Christmas means never having to say you are sorry. The Seven Emirates Hotel in Abu Dhabi says it does not either regret its display of an $11 million Christmas tree loaded down with gold and jewelry from a shop in the hotel lobby. An earlier statement had seemed to admit that the hotel had ‘overloaded the tradition’. NewsyVideos has more:

In all the reporting on this typical controversy in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, centered on the question of “is it over the top?” — no one seems to have noticed that the hotel is in a conservative Muslim sheikhdom and still wants a Christmas tree. Seems like the strictures put about by some conservatives and radicals against Muslims putting up Christmas trees are not taken seriously in Abu Dhabi. Many Muslims in the West decorate Christmas trees so that their children will not feel left out, on the grounds that Muslims believe in Jesus of Nazareth as a true prophet of God and so can celebrate his birth in this way.

11 Responses

  1. I don’t understand the controversy. Last I heard, diamonds
    are forever. It’s not like the decoration will be packed up and
    stuck in the attic when Christmas is over. They can still sell the
    stuff. And whether it’s laying around in a shop, or hanging off a
    tree(looks pretty & sparkly btw)doesn’t make a dang
    difference.

  2. Indeed, “Muslims believe in Jesus of Nazareth as a true
    prophet of God and so can celebrate his birth in this way.” This
    brands Islam as infinitely more tolerant that either Christianity
    or Judaism. Has anyone explained this to the FOX Fraud and Fantasy
    Folks? As to apparent incongruities of “conservative Muslim
    sheikhdom(s),” why expect the monied elites of Muslim countries to
    be any less hypocritical than our own?

  3. As a Muslim, this saddens me. On one level, the gross display of wealth is crude and “over the top” on a second level, the fact that this display is done to honor, not the prophet Issa, but a christian version of Issa as a third of a three head god.On a third level, Muslims (or at least practicing Sunnis) do not celebrate the birth of anyone as an annual event, including ourselves or Muhammad (sulallah whu Of course, my options, as a pr

    • Sorry, Yusuf, but celebrating Mawlid an-Nabi or the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad has been a very big deal in most Muslim societies for most of history. A narrow Salafi point of view makes a person narrow-minded and also isn’t a very good guide to real Muslim history and traditions.

      • Juan. You should research the origins of the term “salafi”. You may find that there is nothing narrow minded about Islam. BTW, I am quite uninterested in Muslim “traditions” that serve to separate Muslims from Islam. Your comment is condescending and atypical of your usually balanced approach. I am aware of what the term salifi (and wahabi and fundamentalist and islamowhatever) has come to mean but as a person who loves language, I prefer to think and speak as though words had at least some lasting meaning. In a world where “Islamic terrorism” is not seen as an oxymoron it would be nice to have someone not use that kind of non-language. (I forget the term from “1984”)

        • If you go back and read my academic articles, Yusuf, you would find that I have written a fair amount about the original, late nineteenth century Salafis of the Afghani-Abduh sort, who were religious liberals. However, in contemporary Arab parlance (don’t blame me– read the Arab newspapers), the word now refers to a branch of the movement that went fundamentalist and is competing in narrow-mindedness with the worst strains of Wahhabism. I’m not tolerant of intolerance, nor of sloppy thinking, and a statement like ‘we Muslims don’t honor anyone’s birthday’ sets me off because 98% of Muslims through history have invested a lot of effort in honoring the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, not to mention a host of Imams, saints, and so forth. You can say they were wrong to do so if you like, but you can’t deny that is the reality! And,some of those who say they were wrong to do so are blowing up Sufi shrines in Pakistan and Shiite shrines in Iraq; I’m not saying narrow-mindedness necessarily produces terrorism, but it is one of the pitfalls of it.

  4. Sorry, meaty fingers :-/. I was saying we don’t even celebrate the birth of Muhammad, peace be upon him (and Issa too) so why celebrate any other prophets birth.
    For the non-Muslim, I think it’s difficult to understand my distaste for this, but it is a)putting Islam aside to grovel to unbelievers and b) done by our supposed leaders who should be chosen on the basis of their knowledge rather than fluke of birth, and these “sheikhs” apparently are more concerned with bowing to shirk than fulfilling their true responsibility which is caring for their people and showing that Islam is the correct path.

  5. Yusuf, I think you have a point, but you may be missing a greater evil: the story says that Moslem parents are buying trees because their kids don’t want to be left out. Where did the kids hear of Christmas from? Corporate advertising, US media full of corporate-driven gift-giving, etc. The real religion of America is no longer Christianity, and its owners transformed Christmas into capitalism’s high holy day long ago. Consider that the only reason Americans believe that Santa wears a red suit is that Coca-Cola incessantly put out Christmas ads throughout the 20th Century depicting him dressed in Coca-Cola red.

    • Yeah, super390, I agree, but To comment on every aspect of this that disappoints me would likely fill a small booklet.
      One thing though, this graphically illustrates why the Muslim world is in such a mess.

  6. I don’t see or hear anyone complaining about the Tokyo tree which was valued at $10.8 million.

    Have a small-minded and jealous Christmas, haters.

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