If the tables were turned and large numbers of Christians had settled in a Muslim country, do you think the Muslims would accede to your demands to remove Muslim elements from Eid al-Fitr celebrations so they would not feel left out? Right: that would never happen in a million years. Christians would not even dare to make such a demand, and if they did, they could be violently attacked.
“School bowed to Muslim demands: Christian elements are prohibited in Lucia procession”, translated from “Skola vek sig för Muslimers krav – kristna inslag förbjuds i luciatåg”, Samnytt, Dec 10, 2022 (thanks to Medforth ):
Expectant elves, star children and gingerbread men in Lucia’s procession? Not at Mariehemsskolan in Umeå. There it has been decided that the nearly 40 children between the ages of 7 and 10 who will participate in the Lucía procession will be left without the traditional elements that a Lucía celebration always has. This is due to Muslim children who have dropped out of school over the past year after their parents became uncomfortable with the Christmas-related celebration.
There should be no religious elements in the Mariehemsskolan Saint Lucia procession. Instead, the Lucia celebration should be “gender neutral” and “inclusive” but will not include the traditional elements that belong in a Lucia celebration.
“We are a non-denominational school and have therefore chosen to remove the Christmas aspect,” Jörgen Persson tells SVT.
Last year, the participants were even more, but SVT reports that several students with “other religious beliefs” other than Christianity dropped out of the trials.
“Some parents did not feel comfortable with the children’s participation because Lucia is associated with Christmas, so this year we have made it clear that the arrangement will not be related to any particular religious faith,” says choir director Jörgen Persson.
Giving in to Muslim demands
In the report, which shows one of the gender representatives for this year’s watered-down “Lucia celebration,” a little girl can be seen wearing the Muslim hijab veil.
“We welcome the light in the dark. We long for the light. We have several Muslim children here now, in their place in the choir, who are also allowed to be in the choir. Because it has been the case that both at school graduations and in Lucía’s choir they have not been allowed to take part in the performances. But now they have been given the go-ahead to join.”
Nor will the children sing the traditional songs of Lucía. The choir director believes that many children have been excluded over the years because Swedish schools have focused so much on celebrating Lucia and that she has been “so incredibly traditionally Christian.”
Samnytt has reached out to the director of Mariehemsskolan for comment.