British boxer, Amir Khan, has been subjected to a torrent of online abuse after he posted on his Instagram page that he had put up a Christmas tree.
The British boxer, who is a practising Muslim, even received a death threat from one angry troll, just as others questioned why he was celebrating the traditionally Christian festival.
Posting a video of the twinkling tree lights on Instagram, Amir revealed that he had put up the festive tree to surprise his three-year-old daughter, Lamaisah.
He captioned the post with: “While everyone’s asleep, daddy put the Christmas tree up.
“Lamaisah’s going to be happy #Christmas #MerryChristmas2017.”
However, he was immediately hit with backlash. “As a fellow Muslim, I’m appalled seeing this.
“A Christmas tree represents Celtic pagan tradition. Are you a pagan?! “Putting up a Christmas tree means you accept pagan culture and it’s not about ‘just fun’. It’s shirk (a sin)!” someone wrote.
“How could he betray religion like that?” another respondent reasoned.
“This guy suppose to be a role model for the younger Muslims. His head needs a wobble,” says one.
“Disbelievers like you are in for a surprise on the Day Of Judgment,” warns another.
However, others quickly rushed to Amir’s defence, pointing out that celebrating Christmas has become more of a cultural event rather than a religious one. They wrote:
“Christmas trees are a British cultural festival thing, not a Christian religious thing. He can celebrate British culture.”
“Muslims don’t understand that Christmas trees are not religious, and they are not. They are part of British Culture.
“We celebrate Christmas in my country without trees. People can’t be punished for not doing anything wrong.”
“He knows his faith, so don’t worry… you need to worry about yourself,” someone volunteers.
“It’s just a Christmas tree mate! In fact, the Christmas tree has nothing to do with Christianity … if Amir mentioned that Jesus was born on this day, then ok he would be going against Islam because we believe he was born on a different day … but all Amir will do is get a tree and put presents around it and that’s it.”
“Ur just kidding!!! Do u know how serious ur joke is?? People like u make life hard for other Muslims. It’s not in Islam to kill people or bring harm to anyone. So, please think hard next time u joke!!!!” someone kicks in.
“Whenever it’s eid, I get more cards from none Muslims than Muslim … and they give us gifts so why can’t we wish them a a Christmas? We don’t have to believe in it same as the none Muslims don’t believe in eid but we do it out of respect,” says another.
“I’m a Muslim and I have a Christmas tree up doesn’t make me any less of a Muslim!!
“And: “Seriously can’t believe some of the comments on here! I know plenty of practising Muslims that put Christmas trees up!”
Yet, someone used the occasion to explain the reasons he chose to be an atheist: “Chill, it’s only a tree! Religious intolerance is the reason I am an atheist — but I still have a tree and have been to Diwali celebrations and sent Eid Mubarak cards. We need more acceptance, understanding and tolerance of people of all faiths and none.”
“Jesus is a highly respected prophet in our religion and therefore I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas my true Muslim brother,” says another individual.
Meanwhile, Amir has always been open about his Muslim faith and it was previously revealed that he was provided with special halal meals during his recent ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ stint to keep in line with his beliefs.
Amir has not yet responded to the backlash his latest Instagram post has faced.