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These islands

My Jewish-Muslim Christmas

By Samantha Ellis   January 2004

This year I will be celebrating Christmas with my Jewish-Muslim friend. Things are relatively simple for me; I’m just Jewish. But Emma’s Christmas is a complicated triptych. While many Jews around the world celebrate some version of Christmas, it is rare for a Muslim to do so, even though Islam recognises Jesus as a prophet, while Judaism does not. Of course, we don’t exercise ourselves about this overmuch. Like many Christmases, ours is mainly focused on cake. But celebrating Christmas as a non-Christian is undeniably a contrivance.

When I was growing up, my family were so anti-assimilation that when it…

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