12/25/2011 08:17 EST | Updated 02/23/2012 05:12 EST

From a Muslim to You: Merry Christmas!

I cannot understand why people shy away from saying Merry Christmas to each other these days. It was not like that a couple of years ago. It seems as if people in the malls and public places are avoiding Christmas greetings out of fear that someone may be offended.

In our environment of fast-growing immigrant communities, people look into each others' eyes and try to judge whether it's appropriate to say Merry Christmas. This boggles my mind. Why is it ever inappropriate to share Christmas greetings?

This beautiful phrase should not be offensive to anyone since it only carries a message of love, hope, peace and celebration.

A couple years ago, a Toronto judge banned a Christmas tree from the lobby of a provincial courthouse. She thought it was an inappropriate cultural or religious symbol for a courthouse. Unbelievable!

Should we start taking paintings and other art works from public places since those things represent someone's idea or a particular school of art? In our self-created environment of hypersensitivity and political correctness, can we go any further in the name of so-called fairness?

That's why it's said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Preventing children in some schools from singing Christmas songs for the sake of others' beliefs is an unnecessary measure in building relationships with people of other cultures.

Unfortunately, some champions of our hypersensitive, feel-good culture, and our own typical polite behaviour towards Christmas and other celebrations, are actually alarming immigrants.

Most immigrants are quite comfortable with Christmas. They take it first as an event of culture and celebration. They are not offended by it even in religious terms. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and others consider Jesus a messenger of love and peace. Muslims share Jesus as a part of their belief.

A small group of Muslim extremists in Toronto happened to denounce Merry Christmas in the past. But that group was immediately confronted by moderate Muslims. If we change our basic attitudes and behaviour out of fear of such extremist groups, that is our mistake. In a way, we are helping them further their agenda. We shouldn't ever be defensive and apologetic for saying Merry Christmas.

From me to you: Merry Christmas!