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Rob Rinder slams calls to ban ‘Happy Christmas’ for being ‘insensitive’ to other traditions: ‘It’s divisive’

Rob Rinder slammed suggestions to ban the phrase ‘Happy Christmas’ during today’s Good Morning Britain, over concerns the term disregards other holiday traditions.

The European Commission has been forced to take a U-turn over plans to encourage staff to say ‘Happy holiday’ over ‘Happy Christmas’, prompting a backlash from politicians in Europe, accusing the commission of attempting to ‘cancel Christmas’.

Good Morning Britain asked if it was ‘insensitive’ to say Christmas and suggested we follow America’s lead to say ‘happy holidays’.

Rinder snarled at the idea during a discussion with Adam Wagner, human rights barrister and Dr Rakib Ehsan, a researcher for the Henry Jackson Society.

Wagner, who is Jewish and confirmed his family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, stressed he wasn’t actually against banning anything but explained: ‘I think it’s really more about being a bit more thoughtful and also learning about other people’s traditions because not everybody does Christmas, as lovely as it is.’

Rinder intervened and said: ‘Adam, who is against learning against other people’s traditions? Nobody.

Rob Rinder demands ‘Happy Christmas’ is here to stay (Picture: ITV)

‘It feels divisive because it is, firstly, I should say happy fourth day of Hanukkah – there were people trying to ban this, it’s called the European Commission, they actually issued guidelines. That doesn’t bring communities together, it divides them.’

Ehsan agreed, adding: ‘There is far too much American inspired divisiveness being imported into the UK.

‘We also saw efforts within our own country, We had Cabinet office officials essentially advising government ministers not to use the term Christmas in its public health messaging, when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic because it could potentially divide minority religions.

A GMB guest suggested ‘Happy Holidays’ would be more suitable (Picture: ITV)

‘Rob, there’s no evidence of that, there’s been no polling showing that non-Christians find the term Christmas offensive, and the reality of the matter is Brits from different walks of life celebrate Christmas, it’s a time to enjoy with your loved ones, appreciate the good you have in life and reflect on the past year’s events.’

The topic divided viewers, with most backing Rinder all the way.

One viewer tweeted: ‘I wouldn’t be offended if someone wished me a happy Diwali or happy Hanukkah, etc (long list) so why would anyone be offended by happy Christmas? I think it’s a nice way to include everyone regardless of religion!’ which was echoed by: ‘I have no problem with people celebrating whichever festival is dear to them – eg, Chanukah, Eid, Diwali. For me it’s Christmas. Why should there be a problem with that? That’s how we become inclusive. I will never, ever start saying ‘happy holidays’ or ‘season’s greetings’.

Someone else, however, noted: ‘I am Jewish and I do not take offence, however I imagine there are people who do. Unless I know the person/group is Christian, I do wish them Happy Holidays. I work at very diverse school and many children do take offence and feel like outsiders.’

Susanna Reid asked Wagner if it would be offensive to say ‘Happy Christmas’ to him as someone who didn’t celebrate the holiday.

Clearly not offended at all, he stressed it would be fine but it would be even better if someone cheered ‘Happy Hanukah!’ instead.

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.


Credit: Original article published here.

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