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To not want my DC to participate in nativity?

(632 Posts)
Spru Wed 05-Dec-12 15:47:56

I asked school to excuse DC from nativity (due to religious reasons - we do not depict jesus/mary/joseph.) They were absolutely fine with it. Happened to mention this to work colleagues - and they basically told me that I wasn't willing to integrate! hmm

I was a bit shocked that they saw it like this despite the fact that I explained why. I didn't realise that this decision was perceived as a lack of willingness to integrate - in a country which I have been born and brought up in.

I had to bite my tongue for the sake of peace!

So...MN jury...grin AIBU to exclude DC from nativity for religious reasons (note: DC is not excluded from other christmas activities at school). Am I just not integrating well into the society that I was born and brought up in?



(please be gentle)

FredFredGeorge Wed 05-Dec-12 16:06:28

bradyismyfavouritewiseman It's not quite the same though is it - as Santa is not part of another religion. Jesus is a prophet, so far from it being simply a different religion and associated stories like Father Christmas or Christmas trees it's actually involving your own religion but in an inappropriate way.

IslaValargeone Wed 05-Dec-12 16:06:54

He could have been included without depicting a prophet though couldn't he.
I think excluding him totally was not a great idea to be honest. He could have joined in with the general 'feel' of the thing, whilst learning about other people's beliefs and not been marked out as different.

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 16:07:15

btw my primary school didn't do them as the music teacher was jewish and refused.

She had no problem with Diwali.

DragonMamma Wed 05-Dec-12 16:07:21


It's a play. I don't believe in stories like Rama and Sita but there's no way I'd stop DD getting involved in a play about it. Nor did my dm when I was younger and did the same thing.

I don't particularly believe in the nativity story either but I cheered all the way through the concert this morning. And cried.

WelshMaenad Wed 05-Dec-12 16:08:36

I am an atheist. Dd was in the nativity as an angel. I just view it as a fictional play like any other production she might act in. I think your inability to go the same, whilst merrily indulging in the fun bits of Christmas for yourself, is horribly hypocritical and selfish.

Spru Wed 05-Dec-12 16:08:56

hmmm, i some insightful posts already. You guys are right, i am not setting the best example by participating in secret santa and christmas meals out. I stand corrected. I shall put a stop to those on my part.

gordyslovesheep Wed 05-Dec-12 16:09:37

YANBU - if your religion band depictions, images etc of it's prophets and figures you are within your right to withdraw your child from a play that requires this

Santa is not, as far as I am aware, a prophet or key religious figure!

LulaPalooza Wed 05-Dec-12 16:09:50

I guess it's up to you, but I was under the impression that Jesus is recognised as a prophet in the Islamic faith?

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 05-Dec-12 16:10:19

It should be fun, taking part won't make your DC a Christian!

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 16:10:37

But Spru, which religion are you? I am a bit confused.

GinandChocolate Wed 05-Dec-12 16:11:14

I have to say I agree with your colleagues. My Christian children celebrate Christmas as do their school - but it is a multicultural school so they also celebrate the major festivals of other religions, visit mosques and temples and when required despite not believing in those religions, join in the celebrations, cover heads, arms, legs as required.

Either you want an integrated culture or you don't - you seem to want to have your cake and eat it.

TwasTheDawnDeeforeXmas Wed 05-Dec-12 16:11:18

As other posters have suggested I would have just asked that they not be cast as one of the 'main' parts. Would you have any religious objections to them being a shepherd or third lobster?

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 05-Dec-12 16:12:00

FredFredGeorge I think it is the same. By acknowledging Christmas you are acknowledging the event, which is the birth of christ.

If the OP does not want to acknowledge the birth of a prophet then celebrating Christmas should be off.

Santa is a story, The birth of Jesus (to many) is a story. I think its unfair for the OP to say 'i will participate in the fun stuff, but dc can't'.

There are ways round both, without excluding her dc.

I don't think it has anything to do with integration. More double standards.

FredFredGeorge Wed 05-Dec-12 16:12:02

Yes LuluPalooza and Sunni's (and probably others) do not allow for depictions of their prophets, so dressing up as a Prophet is inappropriate for adherents.

SolomanDaisy Wed 05-Dec-12 16:12:24

It's strange how participating in a nativity becomes an 'integration' issue when it's a Muslim family, but not when it's, say, a white Jehovah's Witness family.

stookiesackhouse Wed 05-Dec-12 16:12:59


Do you allow DC to partake in other school activities related to religions outside your own i.e. Easter craft activities?

I would want my DC to partake in and enjoy all religious celebrations at their school. As usual said, it encourages tolerance and understanding.

Spru Wed 05-Dec-12 16:13:00

Hi ethelb , i am muslim smile

HenriettaTurkey Wed 05-Dec-12 16:13:24

Going on a Christmas do isn't depicting a prophet.

Taking part in secret Santa isn't depicting a prophet.

Taking part in a nativity performance is taking part in a performance which depicts a prophet.

Yanbu - as long as DC understands it's not a punishment.

As for not brainwashing and allowing a child to make their own mind up at 18 - a parent has to parent according to their own belief system. You do not raise a child in a vacuum. Every decision you take every day says something about you - from the food you eat, the clothes you buy, the tv you watch and the religion you do, or don't practice.

FredFredGeorge Wed 05-Dec-12 16:13:25

BRadyismyfavouritewiseman It's the depiction that's the problem - not the birth or otherwise, the birth is celebrated in the Islamic faith, it's an important event, just not a defining one.

ll31 Wed 05-Dec-12 16:13:32

Yabu, essentially you're enjoying xmas celebrations, not making yourself be left out in your work but your insisting your dc are left out in school. ... what do you do at easter etc

Ihatemakingpackedlunches Wed 05-Dec-12 16:13:46

YABU - My parents did not let me take part in nativity or even go into assembly at school for religious reasons. I felt horrendously left out & I have to say have always felt "on the outside" from then on. Perhaps today schools are better at acknowledging difference and it would be dealt with better.
Taking part does not mean your child will change their beliefs or challenge yours. Just tell them not to say Amen!

HazelnutinCaramel Wed 05-Dec-12 16:14:16

If you don't believe in it, then it's just a story. And they can take part in it as a story, the same as they would if it were Cinderella or The Gruffalo or whatever. You're making too much of a big deal about it.

My ds2 is CofE and was recently in a Diwali play and they celebrate Eid at school too. I think it's nice that he gets the opportunity to celebrate other religions and learn about other cultures around the world.

WinklyVersusTheZombies Wed 05-Dec-12 16:14:59

LifeIsBetter the OP wasn't concerned it would make her DC a Christian, but depiction of the prophets and relatives of the prophets is against Islam.

OP how would you feel about your DC being a sheep or star? Would that be ok, or would it feel like 'aiding and abetting' the breach of aniconism?

I don't see that participating in the secular elements of Christmas, whilst not allowing your DC to do something strictly against your religious beliefs, is a problem. Nobody would (or should) have an issue with your refusal to eat non-halal turkey or pigs in blankets at the office lunch - same thing.

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 05-Dec-12 16:15:40

I still think its double standards.

What's wrong with depicted a birth you acknowledge happened.

Why can't the child be told 'its a story some people believe...., which is what Christmas is about. We believe this instead'.

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