Santa Claus is dishonest, says Turkish imam

A Muslim cleric in Turkey has issued a warning to people from the community about Santa Claus.

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2011, 09:24 AM IST

Moscow: A Muslim cleric in Turkey has issued a warning to people from the community about Santa Claus, who he described as a "dishonest" person as he climbs down suspiciously through a chimney instead of coming in through the door.

Imam Suleiman Eniceri of Kuzan town, around 520 km from the capital city of Ankara, said it was "suspicious" that Santa Claus brings presents into a house by climbing down a chimney or through windows.

"If he was an honest person he would come through the door as we do," Italy`s Corriere della Sera newspaper quoted the imam as saying.

The cleric cited a passage in the Quran that calls on the faithful to enter houses through doors.

"Christmas is not our festival," he said, and warned Turkish Muslims against drinking alcohol.

Turkey`s population comprises over 96 percent Muslims and less than one percent Christians. At the same time it is a secular state with many European traditions.

IANS