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Remember: Christ was a Palestinian refugee

22 109 1035
25.12.2018

"And when the angels said, 'O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah]" (The Quran 3:45).

There is something beautifully sacred about the moment in the Quran when the angels inform Mary she is about to give birth to Jesus. Angels bring her the good news. They tell her of how "He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous."

The sublime innocence of Mary at hearing this news can hardly be better captured in any scripture: "She said, 'My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, 'Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is" (The Quran 3:47).

God Himself, according to the Quran, teaches Christ: "And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel" (The Quran 3:48).

Based on these and other Quranic passages, Muslims should have no theological problem marking, celebrating, rejoicing at the birth of Christ as a prophet sent by God.

All of these may appear as strange and outlandish in a world plagued by religious bigotry and historical illiteracy. Generations of European depiction of Christ as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white man have made it difficult for European and North American Christians today to imagine him for what he was: a Jewish Palestinian refugee child who grew up to become a towering revolutionary figure.

In his exquisite study, Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture (1985),........

© Al Jazeera