Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights has said that all primary schools should hold a nativity play whatever the religion of the students.
His comments come after a poll by the Sunday Telegraph suggested that only one in five primary schools would be holding a nativity play this Christmas.
Phillips, speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Monday, said that schools should not shy away from the story of Christmas.
He told the BBC that Christmas was a “very important fundamental, national celebration”.
“It’s time to stop being daft about Christmas. It’s fine to celebrate and it’s fine for Christ to be star of the show,” said Phillips. “Let’s stop being silly about a Christian Christmas.”
Phillips said that he was concerned about schools not holding nativity plays because students may not be Christian or because they were of a different faith.
“Schools which are deliberately shying away from the true story of Christmas are just plain wrong,” he told the BBC.
“What they should do is make sure that all of their children have access to this very important fundamental, national celebration and tradition.
“Otherwise they’re robbing their children of really being part of what it is to be British.”
Representatives of other faith groups have given their full support to the celebration of a Christian Christmas and made clear that it does not offend them.
“Hindus celebrate Christmas too. It’s a great holiday for everyone living in Britain,” said Anil Bhanot, general secretary of the UK Hindu Council.
Sikh spokesman Indarjit Singh said: “Every year I am asked ‘Do I object to the celebration of Christmas?’ It’s an absurd question. As ever, my family and I will send out our Christmas cards to our Christian friends and others.”
British Muslim leaders, voiced similar sentiments, not long after they publically condemned Sudan for jailing British teacher Gillian Gibbons for letting her pupils name a teddy bear Mohammad.
Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Shayk Ibrahim Mogra said: “To suggest celebrating Christmas and having decorations offends Muslims is absurd. Why can’t we have more nativity scenes in Britain?”
Full story at Christian Today.