The Scottish Government has come under fire for completely failing to mention Christmas in its “Winter Festivals” programme.
In an official news release the Government mentions St Andrew’s Day eleven times, Hogmanay five times and Burns Night several times. But Christmas is not mentioned at all.
Bashir Maan, a prominent figure in Glasgow’s Muslim community, has criticised the omission of Christmas, saying: “This is political correctness gone mad.
“Why should we be offended? Scotland’s religious population is 98 per cent Christian. Why should they not be allowed to celebrate their biggest religious festival?
“If my neighbour is celebrating Christmas, then I should join him. That’s what my religion tells me.”
And John Deighan, parliamentary officer for the Roman Catholic Church of Scotland, described the omission as “disappointing and hurtful”.
A press release to promote the “Winter Festivals” reads: “The season of celebrations to mark Scotland’s distinct culture, unique heritage and creativity runs from St Andrew’s Day on November 30 through Hogmanay to Burns Season at the end of January and will bring together lovers of all things Scottish from across the globe.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Christmas is a key celebration for families and communities.
“The Winter Festivals package includes events funded by the Scottish Government to help promote visitor attractions between St Andrew’s Day and Burns Night.”
Earlier this month the daughter of Thomas the Tank Engine’s creator criticised “political correctness against Christian belief” after references to Christmas were left out of an episode.
In the offending episode, entitled Keeping Up With James, the trains compete to deliver presents to children but Christmas has been rebranded as “the winter holidays”.
Last year it emerged that more than three million school diaries with no reference to Christmas or Easter had been issued by the EU Commission.
The diaries did make reference to Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Chinese festivities, as well as Europe Day.