BREAKING NEWS: Santa Claus Prays with Muslims at Friday Congregation
Troy, MI — In what surly turned heads and opened mouths in astonishment, a 49 year-old Muslim man attended Friday prayers donning a classic Santa outfit.
Kamran Bashir, a Senior Electrical Engineer for Motorola, walked into the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills out of breath and wearing the red sash clothes made famous by the fictional Kris Kringle, better known to people all over the world, as Santa Claus.
“I didn’t know what to make of it,” said Imam Faidi Tamim. “Here we are getting into the deep discussion on the importance of giving during the Holliday season when Santa Claus pops in. Strange.”
“Who does he think he is?!” said Mustak Patel, a regular on Fridays. “If he thinks he’s getting milk and cookies, he’s got another thing coming.”
Bashir had spent his morning buying Holliday gifts for colleagues at the Sunset Plaza Center in Troy when he noticed a handful of people complaining at the Winter Festival kiosk that the Santa Claus which the mall hires out each year for children to visit and provide their list of toys, was absent. Mall authorities were later informed the hired Santa help, Sean Richter, 47, of Royal Oak, had been on a 12 hour bender of binge drinking and was extremely hungover to attend the event.
With upset children and a growing number of frustrated parents, Bashir sprung into action and asked if he could act as the temporary Santa. Superviser of store operations Kirk Nelson said they didn’t have much of a choice despite the awkwardness. “In hindsight I don’t think he would have been our first pick, considering he doesn’t look like any of the Santas we’ve had in years past,” said Nelson who politely inferred that Bashir was brown as opposed to the traditional caucasian Santa, which ironically, became a heated media controversy last week when Fox News anchor Megyn Kelley humorously stated on her segment that Santa was indeed, a white person. But Nelson applauded Bashir’s help. “He really did come through. I mean there were other men here who could have done it, but no one stepped up to the plate. To me, he’s a hero for all the kids.”
Bashir, who became so absorbed in the role of playing Santa, realized he was running late to Friday prayers (commonly referred to as Jummah) and got into his car and drove to the mosque not aware he was still wearing the outfit. “I totally forgot what I was wearing, until I ran into the prayer room and everyone looked at me in horror,” said a bewildered Bashir. “I tried to play it cool and ignore the stares but I was getting flushed. Plus its so hot wearing that beard. Very unpleasant.”
After the sermon and prayers concluded, Bashir, now the first Muslin on record to have prayed in a Santa Claus outfit, attempted to get out of the room as quickly as possible but was mobbed by children, all requesting gifts. The scene turned into a frenzy as some men and women scolded him, insisting that he leave with his “reindeers before they throw him down a chimney.”
However, as most of the adults eventually departed, some mothers kept their kids around to meet and speak with Bashir. “Honestly, at the end of the day, Santa Claus is more for the kids than any religious reference,” Halima Wajeed, a resident of Bloomfield Hills. “People just need to relax a little bit. Besides, as a Muslim, Kamran was doing he is duty. There is no clause, no pun intended, that says he can’t pray as Santa. ”
Bashir says he has no plans anytime soon of becoming a regular Santa at Sunset Plaza, but that if they need him he’s ready on standby, just so long as its not on Friday.