Muslim Santa divides Christmas shoppers In Sydney
A Muslim man dressed as Santa for Christmas photos appears to have divided shoppers at a Sydney mall with some being critical but others happy to have him there.
Ersin Tustas has been working as Santa at the Rockdale Plaza since the beginning of the season – posing with children to create happy Christmas memories.
But the Santa was targeted with an online post that highlighted his religion.
I Have just found out the Santa at Rockdale Plaza in Sydney I a muslim,’ the post by Ben McNeill read, followed by three ‘angry faces’.
But on Friday families appeared to be throwing their support around the man-in-red, and said they didn’t know why the actor’s religion was important.
If he is okay with dressing up as Santa then I am okay with it – we will still get our photos taken with him,’ a mother of two children, eight and five, said.
‘As long as the Santa is nice to the children I don’t care where they come from or what they do in their spare time,’ she said.
A group of friends who sat next to the brightly- coloured Santa set told Daily Mail Australia they ‘wouldn’t have been able to tell who was under the suit’ and religion ‘shouldn’t matter in 2017’.
Kirrily, 30, said she didn’t see a problem with the man on the set.
‘At the end of the day it is a job – he is getting paid to dress as Santa and that shouldn’t be a problem,’ she said.
Another family said ‘Santa here is very friendly and does a good job engaging in the Christmas spirit’.
The big wig and glasses make it hard to see who Santa is anyway so unless he told someone he was a Muslim I don’t know how they would know.
‘My kids are still going to get their photo taken, once the little one gets used to the beard – Santa has been really patient with him – he is getting closer,’ she said.
The Santa declined to comment.