This year at school we've been joined by a young Muslim man who is practicing (I mention this because most Muslims here are just 'cultural' Muslims, who just identify with the religion in name). He's very enthusiastic and I have to say it's really nice to have someone else who's practicing on campus, particularly a young man (they seem to lose their religion much quicker than the girls do).
So on Halloween night, he sent out a very abrupt email to all the Muslims saying that participating in any other religious holiday is a form of shirk which is the greatest sin. Of course many people were offended, saying that of course they didn't mean to commit shirk, they were simply getting candy - I don't celebrate Halloween myself, but I don't bring it up to others because I think it's rather pointless to lecture people about it when they have yet to remember to keep the five prayers or want to adhere to any of the basic tenets of Islam. He later came to me very seriously speaking about how he isn't very social and doesn't care what people think, and this is all what he expected as part of being Muslim, and that there is punishment for withholding knowledge, etc etc.
I think that it's great that he wants to spread knowledge, but I tried to tell him that speaking in that manner simply will not work, that he should have sent a quiet reminder a day or two beforehand saying "Please remember, if you did not know, Muslims are not meant to celebrate holidays that have other religious roots, and thus we should stay away from Halloween celebrations.
" And that that would have been much more effective, giving people time to come ask questions, as well as giving understanding rather than just yelling HARAM. The new convert came to me feeling very frightened from the idea that shirk was being committed!
He waxed rather lyrical about how he wasn't doing this for the reward, he was doing it because he just wanted to very clearly say what was right and what was wrong, and that God will punish us if we withhold knowledge, etc etc.
I didn't quite know how to reply - what advice can you give?