The Muslim Holiday of Eid Al-Adha falls across September 11 this year. The holiday is called the “Festival of Sacrifice” or the “Sacrifice Feast.” American Muslims may celebrate it one day later, due to the moon being seen slightly different from the US.
Technically, the holiday begins at sunset the night of September 10, and ends at sunset on September 12. The date of the holiday this year has both Muslims and other Americans concerned.
Eid Al-Adha is meant to reflect on Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Angel of the Lord stopped him, and provided a “scapegoat” or a ram instead.
The holiday in some parts of the world can be especially bloody with the sacrifice of animals. Traditionally, Muslims gather and eat special foods, as well as divide the slaughtered meat into three portions- one for themselves, one for family and friends, one for the needy.
For Muslims, it’s about the act of submission to the command of God, not that a substitute sacrifice was given (the foreshadowing of Christ on the cross).
Because this year’s holiday falls on the anniversary of 9-11, Muslims are worried about attacks on their mosques and people, while the rest of us are concerned about attacks on Western interests worldwide.
The Muslim fears of attacks
The New York Times noted,
In Dearborn, Mich., home to one of the country’s largest concentrations of Arab-Americans, Ibrahim Kazerooni, the imam at the Islamic Center of America, said Muslims should celebrate as they normally would, attending prayer services, donating meat or money to the poor and sharing a meal with family and friends.
As for the date, he said, “We need to be mindful of it, but at the same time not be overburdened to the degree that it paralyzes the community.”
Some places are moving their celebrations inside the mosque rather than openly in parks like they normally would. None of us in America should allow fear to destroy our lives.
But we all do need to pay close attention…
The other side
If a jihadist decides to view Eid- Al-Adha as his own personal sacrifice, we could be in for another attack like 9-11 or Benghazi. Every year since the attacks on the World trade Towers, security has been raised significantly on September 11.
This year it should be even more, as for radical Muslims like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, etc, the term “sacrifice” means something entirely different than sharing food with the needy.