Eid al-Adha


Originally broadcast November 20, 2009

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: The festival of Eid al-Adha begins with sacrifice. Those participating in the hajj, and all other Muslim families with the financial means, slaughter a sheep, lamb, goat, camel, or cow.

DAWUD WALID (Council on American Islamic Relations Michigan): This sacrifice is in remembrance of what the Qu’ran says, as well as the Bible, of when Abraham was inspired or he had a dream that he was to sacrifice one of his sons, and then God told Abraham that he did not have to sacrifice his son, and a ram came, and Abraham then sacrificed the ram.

LAWTON: American Muslims typically buy meat slaughtered according to Islamic requirements from a market or grocery store. The immediate family eats one-third of the meat. Another third is shared with the larger community of friends and relatives, and the rest is donated to the poor.

WALID: It’s a religious obligation for us to give to other people. We would not be good Muslims or following our religion, because the third pillar of Islam is charity, so we’re obligated to give charity.

LAWTON: In the United States, recipients include places such as Gleaner’s Community Food Bank of southeastern Michigan. They partner with over 400 outlets in their network of feeding programs to distribute thousands of pounds of frozen lamb meat donated by the Muslim community annually.

JOHN KASTLER (Gleaner’s Community Food Bank): It’s a high-protein item, and it’s certainly the type of food product that we really like to provide during the winter months where you get a nice, hearty meal out of the donation. Groups like the Salvation Army, the Cabbage & Soup Kitchen, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, and different feeding programs around town will be able to enjoy this blessing.

LAWTON: Through the soup kitchens they operate, mosques and Islamic centers also serve as distribution sites. Those who come in to pray are offered bags of lamb to take home, as are all non-Muslims seeking food assistance.

I’m Kim Lawton reporting.

  • Channah

    There are those who may not agree with me, but, I have found-percentage wise-American Muslims are more giving to charity than the Christians I know. And, Muslims do not confine their charity to just their own religion members, but, to everyone. Muslims should get more notice for the good they do and not just for what a few of them do that is ”newsworthy, shocking, and sells papers”.

  • Nancy

    I am curious. Is the journalist that is the author of this a Christian? If so; why are they doing this on Muslims? And, is this author a Muslim that is trying to convert Christians? I humbly want to know. Have a great weekend.

  • Jeanine

    The question is why shouldn’t PBS be doing this episode? Last time I checked, the show was called RELIGION and Ethics Newsweekly, not CHRISTIANITY and Ethics Newsweekly. The writer, Kim Lawton, is doing the job that PBS hired her to do–cover RELIGION–and yes that includes religions that she herself may or may not practice. The reason PBS is covering this celebration is because Eid Al-Adha is a major holiday celebrated yearly by members of a major world religion. Not sure how that translates into trying to convert anyone.

  • Champ

    Absolutely agreed with Jeanine. I’m taking a World Religions class in college right now and have found out a lot of things about different religions and religion is an important thing in many people’s lives, no matter what religion it is. It shouldn’t matter what religion someone is on whether or not they should be reporting it, if the article is insightful, objective, and correct it’s a good article. I have no idea how conversion could even remotely come up with this article. The article talks about other non-profit groups which have religious backgrounds as well.

  • Channah

    I take it that you are very prejudiced against Muslims.

  • Humanist

    Why not save the lives of millions of animals in order to celebrate this fictitious God? What is this obsession with killing millions of innocent animals? This comment will probably not be posted, which is bad for for free thinking.