Muslims fear backlash if Eid al-Adha falls on 9/11

Published August 31st, 2016 - 05:00 GMT
The Muslim community in New York gathers for prayer after an imam and his assistant were shot leaving a mosque in Queens. (AFP/File)
The Muslim community in New York gathers for prayer after an imam and his assistant were shot leaving a mosque in Queens. (AFP/File)

While millions of Muslims throughout the world are gearing up to rejoice and reflect Eid al-Adha, many fear a potentially fraught coincidence. 

As reported by New York Times, according to the lunar calendar for Muslims, Eid al-Adha looks likely to fall on September 11 this year -- the same day when the World Trade Centre and Pentagon were attacked 15 years ago. The al-Qaeda act in 2001 claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. 

Eid al-Adha - also known as "Feast of the Sacrifice", is very much a community festival when people exchange greetings and visits, and tend to be more tolerant, giving and forgiving. If Eid al-Adha falls on 9/11, the Muslim community in the US fears that people will misinterpret the festivities as a celebration of the attacks.

"Some people might want to make something out of that," Habeeb Ahmed, who was recently elected president of the Islamic Center of Long Island, told New York Times, adding that he could foresee people saying, "Look at these Muslims, they are celebrating 9/11.""

The fears have reportedly intensified security concerns in New York, even more so, after the killings of an imam and his assistant in Queens this month.

"Our community is like, 'What are we supposed to do?'" Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, told New York Times. She said she had sat through extensive meetings with other leaders grappling with the possibility and how best to prepare for it.

"It's on the minds of every Muslim leader in the country right now," added Robert McCaw, the director of government affairs at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Eid al-Adha date will be announced by the moon-sighting committee based on Zul Hijjah crescent, which is the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.


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