Muslims Fear Backlash as Eid al-Adha Falls on 15th Anniversary of 9/11

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The Muslim Eid al-Adha Holiday falls on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, which has Muslims worried.

The Muslim community will celebrate the Eid al-Adha festival on September 11 this year, and its leaders are concerned that Americans will confuse the festivities as a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Al Qaeda attacks, reports Daily Mail.

Muslims follow a lunar calendar for religious holidays, and the “feast of sacrifice” just so happens to fall on the day exactly 15 years after September 11, 2001.

Certain mosques have been urged to increase security for their Eid al-Adha holy day services and celebrations.

This unfortunate confluence of historical dates comes months before a presidential election in which anti-Muslim-American rhetoric has been tossed wildly by the Trump campaign. Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at the American University in Washington, DC, said that Muslims may feel the “need to be alert” in the days to come.

Ahmed had hoped violence involving the Muslim community would steadily decrease in the years after 9/11, especially as Muslims work with other faiths to remind all that Islam is a religion of peace. But that hasn’t happened, and he fears it could get worse. “In this atmosphere one act of violence could trigger another act of violence as there is heightened tension.”

Eid al-Adha is celebrated as commemoration of the Muslim belief that the Prophet Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son in accordance with God’s will. Once God is pleased with Abraham’s commitment, he provides a sheep for the sacrifice instead. Contemporary Muslims slaughter livestock, divide the meat into three equal portions, and give some to the poor.

Instead of this date conflict becoming a source of tension, some think it would be an excellent idea to link the two events. Abdul Bhuiyan of the Islamic Leadership Council of New York suggested that September 11, 2016 could be a day of “remembrance and observance.”

Rumors have already been swirling that New York will honor Eid al-Adha and not 9/11, rumors which are unfounded.

Last year’s festival fell on September 25 and the Hajj pilgrimage made headlines after the tragic deaths of over 700 people who were crushed outside Mecca.

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