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Saudi and American Muslims embrace the ‘nature’ of Islam during Eid Al-Adha

CHICAGO: Muslims are very “giving” and that generosity is reflected in local and global charity campaigns, especially during the celebration of Islamic holidays such as Eid Al-Adha, which begins this week, Muslims said Wednesday. Americans and Saudis.

Eid Al-Adha, the “Feast of Sacrifice”, reflects the historic tradition embraced by Jews, Christians and Muslims of the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to show his faith in Allah (God), but who was rather directed by the Almighty to sacrifice a lamb.

Rawan Radwan, deputy section chief and regional correspondent for Arab News, said “giving” is a fundamental belief in Islam, especially during Eid celebrations.

“After the prayer, Muslims traditionally honor the devotion of the Prophet Abraham… by sacrificing sheep, goats, cows. Each person must contribute a part, of course depending on the animal, to those in need. We give to our families, our friends. But, of course, the biggest chunk goes to those who need it most, the poor,” Radwan explained during an appearance on The Ray Hanania Show.

“Every year during Eid Al-Adha, different charities provide aid and food or produce or even sacrifice animals. It’s on one side. And of course here (Saudi Arabia) charities. (A) many of these charities are funded by the government, and also funded by people who contribute a lot. They are given food, products and clothing.

“It’s just the power to give here. You’re surrounded by that so it’s part of nature. It’s just second nature to a lot of people here as a community. For Saudis, and I’m sure a lot of different communities and such, the power to give is something that is really felt here.

The spirit of community solidarity and inclusivity during the Eid holiday is reflected in the conduct of Muslims who immigrate to America, said Besheer Mohamed, PEW senior researcher, and Atya Kazmi, Chicago area manager for the Islamic Circle of North America.

Kazmi described how the ICNA, which has chapters across the United States, oversees up to 70 pantries for the poor, runs 20 halfway houses for homeless families and even organizes events to coincide with holidays such as Eid Al-Adha to bring joy to everyone. .

ICNA Relief, Kazmi said, is collecting 1,000 toys so children can celebrate the Eid Al-Adha holiday this week.

“Not just toys, we also try to give them clothes, we also (provide) food distribution. As we all know, Muslims have an obligation to help people in need, wherever they are and regardless of their religion, ethnicity or culture, so our services are for everyone,” Kazmi said.

“Those in need come into our offices and we provide proper case management for them to provide much needed services.”

Kazmi pointed out that while the toy drive focuses on Muslim refugee children who recently fled Afghanistan to America, ICNA Relief’s efforts also help all families in need.

“We are open to everyone,” Kazmi said. “(W)e are a faith-based organization and support the Muslim community, but no one is left behind, regardless of their religion.”

ICNA Relief Chicago is a chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America Relief, operating across the country with programs including transitional shelters for homeless women, food pantries, back-to-school gifts, family services women, refugee empowerment, hygiene kits for women, winter clothing drives, disaster relief and free health checks.

Mohamed said PEW research suggests most Americans don’t understand Islam because they’ve never met a Muslim.

“One of the things we see about our data on Muslims that applies to everyone is that people who say they know a member of a group personally tend to have more positive opinions. So, people who say they personally know someone who is Muslim tend to have more positive views toward Muslims, tend to have more positive views toward Islam.

“And it may come as a surprise to some of your (radio) listeners…given where you broadcast (Detroit, Washington DC and Chicago), the fact that half of the American public say they don’t personally know a Muslim,” Mohamed said of the PEW research.

We “So there are a lot of people who say that I don’t know anyone who is Muslim except the people I see on TV. A lot of people say they don’t know much about something. Only about one in 10 Americans say they think they know a lot about the religion of Islam.

“Only about six in 10 Americans can correctly identify in a multiple-choice survey that Hajj is in Mecca, not Medina, and not Jerusalem. So four in 10 Americans say I don’t know.

Data shows that when Muslims speak directly to the American public, it has “a serious impact and can translate into a more positive view” of Muslims.

He said that because Muslim communities are concentrated in certain areas like Dearborn or Chicago, misunderstandings and stereotypes are reinforced in areas where Muslims do not live.

The majority of Americans, Mohamed said, are unaware of Muslim traditions and religious holidays like Eid Al-Adha. This results in both sympathy and fear.

According to the data, eight in 10 Americans believe Muslims face more discrimination than Jews and evangelical Christians. It’s more distinct when it comes to American politics, he added.

“The data shows that there is a big divide between Republican and Democratic perceptions of Muslims,” he said.

According to PEW research data, Mohamed said, 72% of Republicans say Muslims are more likely to encourage violence (than other religious groups) while only 32% of Democrats think Muslims are more likely to encourage violence. encourage violence.

The first Iftar was hosted by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, and Eid celebrations have been recognized by presidents since, including former President George W. Bush, a Republican. Former President Donald Trump, a Republican, suspended the White House’s formal Eid iftars, but they were reinstated by President Joseph Biden, a Democrat.

But the more government officials recognize events like Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr, the more Americans are prepared to understand Muslims, Mohamed said. The public celebration of these festivals by American governments not only impacts American understanding, but also encourages more Muslims to participate in the festivities.

“One of the things we see is that the engagement with the Eid holiday, this Eid holiday and the other Eid holiday that happens after Ramadan, those two things are actually quite high, even among Muslims who say they do not attend religious services very often or do not pray five times a day, which is normally prescribed,” Mohamed said.

“You see a lot of people saying they attend church services around Eid a few times a year. They think Hajj in Makkah is very important and they hope to do it at some point.

The Ray Hanania Show airs live every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. EST on WNZK AM 690 radio in Greater Detroit, including parts of Ohio, and WDMV AM 700 radio in Washington DC, including parts of Virginia and Maryland. The show reairs Thursdays at 7 a.m. in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 and in Chicago at 12 p.m. on WNWI AM 1080.

You can listen to the radio show podcast here:

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