The faithful do sheep

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July 1996:

Traditional celebrations of the Islamic version of the
Feast of Sacrifice were held in more U.S. and European communities
than ever before this year––and apparently provoked
more protest, too.
More as a matter of custom than of religious teaching,
the feast is marked by male heads of households slashing
the throats of sheep, reprising Abraham’s slaughter of a ram
instead of his son Isaac, who is said to have been sire of both
the Hebrew and Arab people. Extra meat is supposed to be
given to the poor, but so many sheep are killed at pilgrimage
sites that most of the meat reportedly goes to waste.
In France, Islamic leaders called Brigitte Bardot
“racist” for her annual criticism of the practice. Responded
Bardot, “If tomorrow Muslims stop slitting sheeps’ throats, I
will find them the most wonderful people in the world.”

Reporter Debbi Wilgoren and photographer Carol
Guzy of the Washington Post documented the scene at
Hillsboro, Virginia, where small children of a predominantly
Afro-American Islamic fundamentalist sect cuddled
sheep––and then watched their parents kill and gut the animals.
“Most U.S. Muslims,” Wilgoren explained, “instead
buy an animal who has already been slaughtered and packaged
through a Muslim butcher, or pay for one to be slaughtered
and given to charity in a Muslim community overseas.”
The Feast of Sacrifice was held on April 28 this
year, but ANIMAL PEOPLE was still receiving letters from
appalled observers of other local celebrations more than a
month later. The only related law enforcement action we
heard about, however, came in Cairo, Egypt, where a butcher
and his sons were arrested for collecting sick donkeys,
ostensibly to feed to animals at the Cairo Zoo, and instead
trying to pass their meat off as having come from sheep,
goats, cattle, or camels.

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