Eid al-Adha: When Muslim streets run red with (animal) blood
The Muslim calendar year is strictly lunar, and consists of twelve lunar months, making a year of 354 or 355 days. That is because Muhammad wanted to show that Islam is “holier” and “truer” than both Judaism and Christianity. Since Jews have a mixed solar/lunar calendar, and Christians a purely solar one, Muhammad chose one that neither of the others use. (Just as he chose Friday as the Muslim holy day rather than Jewish Saturday or Christian Sunday.) But using a purely lunar calendar removes from it any linkage to the seasons. As a result, for every solar year, the Muslim calendar is short by eleven days, and so, year by year, Muslim holidays shift a bit through the different seasons.
Islam itself is a form of Judaism. Jewish Rabbis living in Arabia taught Judaism to Muhammad. Then he killed them and created an arabized version of Judaism. Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice) was originally called Eid al-Qurban. But when the Muslims realized that “Korban” was the unique Hebrew word used by Jews for sacrifice, they changed the name. “Hajj” itself is the Arabic pronunciation of the unique Hebrew word designating a pilgrimage festival. The Hajj celebrates Abraham’s sacrifice of Ishmael at Mecca.
The Koran tells us that the Jews and Christians are liars who falsified their scriptures. According to “Islamic truth”, Abraham was a Muslim, and not a Jew. Allah ordered him to sacrifice his favorite son Ishmael (not Isaac). This was to be done at Mecca, and not Jerusalem. But, similar to the Jewish story, at the last moment allah tells Abraham not to sacrifice his son, and to substitute an animal in his place.
Each year this event is commemorated throughout the Muslim world (in the USA this year it was on August 10 and 11). In Muslim countries, halal animals (kosher for Muslims) are slaughtered. (Australia profits by shipping tens of thousands of live sheep to Muslim countries, while liberal New Zealand recently stopped this practice.) Muslims cannot eat pigs, but can eat camels, cows, and sheep. In Muslim countries, Eid is celebrated by slaughtering and butchering these animals in public. Any good Muslim man can do the slaughtering. The mandatory method of slaughter is to cut the animal’s throat with a knife. It often happens that this slaughter is botched, with the result that the bleeding animal runs screaming in pain through the streets of the town.