It was announced last Friday by the City’s Government (Partido Popular) in the plenary meeting of the local assembly and in response to a request by Dunia Al Mansouri, from the Muslim opposition (Coalition for Melilla). It will probably be the first time since the expulsion of the Moriscos that a non-Catholic religious official holiday will be celebrated on Spanish territory.
Muslims represent about 50% of the Melillan population, but had no official religious holiday up to now. The request by the Muslim party was backed by the PSOE, which is the third political force of the city. The Partido Popular, currently in Government, granted it.
The celebration of Aid el Kebir follows the lunar calendar, and is therefore a non-fixed holiday in places/countries using solar calendars. Usually, the holiday has to be announced some hours before its start, after watching with the naked eye the phase of the moon. This can be very disturbing in modern societies, because it prevents an efficient planning of working days and shifts. The most «progressive» Islamic sectors claim to be working on predicting the start of Ramadan and other Muslims celebrations by using modern astronomic calculations. That is, the science of the infidels.
Aid Kebir is one of the most important Muslim celebrations. Wikipedia has the following on its meaning:
Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd ul-‘Aḍḥā, Urdu: بقرعید) or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah intervened: instead Allah provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal, as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah. The meat is then shared out with family and friends, as well as the poorer members of the community (Islam names Ishmael as the son who was to be sacrificed, whereas the Judeo-Christian name Isaac).
Please note that Muslims have replaced Isaac with Ishmael, claiming that Jews and Christians corrupted the Scriptures.
The Sacrifice of the Lamb instead of Isaac is one of the most distressing and controversial stories in the Bible. Rivers of ink have flowed in discussing on the precedence of religious and ethic duties. One standard interpretation proposes that it marks the end of human sacrifice -particularly religious sacrifice of children- among Hebrews. It is plausible. The pagans of Antiquity treated children very cruelly. Curiously, in the framework of the exaltation of «martyrs», Muslims show no moral restraint in sacrificing their own children. If you are interested in this topic you may read this FrontPage interview with Bruce Chilton author of Abraham’s Curse: The Roots of Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
So, here we are. The Spanish «moderate» right has agreed on celebrating the distorted Muslim account of an episode from the Bible. We will soon see this elegant spectacle on our streets:
(Photo from Bivouac)
You can find here an index of my posts in English: De Rebus Hispaniae.