Commemoration of the Muslim Holiday of Eid ul-Adha

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, as we approach the completion of the Hajj, I want to extend my heartfelt greetings to the nearly seven million Muslims in America and the more than one billion Muslims worldwide celebrating a blessed Eid ul-Adha.

This most sacred holiday reminds us all of an important lesson. The Eid commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God. God, in His great wisdom and mercy, allowed the angel Gabriel to substitute a lamb as Abraham's offering, and Ishmael was spared. I am told the meat of the sacrificed lamb prepared for this feast is to be divided three ways: one third for the household, one third for relatives, and one third for the poor. It is this spirit of mercy and generosity that is most needed today.

As millions of faithful around the world join together for the conclusion of yet another remarkable pilgrimage to Mecca, there is also great reflection as we all seek to better understand the turmoil of the past few months. We all share grief and sorrow over the attacks of September 11. But partly as a testament to the hard work of the American Muslim community, I believe Americans are growing increasingly aware of Islam as a great religion of tolerance and peace.

This has been a difficult time for all Americans, especially Muslims. Not only did the Muslim community lose loved ones in the attacks like every other community in America, but they also suffered a backlash of suspicion, bigotry and violence. As time passes, it becomes increasingly clear that our nation has rejected such intolerance.

However, our struggle for justice continues. As we work to oppose secret evidence, profiling, and the disparate impact some of the measures adopted after September 11 have had on the Arab American and American Muslim community, we are working to protect the very ideals on which this great country was founded.

Mr. Speaker, as Muslim families celebrate Eid ul-Adha, let us remember the strength and discipline that faith offers each of us, and recommit ourselves to the sacrifices that life and justice might demand in the coming year.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).