Thursday, December 20, 2007

American Islamic Congress Launches New Anti-Suicide Bombing Campaign for Eid Al Adha Holiday


Contact: Jina Hassan, +1.617.266.0080

American Islamic Congress Launches New Anti-Suicide Bombing Campaign for Eid Al Adha Holiday

Educates American Public about Muslim New Year’s Life-Affirming Message

Dec. 19, 2007The American Islamic Congress (AIC) today launched an anti-suicide bombing campaign to coincide with Eid Al-Adha, “the Festival of Sacrifice,” which marks the Muslim new year at the end of the Hajj period.

“Eid Al-Adha is one of Islam’s high holidays, yet most Americans know little about it,” said Zainab Al-Suwaij, AIC’s executive director. The holiday commemorates Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son Ismael. But the boy is spared at the last second, as Abraham's knife instead falls on a lamb.

“Eid Al-Adha represents an unequivocal denunciation of human sacrifice,” said Nasser Weddady, AIC’s Outreach Director. “Even when God himself seems to order the killing of a human being, it is stopped. As Muslim families gather for the traditional holiday lamb meal, they celebrate the rescue of Ismael and affirm the sanctity of human life.”

AIC is marking Eid Al-Adha with a new campaign to educate non-Muslims about the holiday and to rally the Muslim community around a bold anti-suicide bombing initiative. The civil-rights group is releasing a special Eid Al-Adha reading that families and communities can use to commemorate the holiday.

“Eid Al-Adha celebrates the sanctity of human life by rejecting child sacrifice,” said Weddady. “Alas, the holiday season has seen deadly suicide bombings across the Muslim world, as well as a father murdering his daughter in Toronto over a religious dispute.”

“We need to counter these negative images for non-Muslims and mobilize our community to unequivocally denounce suicide attacks,” said Weddady. “Eid Al-Adha’s message of redemption helps us promote an affirmation of life more powerful than the extremists’ sanctification of death.”

“Looking forward to the year ahead, we resolve not to remain silent or passive,” said AlSuwaij. “We wish Muslims and non-Muslims alike a healthy and peaceful new year.”

The American Islamic Congress is a civil-rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas among Muslims and between other peoples. With the motto “passionate about moderation,” the organization leads initiatives around the world and has offices in Washington, Boston, Egypt, and Iraq.