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City of Brass

Eid is by tradition a happy affair, but in India it is muted this year, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. In addition to forgoing the slaughter of cows for the sacrifice (out of respect for the sentiments of the Hindu majority), Indian muslims are wearing black armbands this week as a mark of loyalty and mourning.

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Though it doesn’t get as much press or festivity, Eid ul Adha is arguably the more important Eid, from a spiritual perspective, than Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan. Eid ul Adha is an introspective affair, coming after the Hajj which is a season of spiritual renewal. Eid al-Fitr, in contrast, comes after an entire month of fasting, so on a purely human level the sense of accomplishment seems higher. Those who have actually performed the Hajj will forever after have a special appreciation for Eid ul Adha, of course, but for the rest of us it is sometimes a challenge to remember that this Eid is more than just an opportunity to eat a big meal. Last year, ReligionWriter.com interviewed Asma Mobi-Uddin, the author of a children’s book on Eid ul Adha, which touched upon the same general topic – the book, The Best Eid Ever, is definitely worth checking out and makes a great gift.

And what would Eid be without the usual confusion about when, exactly, it occurs? I previously blogged on the diversity of interpretations and methods used to find Eid al Fitr, and Eid ul Adha is subject to much the same (though since many muslims observe Eid ul Adha over a span of a few days, the impact is lessened). Mr. Moo, one of my favorite blogs in the Islamsphere, has brilliantly satirized the perennial Eid confusion in an awesome, hysterical little video entitled, Hitler wants a united Eid:

That needs to be required viewing for everyone on Eid ul Adha. Given all the fabric used to make the tent city at Mina, surely they could set up a big screen somewhere near the Jamrah for public viewings?

Also, I found today’s Garfield Minus Garfield to be kind of relevant:

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On that note, Eid ul Adha Mubarak to everyone, and a special mubarak to all who completed the Hajj this year!

Related – a picture of Eid in China; Preparing for Eid in Damascus;  struggling with Eid in Gaza; a poem about Hajj then and now; and a childhood memory about two goats named Ateeq and Irfan (whose not-quite-happy ending you can probably predict 🙂

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Baktash Siawash is an Afghan-based blogger and journalist. At his blog, he has a guest post by Shamsia, an Aghani schoolgirl who was blinded by the Taliban who threw acid in her face to intimidate her from attending school. Shamsia’s courage and defiance is humbling and inspiring:

I have one [message] for those who thrown the Acid on my face that, if they repeat this action on me hundred times I well never leave the school and I continue for my studying. And also I have one [message] for Kandahari school girls that please and please do not leave school and learning

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While engaged in the rituals at Arafat and Mina, the pilgrims live in a vast tent city constructed exclusively for their use. Here’s an aerial view of that tent city from Google maps:


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(via Shi’a Pundit)

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First there was Omar Shamsoon – now, The Simpsons have an episode that introduces a muslim family from Jordan – you can watch it for free online:

I confess to being a bit disappointed, though. The satire felt forced; it would have been much more effective in the earlier seasons when they were able to skewer things with a deft touch and not getting all preachy. The portrayal of Islamophobia was literally cartoonish and probably didn’t contribute meaningfully to the debate on prejudice and faith, but it was good for a few laughs. Even the Aladdin-carpet dream sequence was woefully short – and also a hugely wasted opportunity, given that Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer, among others) actually voiced the Genie in Robin Williams’ absence for the (mediocre) Aladdin sequel The Return of Jafar.

The subplot with Lisa’s “myPod” was funny in some ways (especially the unboxing of the myBill) but still largely a distraction. Maybe they were running a bit dry, creatively speaking, and decided to combine these two concepts into one, but they both would have benefited much more from having dedicated episodes to each.

A pleasant half hour of the Simpsons, but nothing memorable.

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