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President Obama issues Muslim holiday, Mecca pilgrimage statement

November 16, 2010

President Barack Obama has offered greetings to Muslims worldwide on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, a festival that commemorates Abraham’s willingness (according to the Qur’an) to sacrifice his son Ishmael to Allah.

The Old Testament, on the other hand, recounts Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, and not Ishmael, to God.

Eid-ul-Adha follows the Hajj, or annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca.

“Michelle and I extend our greetings for a happy Eid-ul-Adha to Muslims worldwide and wish safe travels to those performing Hajj,” President Obama said in a statement. “This year, nearly three million pilgrims from more than 160 countries - including the United States - have gathered in Mecca and neighboring sites to perform the Hajj rituals and stand together in prayer.”

“On Eid, Muslims around the world will commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, and distribute food to those less fortunate - a reminder of the shared values and the common roots of three of the world's major religions.”

“On behalf of the American people, we extend our best wishes during this Hajj season – Eid Mubarak and Hajj Mabrour,” the president added, concluding with a traditional Muslim greeting for the occasion.


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  • Posted by: DrJazz - Nov. 17, 2010 6:42 PM ET USA

    Anselm: B16 offered the following on October 22, 2006: "I am happy to send cordial greetings to Muslims around the world who are these days celebrating the end of the Ramadan fasting month"; "I send them all my wishes for serenity and peace." B16 made no mention of any "shared values," nor did he ambiguously tie the Muslim version of "Abraham’s son" to Christianity. The Bamster's fault is that he dwells more on Muslim holy days than Christian ones, and uses those deceptively for political gain.

  • Posted by: tony2311 - Nov. 16, 2010 10:36 PM ET USA

    I sent a note to Barack and Michelle reminding them about the Feast of Christ the King next Sunday - the culmination of the Christian year, and the feast which asserts the supreme authority of Christ over human beings and their institutions. A web search did not turn up any processions planned for DC, but I am sure there will be some, so maybe someone in the city can let them know where they can join in and follow behind the Blessed Sacrament and really display their Christian credentials.

  • Posted by: Defender - Nov. 16, 2010 9:05 PM ET USA

    And let's not forget that the soldiers we send there (and to Afghanistan) cannot bring Bibles or religious articles with them. Guess it's okay to die for them but not in a Christian way? Or is this now the Obama way?

  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Nov. 16, 2010 9:03 PM ET USA

    While our president celebrates the Muslim feast of Eid-ul-Adha, Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son "Ishmael", one wonders if the president is aware of the countless Christians around the world being sacrificed every day at the hands of Muslim terrorists? Terrorism is not a "common root and shared value" of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the president would do well to point this out to his Muslim audience during his trip to the Middle East.

  • Posted by: Anselm - Nov. 16, 2010 7:18 PM ET USA

    I did not vote for him, nor do I support the majority of his policies, however, I am curious to know: mamsd9487 and DrJazz, Pope Benedict also offered greetings to Muslims (which, by the way, means "follower of God"), do you stand by your comments? Or is it because of the source? Something to think about!

  • Posted by: mamsd9487 - Nov. 16, 2010 10:50 AM ET USA

    So we pick the holiday that celebrates Mohammed as the highest prophet (higher than the Son of the Most High) and the substitution of the disfavored son for the son of the promise (that the rest of the Abrahamic religions believe in) to highlight our SHARED faith? Tone deaf or supremely ignorant of the Christian faith he claims? I think he's a new candidate to teach at the Pelosi Institute of Theology (it needs Protestant cluelessness as well as Catholic heresy to be inclusive, after all.)

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Nov. 16, 2010 7:52 AM ET USA

    I'm sure the Bamster's greetings for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Good Friday will be just as sincere and just as publicized as these. It is so nice that he gave an example of a belief we share in common with the Muslims: The story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, or Ishmael, or Ivan, or Billy, or whatever the kid's name was . . .