Today marks the beginning of the most important Holiday in Islam, Muslim Eid ul-Fitr, most commonly abbreviated simply as Eid.
I had never heard of this Holiday until last year when CNN did a piece on it. I had heard of Ramadan the Holy Month of Fasting, but not Eid the three
day festival of feasting and gift giving that follows it, which is like Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years all rolled into one three day holiday.
When CNN did it’s piece last year it described the way the Holiday is universally celebrated in Islamic Countries then went on to mention that many
Muslims in the United States were sad the Holiday didn’t have the same kind of universal joy here in America.
The political climate was very different last year, the Park 51 Community Center controversy and Terry Jones burn a Quran Day sure has created a very
different climate this year.
One that’s hard to fathom in many ways since nothing has really changed between last year and this year, to warrant the wave of increasing religious
intolerance and bigotry that seems to be sweeping the nation.
What I discovered last year was two important things. One is that the Jewish Members of ATS were unhappy that I made no thread to mark Jewish New
Years which begins at the same time. So Proto was a good boy this year and made that thread earlier today.
Two was I discovered I was very warmly received and greeted by all the Muslims I set out to wish Happy Eid to last year with simple gifts of nuts,
fruits and pastries. They all gave me something in return, but best of all were the smiles that lit up like Christmas Trees when they realized a
non-Muslim, long haired, aging hippy degenerate American like me, knew it was their most important Holiday and cared enough to wish them a Happy
Holiday and celebrate it with them.
Many of them said it was the nicest Eid Gift they had received. I even got a call from a couple of Muslim clients this year who I had wished a Happy
Eid last year, inviting me to their family and mosque’s festivities.
They aren’t trying to convert me, just show their own appreciation and respect that their culture and traditions are respected by me.
I managed to get people all over the world, non-Muslims and many non-religious people just like me to give it a try to through last years thread, and
they all had wonderfully similar experiences of lots of smiles, and lots of gifts and learning more about their neighbors in return.
At a time when religious tensions are escalating needlessly, it has people on all sides of the religious and national divide feeling a bit insecure
and concerned right now.
What better way to help ease those fears, not just your Muslim neighbors and associates and friends, but your own too by reaching out, and building
some bridges, sharing some well wishes, and learning more about them, as they learn more about you.
If ever there was a time to do this, it is right now, and if there was ever a time to impress upon Muslims you want to live in peace and mutual
respect with them, and see the most wonderful aspect of who they are and their religion it is right now during Eid.
The Holiday lasts three days, and just like last year’s thread I am going to share my experiences over the next three days while I make my rounds
playing Eid Clause, and I urge other loving and open minded members and souls to do the same and share it here.
We have a lot of examples of bad on both sides of the divide, lets give the world together some examples of good on both sides.
Happy Eid everyone!