Go ahead over to Eileen's blog and read all seven of her posts on this festival. I've just been reading about how Brigitte Bardot has been charged with a "hate crime" in France for in effect saying that she believes the practice and the Muslims who practice it to be barbaric. Probably she's not the most diplomatic person on the planet, but she's what we'd term here a PETA type. She's being consistent with her own beliefs just as the Muslims are with theirs and I think she ought to be left alone. Such a clash of cultures in Europe now.
I read this series of posts -- and they're really good! -- and wondered if we could just leave this sort of thing alone if we live in a homeowners' association. Would make for a not-so-funny sitcom on "religious tolerance." During Aid, every Muslim family that can afford it must buy a goat (usually) or other animal and butcher it in the prescribed way. The whole family participates, portions are given to the poor, and celebrations happen all day long (quotes from various parts of the series, not in order):
"The animal has to be a male, at least one year old, with perfect horns, and without blemish–not just any sheep will do. Prices of sheep go way up right before the Festival. So anyone in the Christian world who complains of Christmas being too “commercial” can see that the same problem is happening in the Muslim world with this festival."
The goat is kept in a bathroom or spare bedroom. Sometimes it's tied on an open porch or an enclosure in the back of the building. On the appointed day, with everyone standing around watching, it's killed in your hallway or a common outdoor area in the prescribed manner. Then a garden hose is used to rinse off all the blood.
"After seeing this the first time, I recalled being told in Sunday school as a child that Jesus was the supreme sacrifice for all mankind, and that never again was an animal to be sacrificed. So I asked a lot of people for a lot of years about why, when Islam started 600 years after the birth of Christ, would God now “change his mind” and require animal sacrifices? If God is omniscient, it does not make sense that he would make one decision, and then later reverse himself to the opposite!"
Eileen was told that "the issue would never come up under Islam, since Islam believes that Jesus was a prophet, but not the son of God. It is also believed in Islam that Jesus did not really die on the cross, that another was substituted in his place, and that there was no resurrection. Therefore, any questions about the “sacrifice of Jesus for mankind,” are non-existent. If you try ask anyone about obvious historical events, you just get the response that the Bible has been (greatly) falsified."