Black Friday / Thanksgiving Outrage?
Best Buy pissed off a whole lot of people with the above Black Friday flier that announced Thanksgiving Day sales and wished it’s Muslim customers a “Happy Eid al-Adha.” This year, Thanksgiving Day coincides with the Muslim holiday also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. This holiday commemorates, amongst other things, Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. Uhm. His son Ishmael that is. In Saudi Arabia.
That had to have been a hell of a walk given that Abraham lived in Canaan at the time…
The Festival is celebrated by the wearing of one’s best clothes, the distribution of gifts and the sacrifice of domestic animals, commonly goats. Last night I was in a cab driven by a guy from East Jerusalem. We were discussing price and he started telling me about his Eid al-Adha preparations. He purchased a goat for his Mother and Father, his wife and child and for himself. He told me how each person would eat from their sacrificed goat and then distribute what was left to the poor. His father had passed away, so that entire goat was going to go to the less fortunate.
Back in America, folks inundated the Best Buy Message board and various blogs with howls of outrage, wondering why Eid al-Adha was mentioned by name while Best Buy has a policy against wishing customers a Merry Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza or Yule instead opting for the neutral “Happy Holidays.” Others took umbrage with the perceived bloodthirstiness of the Muslim Festival, ignoring completely the fact that Christmas celebrates the birth of this dude destined to be sacrificed in a horrible and bloody way (NOT by the Jews!) and that Eid al-Adha is really mostly about gift giving and charity. This has also inspired the inevitable calls for boycotts against Best Buy and marks the official beginning of this year’s war against Christmas. Apparently.
Me? I gave in and gave the cab driver the disputed 5 shekels. Do you have any idea how expensive goats are??? Happy Thanksgiving Day and Eid Al-Adha Mubrak America!