North Texas residents react to traditional Muslim ritual

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FANNIN COUNTY, Texas -- Muslims across the world are celebrating the beginning of Eid-al-Adha but some North Texas residents are calling one of their rituals disturbing.

An Islamic tradition was met with hostility in the small town of Ector.

"Don't push your views on somebody that doesn't respect them," Ector resident Rick Hartke said.

For Muslims, this is the beginning of Eid, which means Festival of Sacrifice.

It celebrates the prophet Ibrahim and his willingness to sacrifice his son to prove his faith to God.

Many Muslims say this holiday is similar to Christmas or Thanksgiving for Christians.

"We are peaceful people, we love Christians," Jamal Abudalghusa said.

It was the ritual taking place right off US 56 near Ector that caused an uproar.

A group of Muslims were slaughtering sheep on private property and it was very visible to drivers.

"Back in the middle east we do the sacrifices in the backyard but over here in America, because of health issues, we have to go to a farm and do the sacrifice," Abudalghusa said.

Traditionally, Muslims cook and eat the meat from the sacrifice and anything left over goes to the needy.

Ector police showed up but left when it was determined the sheep were being disposed of properly.

Officers say it is legal to sacrifice animals for religious purposes.

While some may find this ritual cruel, Muslims say it is not a blood bath.

"You have to make it as fast and quick as possible so the animal does not suffer in the process," Abudalghusa said.

But long time property owners, like Rick Hartke don't agree.

"It is a comparison to Thanksgiving Day but I wouldn't hang my turkey outside and slaughter it," Hartke said.



 
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