Eid celebrations go on despite sorrow and anger over global attacks during Ramadan
Bombings in Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere cast a shadow over normally joyful celebration
As Eid celebrations begin, what is normally a joyful time to celebrate the end of Ramadan fasting will be also be marked by some with sorrow and anger following recent attacks aimed at Muslims in Iraq and elsewhere.
Across Canada, Muslims gathered at mosques for prayers, and families will also hold their own feasts and celebrations, but are mindful of bombings earlier this week that killed more than 200 in Baghdad and also targeted one of Islam's holiest sites in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
"I am very sad, very angry," said Shawkat Hasan, vice-president of the B.C. Muslim Association.
"Who would believe that the Prophet's mosque would be bombed?" said Hasan. "That's in Medina, the safest place, the holiest place that has been targeted."
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"We are heading to join a prayer together, and we will celebrate today," he said.
Some are choosing not to celebrate, however, notably those with ties to Iraq.
"We can't celebrate and be happy and walk around smiling when 230 men and women were killed for no reason," said Iraqi-born Hassan Jaber of Ajax, Ont.
"I'm not celebrating Eid this year, and I know a lot of people that are doing the same thing."
ISIS blamed for attacks
ISIS has been blamed for the Baghdad bombing and a series of other deadly attacks during the month of Ramadan.
There may be one "silver lining" to the timing of the attacks, said Imam Yahya Momla of the Masjid Al-Salaam and Education Centre in Burnaby, B.C., where hundreds gathered for prayers Wednesday morning.
"This does raise an awareness in the general community that those who are perpetrating these acts have nothing to do with Islam and the religion, otherwise they would have at least respected the sanctity of the Prophet's mosque."
Imam Sh. Abdallah Hammond addresses Eid congregation with forceful message against the terrorist and extremists <a href="https://t.co/xHkyo4G2U7">pic.twitter.com/xHkyo4G2U7</a>—@WindsorIslamicC
In Windsor, Ont., an imam addressing thousands gathered at the WCFU Centre denounced terrorists in his sermon.
"Terrorists who commit criminal acts in the name of Islam mutilate the reputation of our noble religion," said Imam Sh. Abdallah Hammond to the congregation Wednesday morning.
With files from Errol Nazareth, Aadel Haleem and CBC's The Early Edition