Eid celebrations go on despite sorrow and anger over global attacks during Ramadan

Some Canadian Muslims have cancelled Eid celebrations after bombings in Baghdad and elsewhere, but many will continue to mark the normally joyful end of Ramadan despite sorrow and anger.

Bombings in Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere cast a shadow over normally joyful celebration

Eid is normally a joyful time, as seen in this photo taken at the Masjid Al-Salaam Mosque in Burnaby, B.C., in 2014. After prayers, families gather for a celebration and feast. (Farrah Merali/CBC)

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."

Despite the sad events, Hasan said he and his family in B.C. have no hesitation in celebrating the start of Eid with their community.
Muslims gather for prayers on Eid at the Masjid Al-Salaam and Education Centre in Burnaby, B.C. (Don Marce/CBC)

"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."

Thousands gathered at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday to pray and mark the end of Ramadan. (Aadel Haleem/CBC)

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."

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


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