By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck was in the national news the past few weeks.
And, as anyone who keeps up with current events could tell you, it’s an easy guess why: the city council and mayor recently voted in favor of allowing animal sacrifices at homes and backyards for religious purposes.
The issue had been lingering for several months, and stirred up passionate debate both for and against.
Those in favor say it’s a part of their religious rites, and that the U.S. Supreme Curt has ruled that it’s protected under the First Amendment and the right to practice one’s religion.
Those against allowing it say it will be unsanitary, and amounts to animal cruelty.
It’s no surprise that the reaction from readers and viewers of both local and national media outlets ran along those same lines.
Here’s a sample we collected, after doing a simple Google search.
A Detroit Free Press story prompted one reader to ridicule the notion of religious belief and its practices:
“Hilarious how people in here are mad that others are worshiping their magic invisible sky wizard in different ways than they are.
“Spoiler alert: all religions are fairy tales.”
Another reader took a humorous approach in reference to Hamtramck once being the home to a majority of Polish-Americans:
“The Polish people made offerings to the pierogi and sausage gods.”
A WDIV Channel 4 viewer brought up the animal cruelty aspect.
“This is animal abuse. Hopefully a lawsuit will prevail.”
Another Channel 4 viewer accused some of simply being prejudiced against Muslims.
“I am shocked by the amount of racism from the other posters. It’s great to see the community of Hamtramck be diverse and respectful of cultures.”
A conservative Canadian publication called Western Standard had one reader saying, and we’re guessing it’s sarcasm:
“Isn’t diversity awesome.”
Locally, the Muslim civil rights and advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Michigan posted this on its website:
“’We welcome the Hamtramck City Council’s vote, which blocked those who sought to place undue burden on Muslim residents who uphold their sincerely held religious practice in conjunction with Eid al-Adha,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.
“’We continue to extend our services to the Hamtramck government to assist in facilitating conversations with mutual constituents, assist in crafting policies that protect religious rights of residents, and provide trainings to governmental employees,’” said CAIR-MI Director of Safe Spaces Nour Ali.
Those of the Muslim faith who do perform animal sacrifices at home, usually do it for the holiday Eid al-Adha, which is in observance of the religious figure Abraham having sacrificed a sheep instead of a son.
Some also practice the ritual for Eid al-Fitr, which is when Ramadan, the month-long fast ends.
Abraham is acknowledged in all the Abrahamic religions.
This year, Eid al-Adha is celebrated the evenings of June 28 and 29.
Eid al-Fitr is expected on or about April 21 or 22, depending on the Islamic calendar. Ramadan starts around March 22, again depending on the Islamic calendar.
Posted Jan. 27, 2023
Frank James English
January 28, 2023 at 1:44 pm
Yet these same constituents often are extremely prejudiced about medical marijuana which has been an uphill fight for many of us, or anti-gay, anti-talking to your non muslim neighbor.. for those of us whom live in Hamtramck and are not paid to propagandize, the cold fact is we have a massive sanitation problem, massive alley way issues, sewer issues, flooding issues, corruption issues, lead pipe issues yet it is a priority to pass animal sacrifice in your city??? The sarcastic comments and ultra supportive ultimately self serving and non realistic propaganda comments you have spotlighted are typical here..