President Barack Obama issued a statement today marking the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
“For Muslims, Eid al-Adha commemorates the day when prophet Abraham was going to sacrifice his son but was instructed by God to offer an animal instead,” reports Al Jazeera. “Eid al-Adha in Arabic literally means ‘festival of the sacrifice.’ Traditionally, the festival lasts for four days but public holidays vary from country to country.”
“Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslims across our country and around the world who are celebrating Eid al-Adha,” Obama said in his statement. “This special holiday is a time to honor the sacrifice, resolve, and commitment to God demonstrated by Abraham.”
Here is the full text of Obama’s statement as posted by the White House:
“Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslims across our country and around the world who are celebrating Eid al-Adha. This special holiday is a time to honor the sacrifice, resolve, and commitment to God demonstrated by Abraham. It marks the end of the pilgrimage of Hajj performed each year by millions of Muslims who journey from all corners of the world to Mecca as a testament to their faith. It is also a celebration of the ways faith can transcend any differences or boundaries and unite us under the banners of fellowship and love.
“During this time, Muslims from all walks of life join their neighbors and friends at their local mosques, community centers, and homes to pray, give alms, exchange gifts, and recommit to helping others. Food and money are distributed to those in need as men, women, and children reflect on their fortune and look towards the next year.
“As we mark Eid al-Adha this year, we are reminded of the millions of refugees around the globe who are spending this sacred holiday separated from their families, unsure of their future, but still hoping for a brighter tomorrow. And as a Nation, we remain committed to welcoming the stranger with empathy and an open heart—from the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life.
“May the spirits of community, togetherness, principled service, and compassionate generosity bring good tidings to those celebrating Eid al-Adha. From our family to yours, Eid Mubarak.”