NEWS
06/06/2019 7:37 AM IST

PETA Tweets Against An Eid Ritual, But Gets Its Facts Wrong

The organization, tweeting about the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, mischaracterizes the holiday and its traditions.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is under fire for mistakes in a video it shared attacking a Muslim holiday’s tradition. 

The clip tweeted by the organization shows a truck dragging a dead goat, with another young goat trailing the carcass. In the tweet, PETA wrote “Animals don’t need to die for you to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Have a #vegan holiday.”

It didn’t take long for Muslims across the internet to speak out against the post, saying it was riddled with errors.

As many pointed out, it appears PETA confused Eid al-Fitr, which began Tuesday, with a separate holiday, Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims practice self-control and restraint, oftentimes through fasting. Muslims typically celebrate Eid al-Fitr with special services at their place of worship and meals with loved ones. The slaughter of animals is not typically associated with the celebration.

Eid al-Adha, on the other hand, is the feast of sacrifice during which cows, sheep and goats are slaughtered according to strict protocol and distributed to those in need, as well as relatives. It is also marked by visits with friends and family and gift-giving. This year in the U.S. it begins on Aug. 10.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said PETA employed unnecessary, fear-mongering tactics in its Twitter posting.  

“To use this kind of knee-jerk Islamophobia and to exploit the unfortunately growing Islamophobia in our society is completely inappropriate,” Hooper told HuffPost.

He called on the group to “remove this video and, second, to post an apology or clarification of why they thought this was appropriate when it’s clearly designed to exploit the growing Islamophobia in our nation.” 

Past posts from PETA appear to show the same video being used in different contexts, without any attachment to a Muslim holiday. 

In a statement to HuffPost, PETA did not apologize, nor did it address where the video is sourced. 

“We have many Muslim staff members and supporters who have rightly pointed out that Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and the breaking of the fast. Our point is that there is never an occasion — celebrated by any religion, nation, or individual — requiring that animals be slaughtered, because today, everyone can choose nonviolence and should,” the statement said. “There are always some hateful comments, but they are usually off point and try to make excuses for or be dismissive of the deaths that have traditionally accompanied religious celebrations. We stand with Muslims such as these who choose to celebrate with compassion and good vegan food.” 

Hooper said that, unlike what’s implied in the tweet, Islam does not condone animal cruelty. He cited a verse from the Quran that reads, “Do you not see that God is the one who is praised by all (creatures) in the heavens and on earth, (even by) the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise.”

Hooper said Muslims “agree with the kind treatment of animals.”