Muslim holy days begin with celebration in the ArkLaTex - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Muslim holy days begin with celebration in the ArkLaTex

Muslim children compare toys they received as gifts for the holiday. Muslim children compare toys they received as gifts for the holiday.
Two worshippers share jokes with a KSLA News 12 crew. Two worshippers share jokes with a KSLA News 12 crew.
Worshippers gather outside after a prayer service at the Islamic Association in Bossier City Worshippers gather outside after a prayer service at the Islamic Association in Bossier City

By Katrina Webber - email | bio

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Muslims all around the world, including the ArkLaTex, are observing an important holiday this week.

The festival known as Eid Al-Adha, the second religious holiday of the Muslim calendar, began Monday morning.   It marks the end of the traditional pilgrimage to Mecca for people of the Islamic faith.

"(Every Muslim) has to fulfill that pilgrimage once in his lifetime," said Marwan Kaskas, M. D., as he left a prayer service at the Islamic Association in Bossier City.  "After the pilgrimage, we have this holiday in celebration."

Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, Eid Al-Adha has its roots in the Islamic bible, called the Quran.   It commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to obey God and sacrifice his son.

Part of the three day holiday includes an animal sacrifice.

"A goat or a lamb," said Kaskas.  "We donate that food to needy people."

The celebration drew several dozens of people to the mosque in Bossier City Monday, a sight Kaskas says he had not witnessed in this area until recently.

"The (Muslim) community is getting larger and larger," he said.  "People are migrating from up north and from families asking their relatives to come over.  So the community in Shreveport and Bossier is expanding."

Kaskas said the mosque in Bossier City is one of three in the Shreveport-Bossier area.

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