Following the call from the Head of Ummah T&T for the Muslim community to come together to lobby for Eid-ul-Adha - much like its counterpart Eid-ul-Fitr - to be made a public holiday, some Muslim organisations are supporting the move.
On Monday Imam Rasheed Karim called on all Islamic bodies to unite to approach the government to discuss the status of Eid-Ul-Adha.
While the head of the Islamic Front, Umar Abdullah agreed that Eid-Ul-Adha should be a public holiday, saying it was the more religiously significant of the two Eids, he believed it was time for the government to sit with representatives of all the religions in the country and restructure the nation’s public holidays, allowing for a better representation of the different religions.
Speaking to Guardian Media in a telephone interview, Abdullah said that Government should also recognise the importance of the other religious groups and their particular days of festivals as well.
“If you look at the landscape of our country, predominantly, we have Christian holidays that occupy our calendar. I am of the opinion that all religious groups ought to be looked at and a discussion needs to be held with all these different religious organisations,” Abdullah said.
Meanwhile, Imam Raffaic Mohammed of the Macoon Street Masjid and PRO of the Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASJA), said he believed both Eids should be celebrated as public holidays in T&T.
However, he believed that discussions needed to be had with the Islamic scholars who can guide Government as to the importance of Eid-ul-Adha.
In the call made by the Ummah T&T head for the day to be recognised as a public holiday, he suggested that if not both Eids being a holiday, then Government could replace the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday with Eid-ul-Adha.
But Mohammed disagreed with this.
“You cannot separate (it). You’ve had a holiday in Eid-ul-Fitr since – I can’t remember the exact date – but it’s a number of years now and that has grown so much with the national public,” he said.
“It is important that we try and have the Eid-ul-Fitr remain as a holiday but we should try our best to get Eid-ul-Adha as a public holiday.”
He said if Eid-ul-Adha is made a holiday, it would help educate the public about the circumstances around the significance of the day.