Kirklees celebrates Eid ul-Adha during lockdown

Muslim households across Kirklees safely celebrated Eid ul-Adha, despite the region entering lockdown at the start of the festival.

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 1:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 4:57 pm
Mosque leader and retired chef Siraj Valli with Jay Micklethwaite of Happy Hour Yorkshire and Peter Charlesworth,President Of Dewsbury Moor Rugby League Club.

Last week, the Government announced that people in Kirklees will no longer be allowed to meet with people from other households. This includes meeting in each other's homes and gardens, as well as in public spaces.

The local lockdown announcement came at the start of Eid ul-Adha "feast of sacrifice." Eid ul-Adha is a major Islamic holiday, celebrated worldwide and by the 2.6million Muslims living in Britain.

The holiday usually lasts four days and takes place in the month of Zil-Hajj which is the final twelfth in the Islamic calendar.

The month is also a time when a large number of Muslims from across the globe begin their sacred Hajj pilgrimage to the holy sites at Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the annual pilgrimage was cancelled this year.

The sudden announcement caused upset and disruption for many who were looking forward to celebrating Eid with their loved ones.

A spokesperson from the Kirklees Faith Network said:"The sudden lockdown move was exceptionally insensitive and showed utter disregard from the government towards our region's faith communities. It has become obvious the politicians who were behind this move have had NO cultural awareness training.

"The main question is would an announcement like this have been made on Christmas eve?

"All our different faith communities and religious groups need to be treated with respect and dignity. It is heartening to see that there are good natured individuals, as well as lots of local projects and organisations within our area who are working hard to build a better more inclusive society for everyone."

Despite the disappointment, the community rallied together to celebrate the important festival whilst adhering to social distancing.

A few days before the announcement, retired chef Siraj Valli used his culinary expertise to create a delicious tray of samosas, which were enjoyed by residents as well as Jay Micklethwaite of Happy Hour Yorkshire and Peter Charlesworth,President Of Dewsbury Moor Rugby League Club.

Speaking to the Reporter Series, Siraj Valli said: "We are not going to let the politicians cause friction in our communities because of this announcement. EID-ul-Adha is all about showing patience and spreading a message of peace and love amongst our neighbours. Intelligent and educated people shall never be divided. We have plenty good in many of us."

Mr Charlesworth added: "Team sports and food is something that can easily bring people from different cultures together. So it always a lovely Eid treat for me to enjoy the Samosas made by my friend Siraj. Its something out of many things binding our friendship together."

The sentiment was echoed by Mr Micklethwaite, who said: "One of the best ways to strengthen Community Cohesion is to either explore our shared history, as well as to see what binds us together, and food is one of those things. The English gave tea to the world, the Italians are famous for giving pizzas, and Muslim culture has given us Samosas".