“A Celebration of the Muslim Festival of Eid al-Adha at Vancouver City Hall” has been organized by diverse Muslim communities in Vancouver for the past several years in partnership with the Vancouver councillors. This year’s commemoration was held on October 24, 2013. Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum, Director of Iona Pacific, and Aliya Hirji, Student Leadership Coordinator & Program Analyst, were invitees to the event along with leadership from diverse Muslim communities, Mayor Gregor Robertson, and City Councillors. Highlights of the event included the singing of “O Canada” in Arabic, remarks from a young adult from each of the Abrahamic traditions speaking about uniting together around common causes while celebrating our differences, and the address by Mayor Gregor Robertson.
This festival of Eid al-Adha marks the completion of the Hajj and commemorates the story of Abraham/Ibrahim/Avraham and his willingness to sacrifice his son as a symbol of his obedience to God. On a larger scale, the Hajj represents the unity of humanity, and the sacrifice links Islam to both Judaism and Christianity through their common Abrahamic heritage.
Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre was invited by the organizers to recruit a young adult representative from the Christian community and from the Jewish community. Each of these speakers was asked to speak about the significance of the traditions about Avraham/Abraham/Ibrahim from their religious and personal perspectives, as well as expressing how the Abrahamic traditions are united in our common heritage. Attached below are the speeches by the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish young adult representatives. Mathew Arthur, currently a student at VST, represented the Christian community.