UPDATE: Va. town ends police blockade of Muslim business

(PHOTO: CAIR)

WARRENTON, Va. – The town of Warrenton, Virginia lifted their police blockade of Muslim-owned business, Lebanese Butchers, before a major religious holiday starting Tuesday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) initially called on the town to end the blockade of the business before Eid ul-Adha, a holiday celebrating the end of annual pilgrimage (Hajj) so that Muslim families could fulfill their religious obligations.

CAIR said town officials denied a permit on the site for an event that has taken place annually for the past 25 years without incident and blocked entrance to the business.

Monday night, CAIR thanked Warrenton for ending the blockade.

“We thank the Town of Warrenton for its prompt and professional action in resolving this issue that is so important to the Muslim community in Northern Virginia,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.“We look forward to working with town officials and the business owners to ensure a safe and efficient Eid ul-Adha event this year and in the future.”

An agreement was reached where the event will go forward as in previous years. CAIR says business owners are committed to expedite action on any concerns town officials may have about the site.

ORIGINAL POST:

A Muslim advocacy organization is calling on a Northern Virginia town to end a police blockade of a Muslim-owned business ahead of a major religious holiday beginning Tuesday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group, penned a letter to the town manager of Warrenton, Virginia asking for the end of a police blockade of the USDA-certified Lebanese Butchers facility before Eid ul-Adha, a holiday celebrating the end of annual pilgrimage (Hajj).

CAIR says the blockade started Saturday and prevents customers from entering the site. They believe the blockade will prevent Muslim families from fulfilling their religious obligations.

Town officials denied a special permit for an event that CAIR says has taken place annually for 25 years without incident near the site. Police officers would have been paid by the facility’s owners to direct traffic on the holiday, according to CAIR.

The organization also believes blocking the entrance may cause confusion and potential accidents along Route 29.

The full letter, written by CAIR National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, can be read here.

CAIR: “[NOTE: Eid ul-Adha, commonly referred to as just ‘Eid,’ is the largest Muslim holiday and commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God’s command. The holiday is celebrated with the prayers, small gifts for children, distribution of meat to the needy, and social gatherings.]”