Advocacy group calls on Va. town to end police blockade of Muslim business

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WARRENTON, Va. – 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.]”

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