Eid-al-Adha is the Islamic day of sacrifice, where those who are wealthy enough are supposed to sacrifice an animal and give the meat to the poor. Generally, those who aim to donate a sacrifice comb the streets looking for the right cow, or pig, or whatever, oversee the slaughter, and give the meat away themselves. But in this day and age it seems to be a tiring process, and so a newspaper, a TV station, and a local bank joined together to provide easy sacrifical service with the push of a few buttons on an ATM machine.
A senior Muslim leader contacted by the BBC said he thought it was in accordance with Islam, but he added that unless you witnessed the slaughter first-hand and donated the meat personally, the religious experience would never be the same.
I take a small bit of offense at this statement. Is he saying that those of us who make monetary donations to rescue efforts around the world don't get the same satisfaction as if we travelled to the disaster areas ourselves and provided physical help? Ok, no, I guess it isn't the same, but most of us really aren't in a position to do that. So why not make sacrifices as easy as the push of a button? I'm all for making religious requirements easier, after all, I don't officially take part in any religions myself, but why shouldn't it be easier for people that do? Hell, I might make a sacrifice if I could do it via ATM! Why not?
Just as long as the radical Muslims don't blame the West for it, we're all right.