Group Sent to Hospital After Peaceful Appeal to Bhopal Muslims to Choose Animal-Friendly Alms Over Goat Sacrifice for Eid Sparks Riot Outside Mosque
For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2014
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – A PETA India staff member, who is Muslim, sustained facial and other wounds after an apparently planned riot by a group of men broke out in Bhopal, India.. The male mob used violence to end the women’s peaceful appeal for people to celebrate a cruelty-free Id-ul-Zuha, or Bakra Eid. For the holiday, in which alms are given to the poor, thousands of goats have their necks slit on the streets.
The PETA India staff members and some local volunteers had gathered in Bhopal to let people know that a growing number of Muslims now celebrate Eid by giving clothing, money, or fruit, beans, and other cruelty-free food offerings to the poor rather than killing animals and giving the meat away. One Muslim PETA member, wearing a hijab and a dress decorated with vegetables, carried a sign that read, “Make Eid Happy for All: Try Vegan.” Video footage is available here.
Another PETA India staff member had her pants ripped as she tried to get away while the growing mob called for the women to be stripped and stoned, while throwing stones at their faces. The volunteers who had come to hold signs pleading for compassion in the run-up to Eid had to run for their lives as the crowd of angry men swelled to hundreds of men and police lost control. The crowd also reportedly damaged police vans.
“PETA India organizes peaceful animal-protection awareness programs for Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Janmashtami, and other holidays, including Eid,” says PETA President and PETA India founder Ingrid Newkirk, who grew up in India. “It’s shameful that in working to stop violence, our female staff and volunteers experienced a violent attack in a country already under fire for its treatment of women.”
For more information and photos, please visit PETA’s blog.