The Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium seats 65,000 people for pro football but the state’s imams are hoping to fill those seats with 50,000-plus Muslims chanting “Allahu Akbar!” on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Ahda.
While the size and scope of the “Super Eid 2018” celebration is described by Muslim organizers as “unprecedented” for this country, it has attracted little media attention.
Eid al-Ahda is one of the most important Islamic holidays and literally means “Festival of the Sacrifice” in Arabic. It involves the ritual slaughtering of domestic animals, typically goats or sheep, although stadium management has promised a group of concerned citizens in Minnesota that no animals will be killed inside the stadium.
The event is free to the public, requiring only an online registration, and meant to establish the Islamic holiday “for all Minnesotans,” according to a GoFundMe page seeking donations for the event.
While an event of this size takes at least a year to plan, details about the Super Eid have been held under wraps. The first visible sign that it would happen came in mid-July, when a website popped up under the registered domain name of SuperEid.com.
“Super Eid” was formally announced by a group of 13 imams during a cryptic 20-minute press conference outside the US Bank Stadium, aired Aug. 7 on Somali TV of Minnesota.
The imams, speaking mostly in Arabic and Somali, said they were inviting tens of thousands of Muslims to come together to celebrate an Islamic holiday that involves not only the slaughter of animals but three hours of chanting “Allahu Akbar,” prayers, feasting and games for children.
Showing their power
One imam, Abdullahi Farah, exclaimed at the Aug. 7 promotion that Super Eid 2018 is being designed as a statement to America that the best Islamic teachers, imams and scholars will be “coming together and showing the unity and the power of our community.” [This comment can be heard at the 16:02 mark on the video below].
Mohamed Abdel Omar, a Somali imam, opened the press conference, which was posted to YouTube by Somali TV, by explaining that all of the major mosques in the Twin Cities will be coming together to put on the massive religious celebration at the largest, most iconic stadium in Minnesota.
The celebration will run from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Omar then introduced the biggest Islamic name affiliated with the event, Dr. Waleed Idris al-Maneese, a grey-bearded Egyptian-born shaykh dressed in a white robe who spoke in Arabic. According to a native Arabic speaker who translated Maneese’s Aug. 7 comments, the shaykh stressed that this is going to be a one-of-a-kind Muslim event that’s never happened before on U.S. soil.
“He invited all the imams and Muslims and says it’s an effort to unite all the Muslims that live in Minnesota and the United States, and this is going to be an amazing outlet for dawah, an amazing way to spread the word of Allah in the United States,” said Dr. Mark Christian, a former imam who grew up in Egypt and converted to Christianity in his late 20s, now heading up the Nebraska-based Global Faith Institute.
Maneese is a senior member of the permanent fatwa committee of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, making him one of the most influential imams in the U.S.
He is the imam at Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington and vice president of the Islamic University of Minnesota. He is adored and respected in the Islamic community for his scholarly knowledge of Islamic law and history.
“He is the backbone of this group, and he is the foundation upon which they will build their teachings and will represent all Islam,” Dr. Christian said.
At least five Somali refugees who attended Maneese’s Bloomington mosque went on to become terrorists, as I have previously reported.
Maneese’s picture appears first on the Super Eid website’s speakers’ page. He was also the first to be introduced to speak at the Aug. 7 promotion of the event on Somali TV.
So Maneese’s public statement about Super Eid, made in Arabic on Aug. 7, is obviously very important, Christian said.
“He thanked Allah and said we are sending out an amazing good-news message to all Muslims in Minnesota and throughout America. This is the biggest stadium in the state. It can hold up to 65,000 people and we hope every one of those seats will be filled. We need to do this so we can show the unity of Muslims in America and the union of their efforts, and that it is going to be a big open door for dawah, and to make well known the superiority of Islam. And to show the pride of Muslims and the unity of Muslims with their Islam.”
The AMJA, of which Maneese is the senior member, issued a fatwa about a week after the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president, describing it as a catastrophic turn of events with potentially grave implications for U.S. Muslims, something akin to a fitnah, which is an Islamic term for Muslim “oppression” at the hands of the infidels. The modern term for fitnah is Islamophobia [See my Jan. 9, 2017 article here on the AMJA fatwa, which was titled “AMJA Post-Election Statement: Principles and Roadmap.”
Super Eid 2018, while not mentioning Trump, leaves clues that this massive public display of Islamic unity really is all about making a statement to Trump and his supporters.
On the Super Eid GoFundMe page, the list of goals of the event include the following [Pay particular attention to Numbers 2 and 5 on the list]:
1- Unite the Minnesota Muslim community and our allies!
2- To establish the Eid as a holiday for all Minnesotans… EID FOR EVERYONE!
3- Give our kids an experience in the same venue that holds the Minnesota Vikings
4- To return to the way of our Prophet, praying Eid together, outside our local mosques
5- Resist the wave of hate and Islamophobia that has been on the rise in our state!
While there has been one case of a possible hate crime in Minnesota, in which two men allegedly drove from Illinois to throw an incendiary device into the Dar al-Farooq mosque [no one was injured thank God], most of the religious-based crimes in Minnesota, and indeed the nation, have been committed against Jews, not Muslims. [For a list of just Somali refugee crimes, see my recent report].
Somali TV has been bubbling with excitement for days about Super Eid, filming spots highlighting Muslims arriving at the Minneapolis airport from all over the country.
Christian group to form ‘human chain’
And just in case any Minnesotans might be planning to protest the event, leftist Christian groups stand ready to call out counter-protest troops to drown out any dissenting voices.
One such group is ISAIAH, an organization with neo-Marxist leanings.
“ISAIAH is partnering up and going down there to form a human chain or wall to protect all the Muslims and welcome them into the stadium tomorrow,” said Michele Even, who was one of 16 concerned citizens who attended last Friday’s meeting of the board of directors for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which owns and operates US Bank Stadium.
The big question is, where will they slaughter the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sheep and/or goats as required in the Quran? If not inside the stadium where?
“They have to slaughter animals for this particular Islamic holiday to be celebrated,” Dr. Christian said.
Another unanswered question: Who is paying for this event? It is clearly being subsidized by some group or persons. The stadium rental alone, not to mention the feeding of meat to 50,000-plus people, comes at a certain price tag.
While these questions were asked Friday of the stadium Authority’s board of directors, the 16 concerned citizens got few answers, Even said.
“They said absolutely that will not happen, in response to our question about slaughtering animals on site,” she said. “That’s the only thing they would answer. I asked who is paying for this event? Are they tax exempt? Who did they sign the contract with? What is their response to the security issues? They didn’t answer.
“There will be an animal sacrifice, whether it’s in the public view is the only question,” she added. “They won’t have to change for us, because we will do all the changing for them. That’s how it works in Minnesota. We’re totally under their thumbs already.”
Even said her group presented the Sports Facilities Authority board with a formal FOIA request, seeking more information on the secretive event.
“The stadium is a public facility, paid for [in part] by the taxpayers, so we have every right to know what is happening in this building,” Even said.
Roughly half of the stadium’s $1 trillion development cost was footed by state and local taxpayers, with the Vikings paying the other half.
Even said the director of the Authority addressed the board before the concerned citizens and gave a full overview of all the events that have been held recently at the US Bank Stadium as well as those upcoming.
“He spoke for a solid 20 minutes and not once did he mention the Super Eid. Nor was it in his video presentation,” she said. “So I thought that was very interesting. All the previous events, all the upcoming events, not Super Eid. Nor is it listed on their website, their Facebook page, it’s not even on the stadium marquee. I asked why are they not putting that out there and they wouldn’t answer, wouldn’t say a word.”