Islamic holidays follow a lunar calendar. The feast just recently celebrated, comes 70 days after Ramadan and occurs during the time while pilgrims are in Mecca. A portion of this obligatory trek to Mecca includes the sacrificing of an animal, in remembrance of Abraham nearly sacrificing his son. In the Qur’an, the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son mentions no name. Earlier verses in that chapter speak of Isaac, but Islamic tradition holds that it was Ishmael, the son of Abraham with his wife Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar.
Anyone who knows anything about the Kurds is aware of the tensions in areas where they live. The emotions on both sides exacerbate the already complex issues. Objectivity is almost impossible for anyone with personal knowledge and experience. However, the report on the Kurdish issue in Turkey recently released by the International Crisis Group is one of the more objective considerations we have seen in a long time.
When it comes to Kurdish studies, Martin van Bruinessen is one of the most well-known and respected Western scholars. Although it is now a bit dated, his article “The Kurds and Islam” gives a good overview of the complex relationship between Kurdish identity and Islam.