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Activist Relies on Islam to Fight for Animal Rights

CAIRO -- It is never easy to be an animal rights activist in the Arab world. But on Id al-Adha, the annual Muslim religious holiday when the streets run red with the blood of slaughtered sheep, cows and camels, it is a nightmare.

'Ah, I can't stand it!' wailed Amina Abaza, wincing as she drove through a gantlet of hanging carcasses and entrails, with doomed sheep bleating all around her. 'Islam is all about compassion, but we don't practice it!'

An ebullient 55-year-old with a big mane of blond hair, Ms. Abaza has spent a decade campaigning to spare the animals, or at least require more humane slaughtering methods. She has a long way to go.

The scene in Cairo's working-class Sayyida Zeinab neighborhood Tuesday morning was fairly typical: camels bellowed as blood-soaked butchers wrestled dozens of animals to the ground and slashed their throats for an admiring crowd.

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full story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/world/africa/22egypt.html



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