The controversy over two veterinarians slaughtering a lamb at a state
laboratory in Amarillo might come down to whether or not the slaughter
qualifies as a religious ceremony.
Some employees of the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory have
stepped forward to say they feel the slaughter, which was conducted Jan. 21
at the lab by two staff veterinarians in preparation for the Muslim holiday
Feast of the Sacrifice, was a religious ceremony.
Other sources say it had no religious component whatsoever.
Jessica Gillis, a histology technician at the lab, said that no matter how
much lab officials try to portray the incident as innocuous, she recognizes
a religious event when she sees it.
"A lot of people are very upset because this clearly had a religious
purpose," Gillis said. "If they are doing it as part of a religious
holiday, how could it not be religious?"
On the other hand, Dr. Lal Almas, assistant professor of agriculture
business and economics at West Texas A&M University, said preparing the
lamb for the feast is more akin to going to the grocery store prior to
Christmas dinner than any sort of religious event.
Almas, a practicing Muslim, pointed out that the true religious part of the
holiday happens at 8:30 a.m. on the morning of the feast, when Muslims
gather to pray