Halal Food and Fear-Mongering
Part1: The Facade of Animal Rights
Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq
This is the beginning of a series on the halal food fear-mongering as a thinly disguised maneuver designed to discriminate against Muslims. In this respect this Islamophobic tactic takes 4 forms:
1. Some Christian missionaries are spreading the lie that halal food is the result of slaughtering animals in the name of idols. This is epically ironic.
2. Some other fear-mongerers, not necessarily Christians, are spreading the insidious lie that purchasing halal food supports terrorism and other violent anti-Western and activities.
3. Another aspect of this tactic is the false idea that people are forced to eat halal food against their will and that the presence of the halal food industry in the West is an example of “creeping sharia”, the fear-mongering conspiracy theory that suggests Muslims have the ignoble goal of infiltrating non-Muslims countries and working to subvert their governments until the law is replaced by a bogeyman-strawman- “Sharia Law“.
4. The animal rights activists have jumped on this bandwagon, claiming that the zabiha method of slaughtering causes the animal more pain than “modern”methods requiring stunning before slaughter. The stupidity of this argument should not be lost on anyone.
We will be proceeding backwards and dealing with the 4th form that this tactic takes first. More on the story from the video below can be found at Loonwatch and AlJazeera English.
The proposed bill in Dutch parliament would ban halal and kosher slaughter methods. Obviously an infringment on religious freedoms, one should ask what would be the main purpose of a bill that seems to target minority groups. It seems the aim is to target Muslim minorities, along with Jewish minorities who are religious, in an effort to force them to import properly slaughtered meat. If this bill is passed we can expect another bill proposing a ban on imported halal or kosher meat. Why? Because the agenda is forced immigration away from the country or assimilation.
The bill passed overwhelmingly by parliamentarians on Wednesday, yet still has to pass through the Dutch senate.There is a caveat that reveals the aforementioned real agenda behind this ban. A last-minute amendment that says religious slaughter licenses can be granted if they can “prove” that it does not cause animals more pain than stunning really highlights that the intent is, for Western governments who follow suit as well, to become the arbiters of what is acceptable, making it extremely difficult to be a practicing Muslim in the West, driving the inanity of the so-called inevitable “clash of civilizations”. Muslims will be forced to choose and will be placed in a position of difficulty. We may see forms of civil disobedience similar to those against the “veiling” ban in France.
The Party for Animals, “the main proponents of the proposed law, argue that sparing animals needless pain and distress outweighs religious groups’ rights to follow their respective slaughter practices”, a clear case of placing animal rights over human rights.
The trivality of this type of debate is self evident. Isn’t humane slaughtering really an oxymoron? Is there real science behind the claim that animals suffer more from stunning or stun-bolting as opposed to zabiha? Are we really concerned about animal suffering if the intent behind the contested methods is the eventual death and consumption of the animal? Don’t real animal rights activists advocate vegetarianism and veganism rather than “humane slaughtering”?
For some nuanced discussion to the issue I have included a friendly debate on zabiha and halal food between two Islamic scholars.
Humane Slaughter Myth
As the head of the animal rights party, Marianne Thieme, 39, a lawyer and vegetarian, states “are set aside when it comes to ritual slaughter,” in reference to “modern”, “humane” methods which are set aside because of religious restrictions. This is nothing more than equating the practices of an industrialized Western culture with the term modern(read valid), while relegating religious practices to the dustbin of outdated irrelevance. Her proof? A completely unsubstantiated claim for which no conclusive scientific studies are available.
Thieme says there was a “worldwide consensus among scientists that animals suffer terrible if they are not first stunned before slaughter.” Really? A consensus in the scientific community?
Here is an interesting take on the issue, and a counter claim.
I leave you with this video. Please do let me know if you got as much of a laugh out of this insanity as I did. Some people will go to any length to bash religion.