The Sun have lead a campaign this week to 'expose' the 'secret' of Halal meat in various big name, high street shops. The Daily Mail have also followed pointing out that many are eating Halal without even knowing it.
Halal simply means 'allowed' and for Muslims, means that animals need to be slaughtered in particular way. Interestingly, a large section of the British population have now decided that they are animal rights campaigners and want to stop the killing of animals in this way as it may involve not pre-stunning animals.
Russell Brand recorded a short video with his thoughts:
A brilliant line from this was, "If you want to avoid halal meat become a vegetarian not a racist."
Many commentators on this story have highlighted the fact that this is simply another episode of Islamaphobia and religious division created by the press. This is a perfect story for UKIP in the run up to the election, I'm sure they'll campaign with a promise to eradicate this 'atrocity'.
It is another anti-Muslim frenzy which is not based on facts. Of the UK slaughters, less than 12% is done in Halal abattoirs without pre-stunning <see here>. The Daily Mail shouts: “More than 70 per cent of all New Zealand lamb in supermarkets is from halal abattoirs – a fact not stated on labelling.” But it doesn't bother to tell them that the slaughter of sheep without pre-stunning has been illegal in New Zealand since May 2010.
The reality is that those who are objecting are doing so on the basis that a prayer is recited over the animals before they are slaughtered. Admittedly this is a problem for some Sikhs (although the majority are vegetarian), although I am not sure this is who The Sun and Daily Mail are worrying about. It is simply another episode of misinformed propaganda to cause division and hated in the UK.Nigel Farage will be rubbing his hands in glee.
Do you think Halal meat would be an issue if it was associated with another religion? For example, would Pizza Express serving kosher (Jewish) food be front page news? Do you think people do need to be told how the animals they are eating are slaughtered? Do you really think it was a secret if Pizza Express told any customer who asked?
Sorry I'm not linking to The Sun or The Daily Mail!