New Bill Bans Dutch Muslims From Slaughtering Animals
Holland's parliament voted in favor banning the ritual slaughter of animals - a move strongly opposed by Muslim and Jewish minorities. ...
The Dutch parliament voted on Tuesday to ban ritual slaughter, but left a loophole that might let religious butchering continue.
A bill by the small Animal Rights Party, passed the lower house of parliament by 116 votes to 30. However, it must be approved by the upper house before becoming law in the country.
The religious meat debate has continued throughout Europe for some time and is of particular interest to people with a religious background.
For Muslims, all food must be halal, meaning Islamically permissible 'clean' food, and with similar dietary laws, Jews are guided toward kosher food.
The bill stipulates that livestock must be stunned before being slaughtered, contrary to the Muslim and Jewish laws that require animals to be fully conscious and treated well.
Arguments have arisen from both sides attempting to establish a pain-free death, or to prove the animals do feel (anything). As an eco-Muslim I can assure readers that Islam is clear on the "feelings" of both plants and animals: they have them.
The passing of this bill in Holland targets Jewish and Muslim communities because (A) it would reduce the thriving kosher/halal food business and Jewish rabbis, according to ynetnews, say it portrays their ritual as 'barbaric'.
More from ynetnews:
'In a rare show of unity, the Netherlands' Muslim and Jewish communities – numbering about 1 million and 40,000 respectively in a total population of 16 million – have condemned the proposed ban as a violation of their religious freedom.
"The very fact that there is a discussion about this is very painful for the Jewish community,"Netherlands Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs told Reuters.
Uca Octay of Rotterdam's Islamic University said:
"We will have to import halal meat from neighboring countries or find another way to meet the needs of the Muslim population."
Of the 500 million animals slaughtered annually for food in the Netherlands, only 1.2 million animals are slaughtered according to Muslim or Jewish traditions.
Dutch Muslims, mostly of Turkish and Moroccan origin, have complained they felt stigmatized by the planned ban, debated amid growing support for anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders.
A court cleared Dutch "rude and insulting" MP Wilders last week of charges of hate speech against Muslims. His Freedom Party has supported the ban.
"There was no reason for passing this law," said Imam Mahmut of the El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam. "This is a political decision. Who has the authority to determine whether the way of killing animals is good or not?"
Image: flickr / Chief Rabbi B. Jacobs photo courtesy of Rabbinical Center of Europe
More on Muslim food:
+ Fancy A Halal Meat Club?
+ Five Important Fatwas on Halal Food, Drinks and Medicine (2010)
+ "PORKOPHOBIA" A Closer Look At Our Culture Of Disgust