Halal? Is it me you’re cooking for?

No, Sam: you misunderstand (or perhaps misrepresent) the typical Christian and secular Western opposition to halal (Muslim ritual) slaughter.

The Christian objection to halal slaughter is that the meat is sacrificed to a false deity, “Allah.” A small minority of Christians also abstain from certified kosher packaged food (common in the USA) for the same reason; conversely, some Christians embrace kosher food, such as Seventh Day Adventists, who (generally) abstain from meat altogether. [A full explanation of 7th-Day beliefs literally comprises volumes of writing, so it exceeds what I can present here.]

A strict reading of Christian scripture reveals that eating halal (and kosher) slaughtered meat is not a sin, per se (all food is lawful for Christians because false gods have no power and therefore cannot make food sinful), but may cause a less confident Christian to indulge a diet which in turn leads to other sin. Note: these rules apply to all Christians, regardless of ethnicity and correlating skin color.

So, among Christians, prohibition of halal (and kosher) slaughter and refusal to accommodate halal (and kosher) dietary rules follows from religious prohibitions against participating in the worship of false gods, like Allah or a deity which is not the Father of the Son of God, such as Judaism’s god, and against creating circumstances which may tempt another Christian to sin. If you then comprehend that the UK is a (historically?) Christian country assembled from among 2-4 (historically?) Christian nations (English, Irish, Welsh, Scots), then it makes sense that the (historically?) Christian nations of the UK would object to alien nations settling within the UK borders which practice sacrifice to false gods: it constitutes condoning idolatry.

Most Christian religious considerations fall under the general command that Christians remain “above reproach,” that is, so innocent that they cannot be believably accused of wrongdoing, even (NOT especially) by other Christians. If Christians are living in a place that becomes so hostile that it is not possible to peaceably live as a Christian (arguably how things are in the UK), then the Christian is obliged to flee, if possible. “What if a Christian can’t flee?” That’s a question among Christians much more unsettled to answer so I won’t try to answer it myself, but the various and conflicting answers have something to do with what you’re observing in the UK.

Among “secular Westerners” who are not Christian, the objection is to ethnic and religious exceptions from otherwise universal legal requirements for the slaughter of animals. While Western laws may be contradictory and allow for cruel slaughter, the issue is not the cruelty of the slaughter, an argument you correctly ridicule, but the permission of an exception from the law which is purported to apply equally to all persons. Among Westerner nations, unequal application of the law (and the ensuing imbalance between responsibilities and privileges) historically leads to civil war, and then often to revolution, so tolerance of exceptions by seems a particularly self-destructive policy for the government.

Sam, if I remember correctly, you were born and raised in the UK, so you know all this – or at least the secular argument. I’d be interested to know why you think these explanations I’ve provided aren’t the motives of the majority of ethnic English/Scots/Welsh who object to halal slaughter. Even if the motive is entirely “racist,” racism itself requires a motive, that is, an internal logic that motivates the racism; “skin color” isn’t an adequate explanation.

Do you really think this is a case of unmitigated “white supremacy?”

Left at the Lights

There are 2 billion Muslims in the world, the majority of them observing halal practices such as the slaughter of animals for food or redistribution of wealth (for example). Halal means permissible, whether this refers to consumption of food products or platonic interactions between the sexes or a bank account that does not accumulate interest, these conditions protect the rights of all human beings to a fair and healthy life.

Muslims, like Jews, and even some Christian factions do not consume pork which is deemed haraam, a sin. Contrary to popular myth it is not because it is a dirty animal but because pork is a perishable meat and prone to parasites like trichinella. From a health perspective it made sense to avoid it 1500-2000 years ago in the middle east but in these times of modern refrigeration and advances in microbiology this argument falls short for those of us…

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Don't bother.

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