Halal meat row rumbles on
Categories: Latest News
Monday May 12 2014
The row about halal meat rumbles on with more media coverage today.
BBC News reports on comments by the Prime Minister, amidst calls for better food labeling of meat produced using non-stunned slaughter methods, in which he said the matter was for the food industry, consumer groups and faith organisations to work out.
In a joint letter to the Daily Telegraph, Muslim and Jewish leaders expressed their support for ‘comprehensive labelling’ including providing customers details about whether an animal ‘endured repeat stuns if the first attempt was unsuccessful’ and if animals were slaughtered according to ‘captive bolt shooting, gassing, electrocution, drowning, trapping, clubbing or any of the other approved methods’.
The Daily Telegraph in its leading editorial approves of clear labelling to offer consumers choice but strangely adds a point about whether meat supplied should ‘be halal simply because it is easier for shops and food chains to source their supplies and avoid offending religious minorities’.
On the point of ‘offending’ religious minorities, The Times quotes Yunes Teinaz, deputy chairman of food standards for the Muslim Council of Britain, who tells the paper: “We should be more concerned about food fraud, poor animal welfare and abattoirs where they beat the animals or make them travel in dirty or cruel conditions.”
“It’s unfair to concentrate on Muslims. It’s a kind of Islamophobia”.
In a retort to Teinaz’s remarks, Amanda Platell, in her column in the Daily Mail on Saturday, revised the trope suggesting religious slaughter is ‘barbaric’ stating “No Dr Yunes Teinaz, it’s about a civilised, animal-loving nation’s revulsion over the cruel killing of creatures.”
As though Muslim and halal slaughter were ‘uncivilised’ practices.
Coverage this week on the issue of halal brings to fore two cover stories from the New Statesman, one on how halal become the ‘most reviled food in Britain’ and why it’s high time we put ‘mainstream Islamophobia on trial’.