The Barnabas Fund vs Halal

From a brochure for the recent Second World Halal Forum Europe, subtitled Halal Products & Services – Going Mainstream:


The World Halal Forum recognises the importance of animal welfare in the production of Halal food especially in the context of religious slaughter. The forum has resolved that organisations and communities involved in Halal food production should explore ways to reduce pain, distress and other welfare problems in the sourcing and treatment of animals during rearing, transport and slaughter. The World Halal Forum should collaborate with academic researchers and other experts in investigating the welfare implication and acceptability of different practices including pre-slaughter methods of restraint and applications to minimise pain and distress at the time of slaughter.

Halal values and principles are in line with those of Fair Trade. The forum resolved to work towards the integration of Halal with Fair Trade.

The forum resolved to work towards a European Halal Regulations and Accreditation system, starting with a single country as a pilot project, with the country proposed being the United Kingdom.

The Forum is backed by the Malaysian government, and the above has now generated a conspiracy theory for why Halal food is so widely available in the UK. Step forward Andrea Minichiello Williams, of the Alliance Defense Fund-associated UK group Christian Concern:

Halal and Polygamy – Whose Culture Do We Want?

How far are we willing to let our society be influenced by the demands of Islam and its encroaching culture?

One area of Islamification that has come to light recently concerns the food that we eat. Islamic food agencies are pushing to integrate halal into the mainstream market in the UK. The World Halal Forum held its annual conference in London earlier this month and has identified the UK as a pilot project for halal in Europe.

Consequently it has been discovered that halal meat has been regularly and secretly served in many places from Wembley and Ascot to Cheltenham College and even to MPs in Parliament!

Surely it can’t be right to force ritually slaughtered meat onto consumers? Are we really willing to be imposed upon like this? Please join me in resisting this imposition by boycotting places that don’t clearly label halal meat and give non-halal options. Please sign the Operation Nehemiah petition here.

Operation Nehemiah is run by the Barnabas Fund (previously blogged here); the organisation explains its campaign its website:

Halal food is being introduced secretly. All over Britain, schools, hospitals, pubs and sporting venues (including Ascot and Twickenham) are serving halal meat, often without informing the public. For example, all the beef, chicken and lamb sold to soccer fans at Wembley is halal-compliant, but the public has not been informed. Whitbread, Britain’s largest hotel and restaurant group, which owns the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre chains, has admitted that more than three-quarters of its poultry is halal. Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in London serve halal meat without notifying the public. Ascot racecourse justified its actions by claiming that it was easier to store and cook only one type of meat: “All our chicken is halal. This is not advertised as the menus are kept as simple as possible.”

It has also been alleged that some big supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Somerfield and the Co-op are selling unlabelled halal meat products.

…Although Muslims make up only some 3% of the UK population, halal meats now make up 11 % of all meats sold in the UK. Halal is being used as an underhanded way of furthering the Islamisation of the country.

…Some see this as appeasement of the Muslim communities in the face of their increasingly assertive demands. Others see it as discrimination against non-Muslims, who in circumstances will be forced to eat Muslim religious food. Still others see it as undermining Western secular values.

Many Christians in particular are uneasy about buying halal food or other products because of its inseparable association with Islamic da’wa. They see such purchases as advancing the cause of global Islam, and of Islamist radicalism in particular, and as putting them implicitly under the authority of Islamic sharia. For this reason, while in no way objecting to the provision of halal products for Muslim consumers, they argue that these should not be forced on the non-Muslim community or sold without appropriate labelling. Christian farmers also do not want to be responsible for sacrificial slaughter of animals to Allah.

…We give due weight to the argument, on grounds of religious liberty, that halal slaughter should not be prohibited by law, and we acknowledge the different views held among Christians (and others) regarding its alleged cruelty.

There is also a mention of “the Biblical teaching on the eating of foods associated with non-Christian religious practice and its spiritual and social effects within the Christian community” – presumably a strained reference to 1 Corinthians 8: 4-13.

This is not the first complaint against halal meat; back in April, the English Defence League rallied to the cause of the KFC Bacon Boxmaster.

What will the meat-buying experience be like for non-believers after Islamification is complete?

(H/T to a reader)