Ban on Halal Meat in Britain: Who? Why?
Qualified medical doctor
Specialist in abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, population control, halal meat & food.
Qualified in Psychiatry (has worked in many hospitals before in Britain)
The Muslim Coordinator with the non-Muslims/Christians for the Campaign against: pornography/immorality in the media, homosexuality, adultery, GM food and human cloning.
Muslims' spokesman on medical ethics and expert in the UN (its dangerous evil anti Islamic agenda); he has attended over 11 International UN conferences (Cairo, Beijing, Rome, Istanbul etc.).
Name: Abu Umaima - South Africa
Question: Can you tell us the details of the new law of banning the halal meat? Who is behind it, and why it is issued?
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
On the 10th of June, 2003, an organization dealing with the animals in the farms called the Farm Animal Welfare Council has published a new document with a recommendation to be given to the government for approval, which is to ban religious slaughter for both Muslims and Jews. They think our method causes pain and suffering to the animal as we do not use stunning. This is only a recommendation, not a law. At the moment, in Britain Muslims and Jews are allowed to slaughter their animals according to their religions and without stunning.
The same Farm Animal Welfare Council has tried in 1984 to put the same recommendation to stop religious slaughter, but alhamdullilah, Muslims were very active at that time and united in their view to do religious slaughter without stunning. The Jews had the same idea, too. So the law in Britain stayed at it is, giving exemption to Muslims and Jews to slaughter according to their religion and without stunning. Now, we are more active with more alliance with the Jews insisting on our religious right to slaughter the animals according to our religion. We all hope and pray that the Parliament and the government in Britain will not accept this recommendation of the Farm Animal Welfare Council, especially as we have more scientific and medical evidences that our religious method is the most humane to the animals and does not cause any "pain" or "suffering" to them.
Question: When will the government decide?
Well, this recommendation to the government is going to be submitted this month. We don't know for sure when the government will decide. If they want to discuss it, it has to be debated in the Parliament in order to reach a final decision to accept or reject it.
Question: Can anyone tell a whole community what to eat? Not just as a Muslim, but as a person I should be able to decide if I would like halal meat or be vegetarian or eat kosher or whatever takes my fancy. First, they would like to ban the meat then what next? There is no ban on smoking, drinking and possibly drugs if and when they become legal, why ban halal meat? What measure or comparison is made to determine if halal or non-halal is better?
- We agree that no one has the right to tell anyone what to eat and what to not eat, especially here in the West freedom exists in everything. But, to be fair, they are interfering obviously unjustly with the religious method of slaughter, and this obviously cannot be accepted as freedom of religion and practice is an international human right. We frankly are wondering about the hidden motives and the hidden agenda behind this frequent interference with Muslim belief and practice.
- As for the second part of the question, obviously as a Muslim believer, we believe strongly that proper slaughtering of the animal according to the way of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) is the perfect to have halal meat, the most humane and merciful way to the animal, and the best to produce better meat quality, like "Tayyeb" in the terminology of the Qur'an, and without any health hazards if you eat the meat.
- Islamically, scientifically, and medically we discovered that Prophet Muhammad's way is the best. We have a lot of details and research studies to explain that.
Name: Sandi - Spain
Question: I believe the slaughter laws in Islam are the best, but I wonder if you could shed light on a most-debatable issue, that is stunning and it is pros and cons. While some people are against it, many people support it on the basis that it relieves the animal from the pain of slaughter, and makes it unconscious of what is going on?
According to the physiology of the animal's body at the time of death, when a trained Muslim does the cut properly in the neck with a very sharp knife, clean and large, and does it usually in one go, the major blood vessels in the neck, namely carotid and jugular vessels, with the trachea and gullet, are cut, and as the blood is under pressure, this cut will cause severe hemorrhage, thus depriving instantaneously the brain of its blood supply, and causing immediate anaesthetization. In this case, there will no be chance at all for feeling of pain or suffering, especially we notice the animal keep still and does not move after the cut, but later as the brain is deprived of blood, the whole body goes into contraction and convulsion in order to squeeze blood up to the brain, but is too late as the blood will come out from the cut before reaching the brain. This contraction and convulsion are normal physiological reactions and will cause no pain to the animal. We know the people who suffer from epilepsy, when they wake up after the contraction and convulsion in their arm and leg, they do not complain of feeling of any pain.
Stunning has been made lately apparently for two main reasons:
- the false imaginary idea that the animal feels pain when you do the cut;
- the second and the most important in the west is to kill more animals and thus gain more profit and money.
Now, we Muslims have been ordered to follow Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in his way of slaughtering the animal. He explained it clearly in a hadith how to do it, when he stated: "Verily Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things; thus if you kill, kill well; if you slaughter, slaughter well, and let each one of you sharpen his knife to relieve the animal from any suffering."
We Muslims believe also that this is the same method that was prescribed for Prophets Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. There cannot be any cruelty to the animal in this same method. We further believe that Almighty Allah, Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad cannot be all wrong or cruel to any animal in all their teachings. We also believe that Allah is Rahman Rahim (most compassionate, Most Merciful), and that the final Prophet, Muhammad, is Rahmatul-`Alamin (the mercy to all worlds, men, animals, etc).
Now, to explain the issue of stunning, I would like that Muslims will remember with me this aya (verse) in the Qur'an, which shows many forbidden things for us to eat or consume, and strangely explain to us what we discover as a result of the use of stunning:
In Chapter 5 (Al-Ma'idah), verse 3, Allah Almighty says:
"Forbidden to you (for food) are dead animal, blood, the flesh of swine, and that over which has been invoked other than the name of Allah, that which has been killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a headlong fall or by being gored to death, that which has been partly eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter (in due form), and that which is sacrificed on stone (altars)."
Firstly: Scientific medical research in the West has shown that many animals die from stunning before you do the cut, especially in chicken. The figures in Britain show that one-third of chicken die before you do the cut. In Islam, this is called "meeta" (dead animal), and it is forbidden to consume. Besides, nobody checks which one has died before the slaughter and which has not.
Secondly: the aya says, "forbidden to you is the blood to consume." Medically speaking, blood is very dangerous and harmful to health. Stunning techniques causes more blood to stay inside the meat of the animal, 1) because of early death and as the heart stops as we mentioned before; 2) they discovered that stunning causes salt and pepper hemorrhage where the small blood vessels rapture. So, blood stays inside the meat and no one will be able to get it out at all.
Thirdly: the aya says, "and that which has been strangled." Stunning the chicken by hanging it upside down and forcing its head in an electrified water bath causes strangulation; some chicken die from it, and if not, they will die from electricity.
Fourthly: the aya says, "and an animal killed by a violent blow". This is exactly the method that has been used in stunning.
We also discovered that in stunning the quality of the meat changes from the healthy to the unhealthy meat, because of the disturbance in the chemical constituents of the meat, especially some meat contain blood inside.
Finally, many non-Muslim scientists have called upon using the direct method of slaughtering, like the religious method, because stunning is cruel and painful to the animal. We have also many medical studies showing that the animal must suffer and feel pain in stunning.
After all, electricity has been used as a method of torture for humans, as in prisons and detentions. The problem with animals is that they cannot speak up or complain!!
The Jews are very strong against stunning for religious reasons and they have a lot of scientific data by Jewish scientists showing the cruelty and suffering of the animal by the use of stunning and the bad quality meat resulting from it.
Name: Abdul Samad - United Kingdom
Question: Can we not produce some sort of document to prove that Islamic method of slaughter is more humane?
- Please see my research and study: The Muslim Method of Slaughter
- Please see also the two –page briefing on the issue that will be displayed on www.islamonline.net very soon.
- Also, see the book in English Al-Dhabh: Slaying Animals for Food the Islamic Way By Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Khan.
- See the study made by scientists in Germany entitled: Is Islamic Slaughtering Cruel to Animals , which was displayed on www.Islamonline.net on February, 2nd, 2003.
- One could find from Jewish library on religious slaughter a lot to explain the humanity in our religious slaughter, especially as the Jewish and the Islamic method of slaughter are almost the same, and without stunning.
- Anyone could go to website to find generally researches on the direct method of slaughter without stunning to discover a lot of interesting scientific explanation, because our religious method of slaughter is a direct method.
I must say at the end that we badly need many Muslims to do researches and studies on the Islamic method of slaughter and halal meat.
Question: What are the bases for this proposal against the halal meat?
The reason for this proposal is the assumption that religious method causes pain and suffering to the animal (there could be other hidden motives and reasons too). Allah knows best.
Name: Khalid - United Kingdom
Question: Is it the first the campaign against halal meat, or was there any campaign before? Have you taken any legal action regarding it?
This is the second campaign. The first one was in 1984.
Alhamdullilah, in the first campaign we organized a big conference in Regent Park Mosque in London where Muslim leaders and representatives of Muslim organizations came from all over Britain and gave the united decision against stunning after we sent an official reply to the ministry and government of our view and to keep the law as it is.
Also we had many private meetings with the minister and the government bodies to explain to them our point of view.
Alhamdullilah, we won altogether at the time, Muslims and Jews, to allow us to carry on with our religious method of slaughter and without stunning.
Last week, we had a joint meeting to work together, Muslims and Jews, to campaign strongly against this recommendation by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, which has got no scientific bases at all.
We hope insha'Allah to do the same this time and write to members of Parliament and to the Minister and Prime Minister to keep our right of the religious slaughter. Not only that, I have sent personally to a lot of British media that for the welfare of all animals and for the health of our nation, all types of stunning should be banned all over Britain.
Name: Anisah - United Kingdom
Profession: Media Designer
Question: AssalamuAlaika, Dr.Katme. I suspect that this issue is one more attempt from the part of the british government to put Muslims into distress and discourage them from staying in this country. This situation also intrigues reaction from the Muslims, reaction that the western media can take advantage of, in order to support their work in representing the Muslims in the UK as fanatic islamists that try to make everybody's life difficult.
How tolerant are Muslims supposed to be in dealing with this underground system of demonising Islam, and if they are meant to react, how should they go about it?
I would also like to say that the scientic opinions that claim that the Halal way of slaughtering is inhumane seem very subjective to me, as there are many other scientists who agree with the Islamic perspective. So, again, we are dealing with a Media monopoly game.
What are the options remained to the Muslims, in order to save their deen and reputation?
We agree there have been many reports in the media and in the government which make life difficult for the Muslims here in Britain. We are still fighting the issue of religious discrimination. We are still angry and frustrated to see daily attack on Islam and Muslims, especially in the British media calling them terrorists, fanatic, etc. No doubt, many are ignorant about our humane and peaceful religion, but many also are devious and evil especially those who are working in the media and linked to Zionists and who will try many times to demonize Islam.
We should not forget on the 9th of June, 2003 the BBC 1 TV has shown one-hour drama called spooks which is all about a mosque they invented in Birmingham and claiming that this mosque is the centre for training terrorists and suicide bombers where a Muslim leader of Imam in the mosque has been brainwashing young adolescent children to wear the suicide bomb jacket which were hiding behind the pulpit or minbar, and a Muslim boy went to explode himself in an English school of small children. This is just an example. Now we are trying here in Britain, through a project called Channel Islam for a TV on Islam. We are trying to produce a video film on the mosque in Islam in order to broadcast on the British TV. Frankly we need a lot of donations in order to have an Islamic film and TV here in Britain. We hope some people will be interested to help us, insha'Allah.
Finally, I agree with you, sister, that there claims about cruelty are unscientific and very subjective. But if we explain our point of view properly in a good English presentation, some people will listen and appreciate our belief. We should insist on our religious right of slaughtering animals according to our religion.
We have to carry on explaining our point of view, uniting together, and follow the system here in Britain by writing to members of the Parliament about our religious issue. To me, after all these years, we badly need now, especially after 9/11, an Islamic media TV channel or even radio in order to answer all these false accusations and critiques to Islam and Muslims. We have prepared the ground for that, but funds are urgently needed. We hope some people and donors will contact us for details regarding that.
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Question: Why are you against stunning before slaughter? Why do you consider it a practice that contravenes the Islamic code of slaughter while so many scholars, including Sheikh al-Qaradawi, states that as long as the animal does not die before the slaughter and it bleeds upon death, it is considered as halal?
Firstly, we have explained before many of the reasons against stunning and many of the haram resulting from stunning.
Secondly, the muftis and ulama in Europe have met in Bonn in Germany in May 19, 1990 and declared together, with Sheikh Al-Qaradawi in charge, that we will not accept stunning to chicken and to the cow...
Name: Syed Masrur - United Kingdom
Question: AssalamuAlaikum, Dearest brother in Islam, Dr. A M Katme.
The Farm Animal Welfare Council submitted a report to the parliament select committee and DEFRA Amendments to 'The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995' (Wask) stating that, 'there are no valid scientific means to indicate the levels of pain experienced by animal’s variant to the methods used for killing’. The claim that animals feel greater pain during slaughter (halal methods) as oppose to stunning and gassing (using carbon dioxide) also known as CASH KILLING because of this greatly reduces costs for the British meat industry are only merely that, claims. On the other hand, many prominent scientists have proved the fact that it is in the interests and welfare of the animals to be slaughtered (halal method). Secondly, we have extensive reports including the Jewish Chronicle (UK): www.jewish.co.uk stating that the British government and specially Mr. Tony Blair himself reassured the Jewish community that the traditions of ‘Kosher-diet’ will remain preserved in the United Kingdom.
Could you PLEASE explain the double standards and the clash of conscience of behalf of the British government and its agencies? Secondly, how we Muslims could get fair play, in a so called democratic society where one is more equal that the other.
I agree with the first part of the question. The Farm Animal Welfare Council, who has accused us of cruelty, said on page 34, paragraph 194: "It is difficult to measure pain and distress during the slaughter process in an objective scientific manner..." So how can we be accused of causing pain and cruelty when they themselves have admitted that they cannot prove the pain in the slaughter?