Halal Food

In the last issue of Gleanings (April 1, 2010) we wrote about Halal food. In their April newsletter, Saltshakers also writes of concerns it has with the rise in Halal food. Saltshakers says that it should concern Christians that an Islamic religious ritual accompanies the killing of the animal. The animal’s throat is cut before it is stunned (different than normal Australian practices). The slaughtermen must be Muslim, brought to Australia on religious workers’ visas. They must face Mecca and they pronounce a Muslim prayer to Allah in Arabic as he kills the animal: “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar” meaning Allah is great. They say for Christians this is relevant because it is basically a sacrifice of the animal to an idol- Allah. Saltshakers refers to Acts 15 and I Corinthians 8 as reasons why halal meat is a serious issue for Christians. Fast food places such as McDonalds are now halal. There are 123 abattoirs that are certified halal in Australia serving over 2700 Australian butchers.

Halal food refers actually to meat, but a recent practice has been to make no meat products or certified as halal. Cadbury does it, as does Dairy Farmers, Nestle, Yoplait, Ski. Since August 2009 Kraft’s Vegemite is also Halal. Examples of WA abattoirs which produce halal food include Fletcher International at its Albany abattoir. Harvey beef also produces Halal meat, while V& V Walsh from Bunbury also has only Muslim slaughtermen to produce Halal food.

For saltshakers article including references:

http://www.saltshakers.org.au/images/stories/attachments/Halal_food_-_to_eat_or_not_to_eat-_by_Jenny_Stokes_April_2010.pdf

For article on agriculture ministers meeting last year to discuss religious ritual killing: http://www.theage.com.au/national/ministers-allow-ritual-slaughter-20091109-i5dk.html

For Fletcher International info: http://www.fletchint.com.au/dir.htm

Action: Saltshakers asks people to carefully check the food they buy in the shop or restaurants to see it if is labelled Halal. They ask that you express your concern to the company or the restaurant owner.

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POSTED 24 Apr 2010