What's wrong with halal?

In the teacup called France, there's a political storm concerning a fast food chain that offers halal food.

What's the problem here, really? I mean, there are many justified concerns about the islamization in Western societies, but this is not one of them. Who is hurt if a restaurant chain processes its food so that it satisfies Islamic customers? Making meat halal is a largely symbolic act, with no impact to the quality of meat, and if done and monitored properly, also no impact on the well-being of animals (until they are killed, that is, which has an impact on the well-being of animals in every case).

The "Islam tax" impact is also rather insignificant, as the cost-per-head of whispering "Allah" three times to the ear of the cow isn't exactly prohibitive.

I think this is simply down to market economy: a significant part of Quick's customer base likes its food to be halal. If hamburgers were as bad for your health as some of the propaganda says, this could be welcome news to those of us who are concerned about militant Islam: if a person has a body structure resembling Michael Moore, any explosive belts will just fall off. Alas, the way I see it is that hamburgers are about bread, meat, salads and mayonnaise sauces, and with the exception of mayonnaise, these are rather healthy food items.

They're using phrases like "clients are forced because of halal meat to pay a tax to Islamic organizations". Excuse me? Who is forcing anyone to eat at Quick's? If the French are being taken to the restaurants at a gunpoint, then I can understand a concern, and that is a concern whether the meat is halal or not, but that doesn't quite seem to be case yet.

Live and let live. A burqa + niqab may be another thing, because wearing them might not really be voluntary for women - even in France - but fast food is a good way to assure people that in a liberal society, choosing what to eat is your call. Not anyone else's.

2 kommenttia:

  1. The problem with halal is the way the animals are being killed. Some people think ut us cruel to cut the animal's throat and then let it bleed to death. This, I think, is a matter of feeling more than sense. Blood does not look nice. Western people do not want to see death or think about death, not even animals' death. So killing is okay only when animals do it and when they do it so that we don't see.

  2. Yes, but in modern industrial butchery, the halal way of butchering is not worse for the animal than the standard bolt-in-the head. I understand it is done so that when the throat is cut, there is also the standard bolt that is shot to the head. The animal is probably justifiably terrified at this point in any case, but what actually might make a difference favourable to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhabiha, it adds one more checkpoint, i.e. a person to monitor that the animal is treated in a decent way prior to killing.