If we can’t ban halal meat, we should at least let people know when they’re buying it

The UK now carries out more halal slaughter than the rest of Europe. Most of us eat halal meat unwittingly on a daily basis, since it is sold in most major outlets, including big brand-name supermarkets, without being labelled as such

The EU’s 2009 Slaughter Regulation requires all animals, including poultry, to be stunned before slaughter. Stunning is defined as any intentionally induced process which causes loss of consciousness and sensibility without pain, including any process resulting in instant death.

President Sarkozy says that halal is the 'issue which most preoccupies the French' AFP
President Sarkozy says that halal is the ‘issue which most preoccupies the French’ AFP

The UK has invoked the “religious exemption” from the EU’s “slaughter directive” and in practice now carries out more halal slaughter than the rest of Europe.  Traditional halal meat is expected to be killed by hand and must be blessed by the slaughterman. The exception allows for animals to be slaughtered without being stunned first.

The halal market is worth £2.6bn in Britain alone, and the export market is also growing particularly in the Middle East.  Most of us eat halal meat unwittingly on a daily basis, since it is sold in most major outlets, including big brand-name supermarkets, without being labelled as such.

No one knows at present what form Brexit will take.  Will we still be part of the “single market” and therefore bound by common rules?  Will we, on the contrary, be free to develop our own set of rules and standards, even if these go beyond EU requirements?

Personally, I much regret that the UK invoked the “religious exemption” in the first place.  I don’t believe that religious convictions, however deeply held, justify unnecessary cruelty to animals – a position which, I am glad to say, has been vigorously maintained for some time by organisations such as the British Veterinary Association, the Humane Slaughter Association and the RSPCA.  I would be happy to see specific UK legislation, drafted to replace the EU slaughter directive, explicitly preclude the “religious exemption” from pre-stunning requirements.

I recognise, however, given the strength of feeling in some quarters (and given the explicit commitments in the Conservative 2015 Manifesto to “protect methods of religious slaughter”), that “dropping the religious exemption” may be difficult to achieve in the present context, however desirable in the long term.

But there is, happily, another way of rapidly achieving an important step forward as far as the halal issue is concerned and that is to introduce in the UK a mandatory labelling scheme whereby any and all halal meat offered for sale (including for exports) would be clearly labelled as such.

The EU Commission at present is investigating just such an option but it’s likely to be a long time coming. Nor do individual EU member states have much freedom in this area to take unilateral action. Mandatory labelling schemes devised by individual EU member states for application in their own territory are almost always struck down by the EU authorities as being contrary to the principles of the Common Market. And, of course, EU-wide labelling schemes may no longer affect us at all.

But as far as the halal issue is concerned, Brexit might allow us to devise and implement precisely such a national labelling scheme.  The key building block here is of course the operation of informed consumer choice. If the consumer actually knows what he or she is buying, we would – I believe – in very short order see in a major reduction of halal products without at the same time offending the sensibilities of religious groups.

More generally, well-judged “post-Brexit” action by the UK in the field of animal welfare and the environment may act as a spur and a stimulus to our continental, but no longer-EU, partners to up their own game.

Many years ago, the UK banned the rearing of veal calves in crates.  The EU eventually followed suit. UK rules on animal experimentation were eventually followed by EU directives. We may no longer be able to throw our weight around in the EU, but there is a wider world out there – UN specialised agencies, for example – dealing with international animal welfare and environmental matters where we should be proud to take a lead.

Stanley Johnson is a former Conservative MEP, author and journalist. He was the Founder-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Intergroup Group on Animal Welfare and holder of the RSPCA’s Richard Martin Award for Outstanding Services to Animal Welfare

 

 

 

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French Muslim association proposes tax on halal food to fund mosques and fight radicalisation

The levy would fund a foundation for French mosques to reduce foreign funding

An influential group representing French Muslims is proposing a tax on halal food to fund mosques and fight radicalisation in the wake of a seires of terror attacks.

Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), outlined plans for a new foundation that would help reduce foreign benefactors amid concerns over extremism.

The idea has been supported by politicians on both the right and left, although there are doubts where such a tax could be implemented.

“The idea has existed since the CFCM was founded,” Mr Kbibech told French broadcaster BFMTV.

“We have reached the first step with the signing with of a religious framework in the CFCM’s halal charter, which defines the criteria of halal in France.

“In autumn we will discuss the second part, which is the financial contribution of halal organisations to worship.”

The money raised would go towards paying imams’ salaries and funding the construction and operation of mosques, which cannot receive state support under French law.

The proposal came after Manuel Valls, the French Prime Minister,called for a ban on foreign funding for Muslim places of worship amid concerns over extremism following a string of terror attacks.

“There needs to be a thorough review to form a new relationship with French Islam,” he said.

“We live in a changed era and we must change our behaviour. This is a revolution in our security culture…the fight against radicalisation will be the task of a generation.”

Nathalie Goulet, a French senator for Orne who conducted a report on the issue, said the creation of a central and transparent foundation was a priority but cast doubt on a halal tax.

“Legally, it is not possible to reduce a tax on a religious item,” she told Le Monde.

“And technically, a ‘halal tax’ would be impossible to implement because there is no unity around the concept of halal.

“What would be possible is that representatives of the religion themselves introduce a private fee for service at the time of slaughter, to be set by the community, collected and sent to the foundation.”

There has been continued controversy over the sale of halal food in France, with a supermarket in Colombes ordered to sell pork and alcohol or face closure this week.

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What is the role of the Grand Mufti in

So what is a mufti?

In Arabic, the word mufti refers to a person who is qualified in the study of Islamic law and jurisprudence, so that they are relied upon to provide fatwas, or rulings, on matters of religious comportment.

And how does a mufti end up being “grand”?

In societies where the ruling class was also Muslim, the relationship between that class and the muftis was crucial for political legitimacy, and so one of their number was selected to act as a liaison between the state and the scholars – hence, a Grand Mufti.

But Australia’s ruling class isn’t Muslim.

Which is why having a Grand Mufti here is an anomaly. But what’s even more anomalous is such a person acting as a community representative. In Muslim-majority societies, muftis don’t occupy such a role; Muslims have political and tribal leaders for that.

Why should we listen to him, then?

In an Australian Muslim community that is multi-ethnic, multi-traditional and for the most part has no religious hierarchy, any Muslim individual can probably be dismissed as unrepresentative on some basis. But it is also true that talking to any Muslim will give you a picture of what some Muslims think. The question then is whether you decide this is a discussion or a political pantomime.

He said something about “duplicitous foreign policy”? What’s all that about?

Ibrahim Abu Mohammed comes from Egypt, so he may be talking about Western countries which condemned Egypt’s incarceration of Peter Greste and his colleagues but also help to arm Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, a military dictator masquerading as a civilian president who some particularly feeble-minded Australian politicians think is a sort of Martin Luther of Islam.

It is also possible that he is talking about the despair some in the Lebanese and Syrian Sunni Muslim communities here feel when they hear that Western countries hope to make common cause with Vladimir Putin to fight terrorism in Syria, knowing what they do about Putin’s conduct in Chechnya and Ukraine.

To know for sure, you’d have to talk to him. Again.

But don’t the terrorists attack us for what we are, not what we do?

If you say so.

Are you suggesting that people might have done something to deserve what happened in Paris or San Bernardino?

Absolutely not. But it doesn’t follow that what has happened has nothing to do with what Western powers have done in the Middle East. And it should also be pointed out that those powers have for centuries been doing things that aren’t consistent with their proclaimed values.

Such as?

One of many, many examples: the French, who are so committed to secularism that it is illegal to ask about people’s religion in the census, created a state called Lebanon in which people were represented in parliament according to their religious affiliation and the offices of the president, prime minister and parliament’s speaker were fixed according to religion.

But isn’t it time Arabs and Muslims looked at themselves? Isn’t it time you “owned the problem and owned the solution”?

It is time everyone owned the problem and owned the solution, since everyone is involved in creating it.

Eh? Australia isn’t in the Middle East.

Perhaps not, but its forces certainly are, repeatedly. Indeed, the war memorials that dot this country’s landscape are full of the names of Middle Eastern places to which its soldiery keeps returning, each time under a less coherent strategy than the last.

What about Gallipoli?

Exactly.

Hold on. Islamic State didn’t come from the West. Isn’t Ted Cruz right, that saying Islamic State isn’t Islamic is just nutty?

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea isn’t democratic. Does that strike you as a nutty thing to say?

But you’re right. Islamic State didn’t come from the West. It came from the violence that followed the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which is something that the US and its allies did, not something that they “are”.

Age columnist Julie Szego says that that is a “skewed, back-to-front analysis” because we invaded in response to a terror threat and “the response to terrorism cannot, by definition, be its cause”.

There was no terrorism threat emanating from Iraq at the time of the invasion. Iraq was invaded based on false claims about a threat it might one day pose and even more false claims about the beneficial effect such an invasion would have on the whole region. David Kilcullen, an Australian soldier who observed the Iraq conflict from its front lines as an adviser to those carrying out the “surge” of 2007, puts it this way:

“… in the case of Afghanistan the infection and contagion phases occurred first and were followed (after 9/11) by Western intervention … By contrast, in Iraq, we started the cycle by intervening, and the rejection of our presence opened the way to infection of the conflict … the Surge of 2007 was an attempt to arrest a vicious cycle that we ourselves had begun.”

I’ll never remember all that. Don’t you have a shorter explanation?

Certainly. You can call it a graphic failure of leadership.

Maher Mughrabi is foreign editor of The Age.

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Sell alcohol and pork or we will shut you down, French town tells halal supermarket

PA halal supermarket in a Paris suburb has been told by local authorities it must start selling alcohol and pork or else it will be shut down.

Halal france supermarket

Good Price discount mini-market in Colombes has been told by the local housing authority, from which it rents its premises, that it has not followed the conditions on the lease that stipulate that the shop must act as a “general food store.”

The authority argues that all members of the local community are not being served properly if there are no alcohol or pork products in the Good Price store, which is run as a franchise and which last year replaced another small supermarket.

“The mayor of Colombes, Nicole Goueta, went there herself and asked the owner to diversify the range of products by adding alcohol and non-halal meats,” the mayor’s chief of staff, Jérôme Besnard, told The Telegraph.

He said locals, particularly older residents, had complained that they could no longer get the full range of products at Good Price, which replaced a regular supermarket, and had to travel some distance now to do their shopping.

“We want a social mix. We don’t want any area that is only Muslim or any area where there are no Muslims,” Mr Besnard said, adding that the town’s reaction would have been the same had a kosher shop opened on that spot.

The Colombes housing authority argues that the store breaches French republican principles by prioritising a certain group within society rather than catering to all categories.

It has taken legal action to bring an end to the lease which would normally run until 2019. The case goes to court in October.

Soulemane Yalcin, who runs the shop under franchise, said he was merely catering to the demands of his customers in this area of large public housing estates.

“It’s business,” said Mr Yalcin.

“I look around me and I target what I see. The lease states ‘general food store and related activities’ – but it all depends on how you interpret ‘related activities’,” he told Le Parisien newspaper.

He has hired a lawyer to fight the housing authority’s bid to get him evicted.

The row in Colombes came as another town – this time in the south of France – decided to take action to stop another perceived breach of republican principles.

The mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau, near Marseille, is seeking to ban an event at a water park that is open only to burkini-clad women and children.

The event organised by a local community group said the need for modest swimwear was because there would be male lifeguards on duty at the Speedwater Park venue.

Burkinis are banned at municipal pools in France, as are women-only events, but private venues are in theory allowed to host them.

But the mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau said he was outraged by this “provocation” and that he would use a bylaw to ban it on the grounds that it is likely to cause public disorder.

Muslim Prayers Block Streets

Is this really about prayer?

Islamic men block the streets of major cities in the world as a show of dominance and defiance.

This is the beginning of flexing their muscle against the ruling police, against the law of the land.

It is the beginning of No Go Zones where police, ambulance, firefighters, media and non muslims are not welcome.  Could you imagine living in this street?

Sydney – July 2014 Thousands of Muslims men pray together in the streets of Lakemba in Sydney’s south-west blocking access to traffic.

Islam Muslim prayer block streets

 

Los Angeles Oct 2015

 USA

20130205_muslims_pray_capitol_Washington

Paris

Muslims praying in the streets paris

 

Rome

muslim-prayers-rome

 

 

 

France

Islam in France – BBC Documentary
Published on 11 Apr 2016

5 Million Muslims live in France

About 1 million people in France live in No Go Zones where people have no rights and the law is not respected

Today the continual arrival of a huge number of illegal immigrants is in fact an invasion. It is the invasion of France.

France has passed new laws to find and expel illegal immigrants

Foreigners outnumber the French

Either accept French law and culture or go home

This documentary appears to be well balanced as it gives both sides of the division a voice.

 

 

 

France – the world needs to see

Hidden camera shows shows streets blocked by huge crowds of Muslim – Islam in Paris

 

The French have become increasingly fed up with what they see as the growing Islamization of France.

PARIS – Friday in Paris. A hidden camera shows streets blocked by huge crowds of Muslim worshippers and enforced by a private security force.

This is all illegal in France: the public worship, the blocked streets, and the private security. But the police have been ordered not to intervene.

It shows that even though some in the French government want to get tough with Muslims and ban the burqa, other parts of the French government continue to give Islam a privileged status.

An ordinary French citizen who has been watching the Islamization of Paris decided that the world needed to see what was happening to his city. He used a hidden camera to start posting videos on YouTube. His life has been threatened and so he uses the alias of “Maxime Lepante. ”

Lepante’s View

His camera shows that Muslims “are blocking the streets with barriers. They are praying on the ground. And the inhabitants of this district cannot leave their homes, nor go into their homes during those prayers.”

“The Muslims taking over those streets do not have any authorization. They do not go to the police headquarters, so it’s completely illegal,” he says.

The Muslims in the street have been granted unofficial rights that no Christian group is likely to get under France’s Laicite’, or secularism law.

“It says people have the right to share any belief they want, any religion,” Lepante explained. “But they have to practice at home or in the mosque, synagogues, churches and so on.”

Some say Muslims must pray in the street because they need a larger mosque. But Lepante has observed cars coming from other parts of Paris, and he believes it is a weekly display of growing Muslim power.

“They are coming there to show that they can take over some French streets to show that they can conquer a part of the French territory,” he said.

France’s Islamic Future?

If France faces an Islamic future, a Russian author has already written about it. The novel is called “The Mosque of Notre Dame, 2048,” a bestseller in Russia, not in France.

French publisher Jean Robin said the French media ignored the book because it was politically incorrect.

“Islam is seen as the religion of the poor people, so you can’t say to the poor people, ‘You’re wrong,’ otherwise, you’re a fascist,” Robin explained.

The book lays out a dark future when France has become a Muslim nation, and the famous cathedral has been turned into a mosque.

Whether that plot is farfetched depends on whom you ask. Muslims are said to be no more than 10 percent of the French population, although no one knows for sure because French law prohibits population counts by religion.

But the Muslim birthrate is significantly higher than for the native French. Some Muslim men practice polygamy, with each extra wife having children and collecting a welfare check.

“The problem of Islam is more than a problem of numbers,” said French philosopher Radu Stoenescu, an Islamic expert who debates Muslim leaders on French TV. “The problem is one of principles. It’s an open question. Is Islam an ideology or just a creed?”

“It doesn’t matter how many there are,” he aded. “The problem is the people who follow Islam; they’re somehow in a political party, which has a political agenda, which means basically implementing Sharia and building an Islamic state.”

WHY MUSLIMS IMMIGRATE TO CHRISTIAN COUNTRIES

The day after the Charlie Hebdo murders

50 mil Muslims in Europe – 80% are beggars living on Western welfare” https://muslimstatistics.wordpress.co… AND THEY ALL BLAME THEJEWS The jihadists killed the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists because they were blasphemers. They killed these people in the supermarket because they were Jews, the worst enemies of the Muslims according to the Qur’an (5:82)
what do you expect from the west? WE MUST STOP ALL MUSLIM IMMIGRATION. Make pressure to your Government