Hi Gemma and Matthew. We aren’t quite sure why you need to attack a public school because of your own problems of racism and bigotry. Schools have an obligation to provide food to all of its students. If there are Muslim children at the school, the canteen is not doing other students a disservice by providing food for them. They are children, not terrorists. Sure, they’ve had no say as to what religion they must be a part of, but neither have kids from other religions.
Did the meat pies go to a vote? Did the frozen yoghurt go to a vote? Did the garlic bread go to a vote?
Then Anoop jumps on the hatred-for-halal bandwagon without full understanding. Does anyone else see the irony of meat eaters discussing the inhumanity in killing animals a different way to how the animals they eat are killed?
For food to be halal, it should either not be outright haram or it should not have additives that are haram. Sometimes “gelatine” is added to processed yogurt. While yogurt itself is perfectly halal, “gelatine” may make it haram, when we know that “gelatine” is made from pork and other animal leftovers.
Although, all foods are halal in all five general food groups, animal meat is a special case. Meat is generically halal meaning that the consumption of meat is not absolutely prohibited, but it needs to fulfil two simple criteria to be consumable by Muslims.
Firstly, the meat of all animals may be eaten with the exception of “… dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name has been invoked besides that of God. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then he is guiltless. For God is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 2:173). Notice the remark at the end of this verse that in times of necessity or when there is nothing else to eat to survive, the forbidden meat mentioned in the verse can be consumed. This is called the “principle of necessity” in Islamic Law and extends to all prohibitions. A prohibition is temporarily lifted at times of crisis and survival is at stake.
The second criterion is the way in which an animal’s life ends, which has to be in accordance with Islamic regulations. Life is a sacred blessing of God to creation, animals as well as humans. If the life of an animal has to be ended for survival, then its life should only be taken in the name of God. Hence, the phrase bismillah (in the name of God) must be uttered just before slaughtering an animal. Only a Muslim or a monotheistic person such as a Christian or a Jew can fulfil this criterion. Muslims, therefore, can eat the meat slaughtered according to Christian and Jewish religious guidelines. Muslims cannot consume the meat of animals that are sacrificed in the name of any deity or idol.
When animals are slaughtered for the purpose of food, all blood has to come out of the body. This is achieved by an incision to the jugular vein of the animal. The Prophet Muhammad also advised that the task is to be completed with one incision while the eyes of the animal are covered so that it does not see the instrument. An animal should not be slaughtered in front of another to prevent unnecessary stress. Some people allege this is inhumane and causes a lot of pain to the animal. They give as evidence the body of the animal convulsing vigorously after the cut. In reality though, as proved by Professor Schultz of Hanover University in Germany, the Islamic way of slaughtering an animal gives no pain while the alternative method of Captive Bolt Stunning (CBS) is quite painful. He did this in an experiment, where the sensations of the brain activity of animals were measured and compared by EEG.
The first three seconds from the time of Islamic slaughter as recorded on the EEG did not show any change from the graph before the slaughter, thus indicating the animal did not feel any pain during or immediately after the incision. The EEG recorded a condition of deep sleep or unconsciousness caused by large quantity of blood gushing out from the body. After 6 seconds, the EEG recorded zero, showing no feeling of pain at all, even though the heart was still beating and the body convulsing vigorously (a reflex action of the spinal cord), driving maximum blood from the body, resulting in hygienic meat for the consumer. Whereas with CBS the animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning, the EEG showed severe pain immediately after stunning. The heart of the stunned animal stopped beating, resulting in the retention of more blood in the meat, rendering it unhygienic for the consumer. It is for these reasons that Muslims establish halal labelled butcher shops in order to make hygienic and religiously pure meat available to Muslims.