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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Christian and Hindu groups in Kerala decide to boycott Halal meat

Ahead of Christmas, a Christian groups CASA(Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action) has decided to hold a protest and awareness campaign encouraging boycott of Halal meat and products saying they cannot consume food items which are against their religious ethos.

Hindu groups such as Hindu Aikya Vedi have extended their support to this protest, reinforcing CASA’s charge that non-Muslims in the state are being forced to consume & sell Halal meat.

Congress alliance partner Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has termed this decision by CASA to boycott Halal meat a “controversy” against Muslims.

CASA is encouraging Christians to buy their own animals and slaughter it in a non-halal manner.

Halal slaughter

Halal means ‘lawful or permitted’ in Islam, and for meat to be halal, the animal must be slaughtered in a particular manner as prescribed in Islamic scripture. Only a sane adult Muslim male is allowed to slaughter the animal by invoking the name of Allah before making the final cut in Halal method of slaughter.

Animal rights activists state that Halal slaughter kills the animal in a very torturous and traumatic way. Here, the animal’s windpipe, food-pipe and jugular veins are cut in a single stroke, but its neck remains intact. Thus the animal is left to die while its blood flows out slowly.

The other method of slaughter which has traditionally been practised in Bharat is Jhataka. As per the Jhataka Vyavsayi Mahasangh (Jhataka traders association, Jhataka.org), the Jhataka method of slaughtering animals is far more humane as the animal is slaughtered from the back of the neck cutting the spinal cord as well as the entire neck in a single, heavy stroke. Thus the animal dies instantaneously, and does not experience unnecessary pain.

Moreover, for meat to be halal, every person involved in the industry, be it in the slaughter, processing and packaging steps, has to be a Muslim. Thus halal meat business also discriminates against non-Muslims, and many Hindu and Sikh communities who have traditionally been involved in the meat trade have gradually been sidelined and impoverished due to Halal becoming the defacto standard in most of the country, including in supplies to government entities like Air India, Railways etc, big hotel chains and other private players.

The Halal monopoly is now making inroads in into the non-meat food products as well, where the Halal certificate assures the Muslim buyer that the product is not contaminated in any way during the production cycle by any ingredient considered ‘najis’ (ritually unclean as per Muslim Sharia Law).

Concerns have also been raised in many parts of the world that part of the millions of dollars charged by Islamic bodies which hand out Halal certificates, have been routed to terrorist outfits and other extremist organisations.

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