Dutch Not to Ban Halal and Kosher Meat
The Dutch Parliament’s Upper House have decided not to ban meat which is ritually slaughtered in Muslim and Jewish traditions. Instead, an agreement has been made between the government and Jewish and Muslim communities that the dhabh and shechita methods are allowed, if the animal loses consciousness within 40 seconds.
Congratulations are in order for those who worked hard to ensure that the rights of different religious groups are guaranteed, whilst also making sure the animals are not tortured during slaughter. There are Jewish organisations that seemed to work hard to ensure that the ban is not passed. Sadly, I cannot say the same for the Muslim community.
Even among Muslim sources, there are no major Islamic organisations that have come out in the media to speak about the ban. Netherlands has a large Muslim community and it is rather shocking that not a single Muslim voice has been reported. This could be for many reasons; firstly, it could be due to the increasing animosity towards Muslims from the media and certain parties such as the Dutch Freedom Party that consequently, they feel scared to speak out. Secondly, it could be that despite the number of Muslims in the country, they still have very little in the way of media and political influence, making their voices harder to be heard. Thirdly, it could be due to the Muslim community not making the defence of Islam and Muslims their prime priority (fard) to come after belief (imaan).
In particular, the third reason is a very worrying point of concern amongst Muslims globally. Muslims ought to question why Islamic methods are brought under the spotlight when quite frankly, the Netherlands has other major issues, such as the government collapsing and austerity. Muslims and Jews have been practicing this method of slaughter for many years and surely, this is a scapegoat to distract people from the real issues that should be at the forefront for every Dutch person. Why was this method of slaughter not an issue before? Also, why do they not talk about banning battery farming and other methods of animal treatment that are quite frankly, vile? This was the same scapegoat used by Sarkozy in order to get more publicity and votes.
One cannot help but think that were this ban to target Muslims only, we would have lost this fight and similar legislations would happen over Europe.