Many European countries have banned Halal slaughtering. And, Germany is the latest one to do so. What could the Muslims do about it? Why is Europe increasingly becoming anti-Halal? How will the ban impact the ordinary lives of Muslim families and businesses related to the Halal food industry? How are they going to spend their Eid holidays and other festivals without having Halal meat?
With Germany banning the slaughtering of animals without stunning them first, effectively making local Halal meat illegal, German Muslims this year celebrated Eid Al Adha with Halal meat from Poland.
German Halal butchers have resorted to importing Halal meat for Eid Al-Adha from Poland after authorities in Berlin banned an integral process of slaughtering meat in a way that makes it Halal for Muslims to eat.
In Germany, slaughtering meat without electrocution is now illegal, which effectively bans the domestic production of Halal meat.
Butcher Batal Turkman told Anadolu Agency that he slaughtered 100 lambs on a farm in Poland for German Muslims who are not allowed to carry out the sacrifice themselves without either breaking local, or religious laws.
Transporting meat from Poland to Germany has been difficult, he said, but the joy of delivering meat to Muslims in Germany makes up for it.
As with the vast majority of European countries, the German government does not recognize Eid Al-Adha as a formal holiday, leaving many Muslims to continue with work and school during the four days of Eid.
After France, Germany hosts the second-largest Muslim population in Europe with some 4.7 million Muslims in the country, the majority of which are of Turkish origin.
What Does Europe Have Against Halal?
Many European political parties have been propagating an anti-Muslim agenda for quite some time now. They complain that Halal food divides citizens, violates norms of animal welfare, and stealthily intrudes Islam into Western society. As a result of the complaint by these political parties, various countries have started banning Halal meat without stunning. And they have largely succeeded in convincing the general public and other political parties in these countries to ban the Halal slaughtering practice altogether.
How Did the Anti-Halal Movement Start in Europe?
Animal stunning in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe has been a controversial topic for over a century. In 1919, the country banned animal slaughter without prior stunning. But it granted an exemption to Jews when making kosher food available to their local community.
Nazis completely banned unstunned meat in Germany. Dutch Jewish leaders allowed stunning as a fallback arrangement for their community. When Muslim immigrants arrived in Europe they too were allowed to slaughter their animals without stunning and they found little opposition from any political parties.
But the dawn of the 21st century saw a renewed controversy between secular and religious groups. Animal rights groups and a few politicians in some European countries started raising voices against Muslim and Jewish slaughtering practices. As their political clout grew with the passage of time they were able to ban Halal slaughtering practices from their countries.
Which European Countries Ban Halal Slaughtering?
The following European countries effectively ban Halal slaughtering.
Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Slovenia, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Germany is the latest addition to the ban list. While countries like Estonia, the United Kingdom, Finland, Poland, and Spain allow Halal slaughter without stunning.
What Should the Muslims Do About Halal Meat Ban?
During the times when anti-Halal mania is becoming widespread in parts of Europe, the Muslims may want to do the following to avoid these bans.
- Strengthen their political clout in these countries to raise voices against Halal slaughtering bans
- Start importing Halal meat from no-ban countries
This is an important issue for millions of Muslims living in Europe. They are affected If you would like to share your thoughts on this important topic please feel free to comment on it.