Muslim family sends children to school with ‘Halal only’ stickers taped across their chest after daughter is served up non-Halal food
- Henna Khan has sent her three children to school with ‘Halal only’ badges
- She took action after Woodside Academy in Bradford kept serving non-Halal
- The mother, 29, said the homemade badges on their uniforms are a ‘protest’
- Woodside Academy apologised and said an investigation had been launched
UK– Three Muslim children have been sent to school with ‘Halal only’ badges taped to their uniforms after one of them was served non-Halal food in the canteen on ‘eight or nine occasions’.
Khadija Khan, five, has been given non-Halal food by staff at Woodside Academy in Bradford, West Yorkshire, numerous times despite her parents writing to the school to express their beliefs.
Her mother, Henna Khan, 29, has now decided to take matters into her own hands and said she has taped the stickers to her children’s uniforms in ‘protest’.
She said she will continue to send Khadija and her other children, four-year-old Mohammed Talib and three-year-old Tayyeba, to school with the notices ‘for as long as it takes’.
She said: ‘I really didn’t know what to do anymore.
‘We have counted this happening on eight or nine occasions. They have only been attending Woodside Academy for over a year and a half now and yet this has happened a good few times.
‘My children are not the only pupils who eat halal food, which makes me wonder how many others have been given meals by mistake? What if they had allergies?
‘The signs are the only way, other than a packed lunch, that I know my children will not be given non-Halal meals.
‘The “Halal only” signs on the uniforms are a protest by me and my children, which is what I told the head teacher and that it will continue for as long as it takes.’
Mrs Khan and her husband Talib Hussain, 38, said they took action after losing confidence in the school’s ability to prevent the dishes being served to their children.
They said they wrote to the school and even went in to see staff on a number of occasions last year when Khadija was served non-Halal food for her school dinner.
HOW DOES HALAL MEAT DIFFER?
Halal slaughtering involves cutting through the large arteries in the neck with one swipe of a blade, while a Muslim butcher recites a religious verse.
All blood is then drained away since the consumption of blood is forbidden under Islamic law.
Under Islamic law, an animal must be slaughtered by having its throat cut while it is conscious.
In comparison, the non-halal method involves taking animals to an abattoir where they are stunned before being killed.
It means the animal is unconscious when it is killed and has an instantaneous death, as opposed to enduring what animal rights activists claim is drawn-out pain and suffering.
Once the animal has been killed at the abattoir, it is removed and taken to be hung and butchered.
On one occasion, it was her younger brother, Mohammed, who pointed out the mistake and the meal was switched.
However, they said the breaking point came last week when the schoolgirl was again given non-halal food.
They said their daughter has regularly been offered ham and crackers in the classroom and sent home with a bag of jelly sweets, which contain gelatine that is banned under Halal rules.
Both parents said that because their children are so young, they sometimes struggle to differentiate between halal and non-halal food, meaning they have to put their faith in the school to provide the correct option.
The school, which is an independently-run academy, is provided the food by Bradford Council, where meals are prepared off-site and separated for different dietary requirements.
Staff at the school are informed about which pupils should be given the specially prepared meals.
Woodside Academy apologised to the family and said an investigation had been launched to establish why the mistakes have occurred.
Mrs Khan said: ‘Every time we complained to the school they say they are going to look into why this is happening, yet these mistakes keep happening.
‘I asked them does this happen to any of the other children, which they replied no.
‘This made me question whether someone is doing this on purpose. It has been quite stressful for us since we have moved to the area and I have even been to see the head teacher in tears.
‘We have never had any problems with the school and the kids all do well here. They just need to give the right meals to the right children.’
The family also complained to Bradford Council, who sent a letter informing them that staff would be given Halal awareness training.
A spokesman for Woodside Academy said they regretted the incident and confirmed they are liaising with the Bradford Council to undertake an investigation into their procedures.
Originally published on www.dailymail.co.uk