In April 2008, FrontpageMag.com published an article by renowned Author and Christian Evangelist, Dr. Peter Hammond. Dr. Hammond has created and chaired many groups concerning the plight of persecuted Christians in Africa. He has authored over a dozen books and in the course of his 3 decades of evangelizing, he has been stabbed, beaten, shot and imprisoned.
A much circulated excerpt from his book, Slavery,Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat is an article entitled, What Islam isn’t , or more commonly known as the Islamic Saturation Index. This articlelooks at the various stages of Islamic conquest by Muslims in their host countries, dependant on what percentage of the population they hold.
He states, ‘from 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. They will push for the introduction of Halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves, along with threats for failure to comply.’
A Bloody Business
On the 30th of May this year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), aired an undercover documentary on its highly awarded ‘Four Corners’ programme, entitled ‘A Bloody Business’. The documentarytook an in-depth look at the Halal slaughter industry of live-export beef cattle from Australia to Indonesia. The graphic and disturbing content showed what could only be termed as abject torture of these animals. The footage was provided by Australian animal rights lobby group ‘Animal Australia’, headed by former policewoman, Lyn White.
In 2006, ‘Animal Australia’ captured footage of animal abuse in slaughterhouses in Cairo and again as recently as last year, across the Middle East with the mistreatment of sheep during Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice). One scene showed live animals being stuffed into a car trunk and another scene showed sheep being ‘hog-tied’ and dragged across long distances.
Both the Government and the media have been at this revelation incessantly since the programme aired and the response has been swift and condemning. At this point, the Government has halted all exports pending investigation and is considering banning all live cattle exports within 3 years.
A week later, the ABC programme ‘Landline’ spoke to cattle ‘guru’ Ken Warriner. Warriner is a co-owner and cattle trader in Australia’s north, partnered with a British equity firm in the company ‘Consolidated Pastoral.’ The partnership owns 19 prime cattle stations, covering a staggering 13 million acres, across 3 states.
Warriner said, “They (Indonesian abattoirs) are made very clear in their induction that any cruelty will not be tolerated.” He had also said that the Australian cattle industry will be looking to introduce stun guns to Indonesian abattoirs. The Federal Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig, is resisting those calls and said that he respects the ‘cultural traditions’ of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Despite a trip by Ludwig to Indonesia to speak with their Trade Minster, the 300 million-dollar-a-year industry has halted. In 2 weeks, the cattle slated for export will need to be slaughtered in Australia.
On the heels of the crisis, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), which is also the Australian Halal Authority, has said it will open dialogue with Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig. The aim, says AFIC President Ikebal Patel, is to seek Government funding to provide training for Muslims and thus open more local Halal meat processing plants, creating jobs for Muslims. Patel further stated that ‘a couple of million dollars’ would do it. AFIC is 1 of 15 Halal certification authorizations in Australia. Muslims in Australia represent barely 2 percent of the population.
The Definition of Halal and ‘Holy verse’
Simply put, Halal is an Arabic word meaning, lawful or permitted. It covers all aspects of daily life, not just food and beverage. According to the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA), ‘all foods are considered halal except the following (which are haram or unlawful or prohibited)’:
Swine/Pork and its by-products.
Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering.
Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants.
Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals.
Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavors are questionable (mashbooh), because the origin of these ingredients is not known.
Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions and other similar animals.
Animals forbidden to be killed in Islam e.g. ants, bees, spiders and woodpecker birds.
Animals which are considered repulsive generally like lice, flies, maggots and other similar animals.
Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles and other similar animals.
Blood and by-products of blood.
Foods and drinks which contain any of the above haram ingredients or contaminated through contact with any of the above products.
The only instance when a Muslim is permitted to consume Haram provisions is if he or she is on the verge of starvation and the only food available is ordinarily Haram.
Surah 2:173:He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
The Method of Slaughter
The Dhabiha or method of slaughter of an animal to Halal standards involves making sure the head of the animal is facing Mecca. The invocation of Allah’s name over each animal is also required. Using a sharp knife you cut the windpipe (trachea), the gullet (esophagus) and the two jugular veins in the neck. Slaughtering must be performed on the front of the neck without cutting the spinal cord.
Al-An’am 6:121:“Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced (at the time of the slaughtering of the animal), for sure it is Fisq (a sin and disobedience to Allah). And certainly, the devils do inspire their friends (from mankind) to dispute with you, and if you obey them [by making Al-Maytata (a dead animal) legal by eating it], then you would indeed be Mushrikun (polytheists): [because they (devils and their friends) made lawful to you to eat that which Allah has made unlawful to eat and you obeyed them by considering it lawful to eat, and by doing so you worshipped them, and to worship others besides Allah is polytheism].”
Halal in North America
The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) is one of the largest halal authorities in North America. They describe themselves as ‘a non-profit Islamic organization dedicated to promote halal food and the institution of halal’.
IFANCA certifies food products, pharmaceuticals and vaccines all over the world. Their certification symbol, the Crescent ‘M’, can be found on thousands of products around the globe, thought a lot of U.S. food products don’t have the symbol displayed.
Ummahnet provides a large list of common grocery items that are halal. They can be foundhere and despite its size, it is not a complete list. A selection of books covering halal certified products in North America are available from Amazon. A large searchable database of halal products and restaurants can be found here
Recently, a poultry processing company in Princess Anne, Maryland was purchased for the specific purpose of providing halal certified chicken to consumers. This purchase is one of many as part of the internationally financed expansion of halal into the USA. There are very few transparent news reports of the expansion for fear of repercussions from consumers.
A conference, called The First Gulf Conference on Halal industry and its Services, was held from the 24th – 26th of January this year in Kuwait. A report produced by key note speaker, Mr. Darhim Dali Hashim, the Chief Executive Officer of International Halal Integrity Alliance of Malaysia states that the U.S halal market is estimated to be worth 12.5 billion USD and expanding. It also cites that the Muslim population of the USA at 2009 was 7.2 million or 2.7 percent.
One of the key challenges preventing the expansion of halal was cited as negative perceptions of halal and Islamophobia. The report adds that where American companies such as Mcdonalds, KfC, Burger King and Taco Bell have gone halal, their has been an increase of their sales of 20 percent. At this time, that increase is only reflected in OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference), member countries.
Halal in Britain
The halal market in Britain is more advanced than most. The Halal Marketing Committee (HMC) provides an online list via a clickable map of butchers that provide halal certified meat. They also provide updates of the latest halal restaurants and butchers to open, with 14 openings listed for June. A large percentage of the mainstream Pepe’s Peri Peri and Dixys Chicken are halal.
The Halal Monitoring Committee’s Shariah Advisor, Mufti Zubair Butt, attended the ‘First Gulf Conference on Halal Industry and its Services as a guest speaker that was held in Kuwait in January this year. He spoke of mechanical slaughter methods used on chickens in Britain and stated that sometimes the required vessels (in the neck) are only partially severed or the blade cuts the head, wings or breast of the chicken. The invocation of Allah over each animal is still performed manually by the machine operator.
The website Mail Online reported in January this year that the following are halal:
All beef, chicken and lamb sold to fans at Wembley Stadium.
All chicken sold to Rugby fans watching fixtures at Twickenham.
All chicken sold to horse racing enthusiasts at Ascot.
All meat in over 100 schools in the borough of Tower Hamlets, in east London.
All meat in the Hospitals, including the Guy’s, St Thomas’ NHS Trust in London and the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation.
3/4 of all poultry served at Britain’s biggest hotel and restaurant group Whitbread, which owns the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre chains as well as Costa Coffee, Taybarns and Table Table restaurants.
Mitchells and Butlers, which owns the Harvester, Browns and Toby Carvery restaurants as well as pub chains All Bar One and O’Neills.
An unnamed spokesman, quoted by Mail Online, insisted the firm demanded that all poultry is ‘pre-stunned prior to slaughter’, though was unable to give details of what percentage of the meat was ritually slaughtered. The fact that halal meat is not stunned prior to slaughter was not questioned by the articles author.
The annual retail sale of halal meat in the United Kingdom as of July 2009 is 564 million GBP or 900 million USD, (source:Third industrial Master Plan).
Halal in Australia
If you live in Australia, most chocolate and dairy products are halal. Like the USA, Australian producers aren’t so transparent with the public about halal products. This short video shows a very popular local cheese brand with the halal symbol inside the package, (hat tip to Jason Paul).
To establish and develop halal standard code and inspection system for the benefit of Halal consumers and stakeholders.
To halal certify foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, health care and cosmetic products and consumables.
To provide complete and comprehensive information, sessions and seminars about halalness of products and educate people to consume halal products.
To participate in social, educational and charitable activities.
The RSPCA continues to be vocal on both of the issues of halal slaughter and live animal exports. Here is a link to their views on live exports from their knowledgebase and a link to a recent interview by ABC’s ‘AM’ programme. The programme aired on the 18th of June and looks at the RSPCA’s call to ban the halal slaughter method.
In Sydney, over 750 halal restaurants serve a total population of over 4.6 million people, with Muslims numbering approximately 250,000. The chicken producers brand ‘Steggles’ and ‘Baida’ are halal as is the popular restaurant ‘Nandos’. Other larger restaurant chains have some halal restaurants in parts of Sydney where the amount of Muslim consumers warrant it. A fully searchable Australian database of halal restaurants and bakeries etc. can be foundhere.
The global halal market is currently worth 635 billion USD and expected to exceed 1 trillion dollars by 2020. The pro-active marketing of halal exists wherever there is a Muslim population, with International assistance offered from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Kuwait and other OIC nations. The assistance includes financial, technical, marketing and other resources. Annual conferences are held involving work-shopping, trends, and education and marketing techniques. Global certification, standards and governance is a short term goal.
The continuing expansion of halal will mean that almost no food items will be exempt or halal free. The continuous call from halal bodies and religious leaders to ensure that factories and processing plants will only be staffed by Muslims, presents yet another challenge to non Muslims worldwide and another feather in the cap for stealth jihad.