Tuesday, May 31 2016

Manufactured Tabloid Outrage Over Halal Meat

The outrage manufactured over the weekend by the Mail on Sunday to the serving of halal meat continues today in The Sun, The Express and the Mail Online with such headlines as, “Outrage over secret halal”; “Millions being served secretly with halal meat” and “Halal Britain.”
According to the Mail Online,
“Halal meat is being routinely served at some of Britain’s most popular sporting venues, pubs, schools and hospitals without the public’s knowledge, it has emerged.”

Both the Express and the Mail use the wording “strict Islamic law” and “strict Muslim law”, “Islamic-style halal meat” (one wonders what other style of halal meat there is). Each article uses words to depict a covert operation of halal by stealth, pushed on to “unsuspecting diners”. Put together, these conjure up images of the myth that there is a creeping Islamification of Britain, further stoking the manufactured fear of a Muslim takeover. The Express highlights the recent visit of the Pope and his call for “traditional Christian values to be protected” in the same article, as if to say that those values are somehow being eroded and being replaced by Muslims.

The Mail Online reports that halal meat has been served in Twickenham, Ascot, schools across Britain and Whitbread (Britain’s biggest hotel and restaurant group). It must be asked, why are all these places serving halal? Is it because they’ve been infiltrated and influenced by Muslims and are now leading the charge to Islamify Britain and push the Shariah on unsuspecting customers? Highly unlikely. Or could it not be that it makes business sense to store one type of meat that caters to all customers and population groups rather than store different versions of the same meat and incur greater costs?
The debate is framed around the issue of animal welfare and customers not being informed of how their meat is slaughtered. Why would it be an issue whether the meat is halal or not? The issue certainly isn’t about animal welfare. If it was, why do we not find campaigns against battery farming practices in Britain? Why no moral outrage there by the public? Let's also not forget, Kosher, like halal meat, is prepared by draining the blood from the animal before being prepared so why is the focus of this attack exclusively on the Muslim community?
It is naïve to assume that the issue is one of animal rights or customer choice. Halal meat has been served in “Indian” restaurants, run by Muslims, for decades and yet the moral outrage only finds expression now. It is a well known tactic of anti-Muslim vanguards to highlight aspects within Islam that vanguards of other core issues might be dove-tailed with. Hence, the issue is not of animal welfare, but using that to attack Islam with; hence the issue is not of women’s rights, it is using the burqa to attack Islam. The vanguard forms these selective debates and then they are pushed on to the public with the notion that all they are doing is reporting. Other issues, however, are left unreported – it is as much about what is said as it is about what is unsaid.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 September 2010 12:39


0 #3 EnglandEngland 2011-05-16 05:35
Is it taking over our language too, because clearly you have issues with spelling.
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0 #2 Islam4UK 2011-04-02 19:21
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+1 #1 Simon Brown 2010-11-22 13:52
As far as I have been able to ascertain, the article that appeared in the Mail on Sunday in September was, at least in part, factually incorrect in that Twickenham Stadium have confirmed to me that they do not serve halal meat unless specifically requested; though it does not surprise me that the Mail on Sunday was guilty of shoddy journalism.

However I have equal contempt for the writer of the ENGAGE piece (above) who is unable to see that there is a fundamental issue of animal welfare at stake. Whether or not there was an element of racism in the Mail on Sunday article, it is also true that:

1) customers SHOULD be aware how their meat is produced. I, for one, do not wish to support food-production techniques that should have no place in a civilised society.

2) There are indeed campaigns against other barbaric practices like battery farming. I would no more buy a battery-farmed egg than I would buy halal or kosher meat, and I would be equally outraged if any of these products were sold to me on the basis that they had been produced with any respect for animal welfare.

The Muslim and Jewish religions do themselves no favours in persisting with practices that should have been outlawed long ago.
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