Ahead of Ramzan, the Muslim community has been up-in-arms against the French government over the alleged restrictions against ‘Halal chicken’. The mass resentment against the government was spearheaded by reports that suggested that France may restrict Halal chicken slaughter from July this year.
In a statement released by the directors of Paris, Lyon and Evry Mosques on Thursday (March 18), they cited an order by the Ministry of Agriculture to claim that Islamic principles were being ‘compromised’ by the Government of France. The order (DGAL/SDSSA/2020-72), dated November 23 last year, laid down technical guidelines for the slaughter of animals.
The three mosques claimed that it was impossible to follow the guidelines mandated for halal poultry slaughter in light of the new rules of the Ministry of Agriculture. They claimed that the new guidelines sent a negative message to the large Muslim community. “These precautions are a serious obstacle preventing people from freely practising their religion,” they added. It must be mentioned that these mosques have the power to issue Halal certifications in the country.
What do the rules say?
According to Middle East Eye, the new rules enforced stricter adherence to the use of electric shocks to stun chickens prior to their slaughter. The guidelines issued by France’s Ministry of Agriculture mandated the industrial process of electronarcosis, the use of electricity to paralyse the poultry. One of the mosque authorities alleged that the ‘electrocution rule’ would lead to the death of chicken before its slaughter, and therefore make its consumption ‘Haram (forbidden).’
Claims alleging that France will be issuing a ban on halal chicken this summer have caused a flurry of debate and confusion online.— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) March 22, 2021
Here’s the story. pic.twitter.com/ikulNMdRb4
For the ‘Halal slaughter’ of the poultry, the animal must be alive before its throat is ‘expertly slit’ by a Muslim butcher. Then, the blood of the animal must be drained from the body prior to its consumption. It is important to point out that the circular issued by the French government makes exceptions for religious rituals. As such, stricter adherence to ‘electronarcosis’ would not affect the way ‘Halal slaughter’ is conducted. The French Union for Muslim Consumers has also debunked claims of the ban on Halal chicken.
Despite this, the directors of Paris, Lyon and Evry Mosques had warned of legal action to safeguard their ‘fundamental right’. This has also created panic among the Muslim community, with many pre-maturely labelling the move as ‘Islamophobic.’ The statement made by the three mosques have led to factually incorrect reports, claiming that ‘Halal chicken’ will be banned from July onwards.
Muslims outraged over misleading reports of ‘Halal chicken’ ban
One Twitter user (@ABroNextDoor) asked, “France to ban halal chicken slaughter??? What a weird country man”
Another Twitter user discovered ‘Islamapobia’ after reading factually incorrect reports of chicken ban. “France banning halal chicken is the weirdest form of Islamophobia I’ve seen…How you mad our chicken is clean.”
Another user claimed, “France banning Halal chicken in July? Do they think that’ll stop Muslims from being Muslim?”
While Muslims outrage over fake news of ‘Halal chicken’ ban, the directors of Paris, Lyon and Evry Mosques are yet to clarify on the matter or retract their misleading statements.
In Europe, some animal rights activists claim that the Jewish ‘Kosher’ and Muslim ‘Halal’ practices of slaughtering animals is less ‘humane’ than standard European practice of stunning the animals before killing.