It’s easier that way, just as in the case of the cemetery that decided to bury everyone facing Mecca: the Muslims stand for something, you see, and the non-Muslims don’t. So the path of accommodation is easiest — for those bereft of any sense of the value of their own culture and traditions.
“Parents angered as every pupil is given halal school meals,” by Andrew Buckwell in the Daily Mail:
Halal meat is being served to pupils in state schools without their knowledge, even if they believe the religious slaughter is cruel.
Parents have reacted furiously after being sent letters telling them their children’s school dinners have been all-halal for ‘some time’.
To conform with Jewish and Muslim religious tradition, animals are prepared for halal products by having their throats slit while conscious – a method many people believe is inhumane and which the RSPCA has condemned.
The meat was introduced at four schools in the Reading area with a high proportion of Muslim pupils. But parents of non-Muslim pupils – between 20 and 50 per cent of the schools’ roll -say they were not consulted.
Coach driver Andrew Weston, 37, who has a son and daughter at St John’s primary school, said: “We received a letter saying only halal meat was being served and had been for some time. I was shocked.
“The way the animals are killed for this meat is barbaric and cruel. Our children should have a choice.”
Abdul Dean, ethnic minorities officer for the Christian Peoples Alliance, said: “Christian children should be given an equal chance to have non-halal meat. The school should have explained the situation to parents at the outset.”
Last month, a head teacher in Rotherham caused an outcry when she said she intended to replace traditional turkey with halal chicken to create an ‘integrated Christmas’. Jan Charters, head of Oakwood School, backed down after complaints by MPs.
A spokesperson for Reading Borough Council said: “The decision was taken several years ago. Schools thought it was the appropriate choice for their multi-cultural community. We are increasing options at the four schools by offering fish each day.”
The other schools where only halal meat is served are New Town, Oxford Road and Alfred Sutton primary schools.
Earlier this year, an RSPCA pamphlet stated: “Muslim communities in the UK should review their slaughter practices. Research demonstrates that slaughter of any animal without stunning can cause unnecessary suffering.”
And what if you aren’t concerned about animal rights? Then what difference does it make if the meat is halal or not, right? Wrong: this sets a precedent, that Islamic norms are to take precedence over others. And that will lead to much, much more than halal food in school cafeterias.