Misconceptions often arise in absence of proper education of a subject. Halal food has received so much bad press and has accumulated its own posse of haters—a Facebook page titled ‘Boycott Halal in Australia’ has a whopping amount of 41,000 supporters. So, why are people so afraid of all things halal? Perhaps it’s the confusion. Alas, this article will clear up some doubts you might have had regarding the Halal industry.
The first thing about the halal industry that is often misinterpreted is that halal meat encompasses voodoo-like chants, that enchant the meat, or that Muslims slyly pray over the meat to cast a spell on those who eat it. Admittedly, there is a slight exaggeration in this description—hopefully nobody out there actually believes this—but it definitely has nothing creepy about it. What Muslims recite during slaughter is the name of God. Specifically, they say “In the name of God”. This is done to ensure that the animal isn’t sacrificed for other purposes other than sustenance, which would mean that the animal died in vain.
The next misconception also has something to do with halal slaughter. People who don’t know better claim that the halal method of slaughtering select animals is inhumane and cruel. What we need to understand is that for an animal to be considered halal, it is vital that the animal was treated well its whole life. This includes a wholesome living environment. Besides that, an animal that is permissible for Islamic slaughter should be allowed to live up until a certain age. Animal cruelty seen in documentaries where live chicks are bulldozed in factories are way off limits in Islamic slaughter. In fact, it is absolutely sinful to treat animals like that.
Next, the public—non-Muslims and Muslims alike—often assume that only Muslims can consume Halal food. This is not the case, as everyone can eat whatever they want. Who are we to determine what goes in the stomachs of overs? Halal food has received attention from non-Muslim demographics that agree with the ethics practiced in the Halal industry—be it in the food sector, pharmaceutical market or fashion scene. Halal is for all to enjoy.
As you can see, there’s actually no good reason to not like—if not tolerate—halal food. It’s honestly harmless. Hopefully, the world will soon come to accept the Halal industry as a no-threat zone, because it truly isn’t. It has nothing to do with jihad nor a plot to ‘Islamicise’ the world. Here’s to more understanding among world communities!