National post on the issue of labeling halal foods in Quebec.

Before I paste part of this article, I would like to add a comment of my own.

First of all, the issue in this article, and in most articles on this subject, is the issue of whether or not this food should be labeled as such. There is only one real reason why anyone would not want it labeled for the general public and that is they are afraid that people will stop buying it preferring food that was handled in accordance with Canadian standards of animal cruelty and cleanliness instead, and therefore make halal foods less available.

As to the arguments they actually use rather than what I wrote above, claiming that it is no more this or that and is just as good in this way than anything else etc. and not to want it is bigotry and hatred let me ask a few questions.

Does a Muslim or Jew have the right to see food stuffs containing pork or pig products labelled as such? I think very few would say no and that is even if these food products were shown to be safe, nutritious and in all ways legal. So you don’t need a rational reason, even if you have one, to legally chose what you want to eat.

Same with vegetarians. Hell some scholarly academic papers have shown that vegetarians have smaller brains as animal meat protein is necessary to maintain the full function of the human brain. (this explains a lot of the political left IMO) but they still have a right to choose not to eat meat even though it may actually be bad for them to do it.

Muslims obviously have the right to chose halal meats and products for their own reasons of superstition and manifest destiny (much of the money collected for the halal cert. is used to spread Islam, build mosques etc.) and so by that token and more, the rest of us have every right to refuse to buy it and certainly to eat it.

We simply are not a free country if we do not get the information we need to make choices for ourselves. Like England, this makes us a soft-totalitarian state. Being allowed to make our own choices, but tricked into making theirs.

Eeyore for Vlad

National post article at this link with thanks to Grace for the tip

Graeme Hamilton: Ignorance and intolerance drive halal food flap in Quebec

  Mar 16, 2012 – 12:28 AM ET | Last Updated: Mar 16, 2012 9:13 AM ET

John Kenney / Postmedia News files

John Kenney / Postmedia News files

Few issues inspire the three main parties in Quebec’s National Assembly to rise above partisanship and speak as one. But the urgent need to label halal meat, it appears, is one.

On Thursday, Liberal Premier Jean Charest joined the chorus begun a day earlier by the Parti Québécois calling for stricter labelling to ensure Quebecers do not unwittingly consume meat slaughtered according to Islamic rite.

 

“I say to those who process [meat] today, if they are halal animals, do yourself a favour as a producer and at the same time for the consumers, and say so on your products’ labelling,” he told reporters. “That way consumers will know exactly what they are buying.”

François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Quebec, insisted halal products need to be clearly labelled. “We are in Quebec and [halal slaughter] must be an exception,” he said. “It must not be the rule in Quebec. The consumer must be informed when there is halal meat.”

The sudden concern about animal slaughter practices was not prompted by any public-health scare or consumer outcry. Rather, the controversy began with an alarmist TV news report this week revealing that, for the past two years, a major Quebec poultry processing plant has been certified so that all its meat qualifies as halal, even if only a small percentage aimed at Muslim customers is labelled as such. “Does it bother you to buy halal meat without knowing it?” the program, hosted by former provincial politician Mario Dumont, asked. The front page of the tabloid Journal de Montréal had the screaming headline Thursday, “We are all eating halal.”

‘The controversy is the latest example of Quebec’s struggle to determine how far it should go to “reasonably accommodate” religious minorities’

The controversy is the latest example of Quebec’s struggle to determine how far it should go to “reasonably accommodate” religious minorities. Mr. Dumont is no stranger to the issue, having nearly gained power in 2007 as head of the Action Démocratique du Québec after campaigning to protect Quebec values.

On Wednesday, the separatist PQ, which leads in the latest opinion polls, complained that halal slaughter “collides head-on with Quebec values.” The party’s agriculture critic, André Simard, a veterinarian, said the ritual slaughter was less humane than standard industry practices.

Halal, which means lawful or permitted, involves slitting an animal’s neck with a sharp knife after it has been blessed with a Muslim prayer. It is similar to kosher slaughter in the Jewish faith, and CAQ immigration critic Benoît Charette on Thursday called it “incompatible with Quebec values” not to label kosher and halal products.

Olymel, which owns the Saint-Damase, Que., poultry plant at the centre of the controversy, said its killing methods are perfectly humane and approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Chickens are stunned with an electric shock before being bled, spokesman Richard Vigneault said. He said an imam visits the plant, which processes about 600,000 birds a week, twice a day to say the necessary prayers. “In no way has this certification changed anything in our method of slaughtering,” Mr. Vigneault said.

The complaints about halal invoke animal welfare (though factory-farmed, non-halal chickens hardly live pleasant lives) and a desire to extend secularism to the supermarket (though nobody’s concerned about the hot cross buns on sale for Easter).

‘It is the same kind of intolerance shown recently to immigrants who are not quick enough to learn French’

But what they really reveal is a suspicion and ignorance of minority religious practices. Mr. Vigneault said he has had to explain to some reporters this week that the company’s pork processing plants are not certified halal because Muslims do not eat pork.

Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, accused the PQ of “fanning the flames of intolerance, ignorance and division.” That may work as a short-term political strategy, but it is incredibly shortsighted for anyone concerned about the long-term future of Quebec.

There is a simple reason why demand for halal meat has increased recently in Quebec: The province’s Muslim population is growing rapidly. With its low birth rate, Quebec is dependent on immigrants to maintain its population. Lately it has targeted North African countries, where the population is largely Muslim, as a source of French-speaking immigrants. From 2006 to 2010, the North African region was the greatest source of immigration to Quebec, producing 21% of new arrivals.

But telling Muslims their dietary practices are inhumane and that public servants should not wear hijabs, as the PQ has done, is hardly going to make these immigrants want to put down roots.

It is the same kind of intolerance shown recently to immigrants who are not quick enough to learn French. A Montreal corner-store owner originally from Nigeria, Anthony Williams, was last week pilloried by radio host Benoît Dutrizac for the sin of not speaking French.

A producer for the show called up pretending to be a customer in need of a delivery, then she criticized Mr. Williams for not being able to reply in French. He responded with a tirade accusing the woman of drinking beer, smoking and collecting welfare while he worked hard to earn a living. Never mind that under Bill 101, Mr. Williams’ children must attend French school and will have no problem working in the official language. On Saturday an extremist language-defence group staged a protest outside Mr. Williams’ store.

The merchant told CBC this week that his daughter was driven to tears by the incident. He now hopes to move to Ontario, and with the latest halal hysteria, he may find the route crowded.

National Post
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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

One Reply to “National post on the issue of labeling halal foods in Quebec.”

  1. ACT NOW,

    Join Hands, Heads and Hearts with anti-Halal Campaigner Ravi Ranjan Singh, who has filed Petition in Parliament of India. Support it,He supports all such petition worldwide and runs door to door campaign/ education dissemination in India.
    Send Support letter to him get in touch at [email protected]
    and simultaneously
    Write to:

    Mr. Bhagat Singh Koshyari, (M.P.)
    Chairman, Committee on Petitions of Rajya Sabha
    Parliament of India.
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Mr. Bhagat Singh Koshyari, (M.P.)
    Chairman, Committee on Petitions of Rajya Sabha
    Parliament of India,
    Parliament Street, New Delhi 110011.
    (INDIA)
    and call at
    Telephone No.: 23073483, 23073487, Mobile: 9868181004
    write at
    Mr. Bhagat Singh Koshyari, (M.P.)
    Chairman, Committee on Petitions of Rajya Sabha
    Hotel Uttranchal Deep, Naya Bazaar, Pithoragarh, Uttrakhand
    call at
    Telephone No.: {05964} 224854, 225654, Mobile: 09412057800
    Country code for India is 00-91.

    Copy of Petition:

    ———————————Filed on Monday, 14th Day of December 2009.———-

    To

    The Secretary General

    Rajya Sabha

    Parliament of India

    New Delhi.

    Petition: To The Committee on Petitions on ‘Food Without Discrimination’.

    From Ravi Ranjan Singh.

    Respectfully Showeth:

    Bharat is a secular country. Every citizen has Fundamental Rights.

    The Right to Live, Right to speak and Right to profess any Religion etc., is guaranteed by the constitution of India. Freedom of Speech and professing any Religion also means freedom of not Speaking, or not professing any Religion i.e. being neutral or refusal to follow ritual of any or every religion.

    In our Constitution every citizen has right to eat or drink as per her or his own wish as long as it is permissible under law or is not objected by others for valid reason. One also has right not to eat or drink any thing that is not permissible by one’s religion/sect, what is social taboo, or is not justified or is righteous according to one’s conscientious or belief or on medical ground, personal reasons.

    Most of the Hindus and the Sikhs don’t eat beef. Jains are vegetarians. Muslims are prohibited to take pork as it is religiously proscribed; it is HARAM for them but it is not proscribed for followers of many other faiths. Similarly, eating meat* (Slaughtered and served in Islamic way) is HALAL for Muslims but not permissible in many other religions. Kutha Meat or Halal is forbidden for Sikhs** and most Hindu Sects traditionally.

    Hence what is Halal (permissible) for Muslim may not be Halal (Permissible) for others. It would be right to call that meat, ISLAMIC/MUSLIM HALAL. Muslims have right to MUSLIM HALAL. Others have right to not have Muslim Halal. They cannot be compelled to or driven to a situation to have Halal Meat or have no Meat at all.

    Hindus who take meat consider Jhatka slaughtered meat, as righteous according to Hindu Traditions and Rituals. Hindus/Sikhs have right to have JHATKA. Muslims have right not to have Jhatka, they can’t be pushed to Jhatka or no meat choice.

    Often both Muslims and Hindus are not sure what meat they are eating, especially if is not self- cooked or by the one whom they know. When it is cooked, dressed, prepared, packed, or is at most eating joints, there is no surety. One is only sure when it is bought in raw form by themselves, from a Marked Halal or Jhatka shop.

    So Both Muslims and Non-Muslims are either compelled to forego taking meat, even one wants or need it, this is Infringement of their Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution, Or have to make a guilty conscientious, unwilling, in a way forced compromise to have forbidden meat, this is both contempt of faith and Infringement of Fundamental Rights.

    Hence there should be separate Logos for both Kind of meat. This will end the confusion. From now on, Meat slaughtered/made in accordance with Muslim rituals should be named and labeled with exclusive demarcations by LOGO and other means*** as Muslim Halal. So that Muslims be able to have MUSLIM HALAL, with surety. Others may not take it. Hindus who take meat in Jhatka meat have right to have it and can have it with confidence, of it being Jhatka only when there is Jhatka Logo. Furthermore, when the meat is supplied as Halal it should be proper Halal in accordance with Koran Shariff, no shortcuts or corrupt/compromise methods to be used. Same way when it’s Jhatka it should be proper Jhatka.

    There is no There is no Accountability Mechanism at present. An Independent Body with no influence of Slaughterhouse management or people involved in this business should monitor it.

    Every citizen has right to know what he is eating, buying or even serving or selling, especially when it’s the matter of faith and religious liberty. By not informing and providing food that may according to her/his religious adherence be forbidden or that particular food may defile or desecrate his religion or hurt his sentiments, this is unethical and infringement of her/his Fundamental Rights. The chances of mixing up and messing up, even after following safeguards are high, in absence of apparent indication. The Logos should be in pictorial form and text may also be there. There is a logo for Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian food in India and HALAL/MUSLIM labeling and logo or NOT-HALAL is mandatory in many other countries.
    Reasons for Petition

    1.Either Muslims or Non-Muslims are forced to forego non-vegetarian food despite their wish and medical need eating meat or are compelled to compromise when they want because of non-availability of the desired meat or surety about meat.

    2.Most Non-Muslims especially animal lovers (even some Muslims and vegetarians) feel MUSLIM HALAL is: –

    a. Torturous way of slaughtering animal. Though killing an animal for food is a part of food chain. Killing is not always barbaric, like killing for food, self-defence and mercy killing. In modern times even laws permit Capital Punishment, Courts when even when order Execution, ensure that (judicial) that method adopted is humane. Animals have right to be killed with least possible pain. Where as conventional Muslims believe it’s a religious duty to slaughter only in Halal way.

    b. It is unscientific, as slow killing increases chances of contamination and germination. Moreover while animal is killed slowly and torturously, animal is conscious, angry, emotionally charged, and helpless. In such condition certain chemical changes and secretion take place that are harmful and even poisonous. Whereas, Muslims feel it’s holy to slaughter in Koranic/Muslim way and this is not subject to any scrutiny social, emotional, legal, scientific, medical or otherwise.

    c. Koranic verses recitation is mandatory while killing, so it’s religious for Muslims. For others it is merely eating part of food chain and there is nothing religious about it. Those verses reaffirm one’s faith in Koran and Islam, may be good for good Muslims. But from non-Muslim point of view it is not only futile, whimsical, crude& imprudent exercise, but also an indirect attempt of imposition of an alien religion. Hence it’s an infringement of fundamental right to profess own religion. Serving such food or driving in to an indirect submission to particular process and faith is attempted effort to implant religion with trick. No citizen should be forced for that passive submission to a faith one does not believe in.

    3. As Halal can be done by practicing Male Muslims only, thus employment is denied to all others; when government institutions patronize one religious system, by buying or selling only one kind of meat this is discriminatory and unconstitutional and infringing religious as well as employment rights of others. Muslim Halal must be done by practicing Muslims otherwise is HARAM for Muslims; Many castes and tribes like KHATICS, Hindu Butchers and meat sellers, and ancillary trades involved as skin stuffing and weaving who have been in this trade since ages are victims of discrimination, facing unemployment. Non-Muslims feel this is Employment Discrimination and infringement of their fundamental rights. They also feel patronage to Halal will exterminate their ancestral skill and this is against principle of Natural Justice. Whereas Muslims consider its incidental and by default and not their fault or problem, they eat meat for their own reasons and not to run employment exchange or rehabilitation organization. Rightly, this is duty of government to promote equal opportunities policy and to fix uneven playing field. It’s not Muslims or Hindus who are inconsiderately endorsing, one meat policy; it is the Government. Disappointingly, many Government Organizations provide only one kind of meat, and they don’t provide information that what kind of meat they are supplying. Furthermore, they are not even bothered to know what kind of meat supplier is buying. Though Slaughter Houses follow two meat system from beginning to end, while slaughtering or hand over meat to taker. Slaughtering the approach of Government Organizations is so insensitive to this issue that is matter of faith and fundamental right, the very system adopted for procurement is least considerate, illogical and indifferent to emotion faith and aspirations of people of this country. The process of procuring meat adopted is to buy from lowest bidder, from single tender system for all meats. The supplier has freedom to supply anything that is profitable and that suits his personnel conviction & convenience. Ministries like Tourism Ministry, Ministry of Civil Aviation are massive consumer and wrongdoer on this issue. It is commonly believed Armed forces and Central Police Forces have evolved a better mechanism, but these days they are also not following procedures regularly. The faith of citizens of this country by Government Organizations is left to the whims & fancies and mercy of the contractor and Meat Mafia may be in connivance with certain elements Government Organizations.

    4. The slaughtering and packing should be allowed only at licensed, scientific, mechanized, sanitized abattoir. At present unorganized sector is carrying out lot of illegal and of course unhygienic cheap and health hazardous butchery for commercial gains. This is done countrywide and running a parallel industry and economy. This must be stopped.

    It is, therefore, prayed that:

    Both Muslim and Non-Muslims be allowed to practice their faith without confusion, consideration, discrimination, favor, fear, ill will or goodwill.

    Therefore:

    1. There should be clear indication by logo and other ways on all packed meat items;

    2. Individuals, households, private eateries, hotels, factories, packers can make, pack, sell, serve any type of meat according to their choice keeping in mind their own preferences, policy, social reasons and marketing demand; but it should be mandatory to inform consumer, buyer or taker/end user through logos and other means, what kind of Meat they are serving or selling.

    But, All Government**** Organizations, and private educational Institutions, hospitals, airports and private, should serve both kind of meat, keeping in view the sentiments of all citizens and deal without discrimination/preference to any religion;

    3. Where it’s not feasible for Government/Public organization to serve both kind of meat; neutral meat should be served i.e. no rituals of any religion to be observed. These Organizations should deal with supplier with no discrimination background;

    4. Separate tenders may be floated by the Government for two kinds of meat. As abattoirs carry out two different kind of butchery. A certificate from abattoir should be attached with every Purchase/delivery ;

    5. There should be a Parliamentary Committee or an Independent Body including Parliamentarians to monitor Meat and Related Industry.

    Reasons for placing Petition before this Committee:

    Parliament is Supreme Legislative body that can make law for entire country. People are suffering emotionally because of lethargy/apathy of Government Organizations and absence of a Central Act. Getting it passed from all State Governments & Local Bodies is not feasible. Beside it would be wasting National Resources if countless meat eaters or vegetarians, who feel this is a Just Cause, file several Petitions at different platforms. Petitioner understands a Central Act can include States, anyhow if its not obligatory for states accepting such Act, still this committee can okay for Central Government, but no Sate Government has Jurisdiction over Central Organizations. Railway is catering only one kind of Meat to the Parliament of India & M.P. canteens. That is a matter of direct concern for MPs and

    others who use Parliament canteens, or users its supply outside parliament and to Nation as a whole. The Railways are not sure what kind of meat supplier is supplying. Whereas when its raw meat is hand over at abettor, it is clearly categorized as Jhatka or Halal.

    So Honorable Parliament is the appropriate platform that can take up this issue.

    If Committee desires it can demand more documents and/or call petitioner in person.

    Name of Petitioner: Ravi Ranjan Singh

    Address of Petitioner: 28 A, Pocket B, Mayur Vihar Phase II Delhi 110091.

    Mob: 7838880446

    Footnotes:

    * Meat here means any kind of livestock including chicken and other poultry, which is slaughtered for purpose of human consumption.

    **Various Historical Sikh scriptures, citation and documents are there and above all Akal Takht Sahib has issued Hukumnama on this issue and that is binding for all Sikhs.

    *** Other means of informing about kind of meat can be verbal information or demarked sitting arrangement as it’s for smokers and non-smokers in hotels airports etc. or any technique that works.

    **** Government/Public Institution include any institute that is fully/fractionally owned or aided/subsidy provided, or is run/located in premises of Central Government or State Government, Public Sector Undertakings, Autonomous body, semi-governments bodies, any institution or where tax-payers money is involved or where general public can be consumer i.e. hospitals, hostels, prisons in India or abroad.

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