Beef over h’lal in France
The Muslim practice has deep historical and religious roots akin to the Jewish kosher practice. Originally, the idea was to keep people healthy. Fussing around now should not be a national issue in a free society. People should be able to do what they wish so long as it meets government safety regulations. Government trumps religion in free societies.
The Bible says in Genesis chapter 3, God made all veggies for humans to eat, and God surely indicated that animals should be left alone.
“Letter From France: Hamburger chain's decision sparks tensions over Islam
By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, October 14, 2010; 1:07 PM
IN LA COURNEUVE, FRANCE Sami Desadjri, an observant French Muslim, used to have a problem when he and his high school classmates hit the local burger joint for lunch. Since the meat was not halal, or slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines, he was forced to fall back on fish sandwiches, assaulting his adolescent taste buds and splitting him from the clique.
But those awkward times are over. In a telling measure of the growing Muslim presence in France, Quick, a homegrown hamburger chain trying to compete with McDonald's, began serving halal hamburgers last month in 22 of its 367 restaurants, including the busy establishment frequented by Desadjri and his friends in this heavily Muslim suburb just north of Paris.
"It's really important for me," said Desadjri, a bright-eyed 16-year-old with wavy black hair who was gulping a hamburger and fries the other day alongside a non-Muslim pal, Darren de Lemos, 17. "I used to come here before, but I could never eat what I wanted. Now, we can all eat the same thing."
The decision to serve halal burgers, with its bow to Muslim buying power, has produced an outcry among some political leaders, who regard it as an affront to France's Christian traditions and official secularism. As a result, the lowly hamburger has become an unlikely new symbol of the unease spreading across Western Europe over an influx of immigrants, including many Muslims, who as their numbers increase demand respect for their traditions.
The great hamburger debate has not risen to the national level, where President Nicolas Sarkozy's government has occupied the backlash scene by cracking down on illegal residents, particularly Roma from Eastern Europe, and instituting a ban on full-face Islamic veils in public. But Quick's decision has roiled a number of mayors, from the political left as well as the right, in communities where the new halal restaurants are becoming popular.”
How do hlal and khosher compare?
Islam has laws regarding which foods can and cannot be eaten and also on the proper method of slaughtering an animal for consumption, known as dhabihah. However if there is no other food available then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food. Surah 2:173 states:
If one is forced because there is no other choice, neither craving nor transgressing, there is no sin in him.
Surah 5:5 states:
"This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)."
Explicitly forbidden substances
A variety of substances are considered as harmful (haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Quranic verses:
§ Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah. All that has been dedicated or offered in sacrifice to an idolatrous altar or saint or a person considered to be "divine"[Qur'an 2:173] [Qur'an 5:3]
Dhabiha: method of slaughter
Main article: Dhabiha
Thabiha or Dhabiha (Arabic: ذبيحة), is the prescribed method of ritual slaughter of all animals excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic law. This method of slaughtering animals consists of a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact. Furthermore it causes all the blood from the animal to gush out leaving negligible amounts of blood remaining in the body, the principle being that blood is a good medium for germs.
Comparison to Jewish dietary laws
Main article: Islamic and Jewish dietary laws compared
There is similarity between the laws of Dhabiĥa halal and kashrut. In Surah 5:5 of the Holy Qur'an it is written: "The food of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] is lawful for you as your food is lawful for them."
Whether Muslims factory slaughtered meats meet halal standards is an ongoing debate, and the answer depends largely on the individual being asked.”