In Denmark, animal rights trump religion
Muslims and Jews in Denmark have expressed anger over a ban imposed this week on the religious slaughter of animals.
But Denmark’s Minister for Agriculture and Food Dan Jørgensen insisted that :
Animal rights come before religion.
According to this report, the ban was enacted last week after years of campaigning from welfare activists, and came into force on Monday.
The change to the law has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” by the non-profit group Danish Halal.
European regulations require animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered, but grants exemptions on religious grounds. For meat to be considered kosher under Jewish law or halal under Islamic law, the animal must be conscious when killed.
Commenting on the change, Israel’s deputy minister of religious services Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan told the Jewish Daily Forward:
European anti-Semitism is showing its true colours across Europe, and is even intensifying in the government institutions.
Al Jazeera quoted the monitoring group Danish Halal, which launched a petition against the ban, as saying it was:
A clear interference in religious freedom limiting the rights of Muslims and Jews to practice their religion in Denmark.
In a piece published in Time, Imam Khalid Latif, a university chaplain for New York University, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, chaplain for the NYPD, and co-founder of Honest Chops, an organic halal butcher shop in NYC, explains why Denmark’s ban is “wrong”.
Last year politicians in Britain said they would not be outlawing religious slaughter despite “strong pressure” from the RSPCA, the National Secular Society and other activists.