There are a few things you need to know about our two holidays, Ied al Fitr (the marking of the end of the holy month Ramadan) and Ied al Adha (the remembrance of Ibrahim who was willing to sacrifice his son Ismail). First thing you need to know is that we value them very much and they are a great part of our religion. Second thing you need to know: some non-Muslims really love to interfere with them. I think it almost brings them some kind of joy in life.
Now that Ied al Fitr is over, and people are done complaining about how much we spent on food and clothes after Ramadaan, it’s time to start complaining about our next holiday, Ied al Adha. Yes, indeed, only right before and during that holiday everybody seems worried about animal rights. You see, that’s the part where I get confused. Being offended for only two months is something rather strange.
How come you don’t hear and read about this “big issue” when Ied al Adha is over? And most of all, how come they’re only worried about the way Muslims are slaughtering their animals? After all, slaughtering without stunning is legal for everyone. Almost everyone.
Ritual slaughter is already banned in Denmark, Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. However, that list doesn’t seem to end. Lately there has been some commotion about the ban on religious slaughter at temporary facilities in Belgium. Their minister for animal welfare has already told that his goal is on long term to ban it completely, which means that even licensed slaughterhouses will not be able to slaughter without stunning. He argues that some other EU countries ban slaughter without stunning too.
It really kept me busy, for like a minute, because the answer wasn’t very surprising: whenever Muslims do something, it’s worth to complain about. Otherwise it’s not of such great importance. What a silly idea, you might think. But actually, it’s not. Let me tell you how it works. There are two groups out there. One of them thinks the way we slaughter our meat is a disgrace. The other group thinks that we are the disgrace. So once the first group starts complaining it’s very easy for that second group to go aboard with the first one. This way their protest gets bigger and it will be more likely that the media gives them a voice.
After Ied al Adha is a hot topic again, it’s time to tell the world how much pain these animals have to endure and how much we love to torture those poor creatures, because after all, it’s part of our tradition, isn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong. I realize that the way our animals are treated isn’t always the Islamic way. There are rules about the way you need to slaughter them, but there are rules about the conditions too. If you’re only following the rules about the way they have to get slaughtered, without thinking about that second part, I think it’s best you label them as 50% halal. And as we all know, we only go for 100%. Therefore I think it would be a better idea to make sure all the rules are being obeyed, not only those of the country you’re living in, but the Islamic rules too.
That being said, I really want to point out that I find it really wonderful that people are fighting for animal rights. Nevertheless they should keep in mind that this isn’t the right way to do this. Only complaining when it’s Ied al Adha for Muslims is called being selective.
Now I would like to end with a beautiful quote from our Prophet: