It is interesting to consider the various ways in which Islam seems to be designed to diverge from Judaism, a religion/race that has always had considerable impact on those peoples who have become Islamic .
Under Islam there is no alcohol permitted (which makes it hard for Jews for whom alcohol is important in their rituals), the practice of usury is forbidden (the main source of Jewish financial power over the world), and their is a culture intended (whether it succeeds is open to debate) to retain high standards of sexual morality, honour and responsible behaviour. The latter makes a lot of the corrupting influences such as pornography, consumer culture, cosmetic surgery,and other selfish excesses of materialism harder to push on an Islamic population. (The attempt is being made without any doubt all the same!)
The Jewish people can live in Islamic societies, but in many cases they find it so hostile and difficult to do so that they have abandoned them.
There is a large Jewish population in Iran, the largest number of Jews in the Middle East other than Israel, who keep to themselves and are very contained . Other countries such as Iraq or Algeria have almost zero Jewish community.
But there are a couple of cultural practices that the Muslims continue and which are a key part of Judaism. These are the Semitic rituals of circumcision of males and the kosher/halal neck-cutting methods of slaughtering animals.
Nowhere in the Koran does it say that circumcision or this form of killing animals is required of Muslims. And so it would be entirely a cultural matter that the Arabs and other Muslims decided to behave in a similar way as the Jews in these rituals.
The Koran actually contains verses urging that Muslims must treat animals humanely and, unlike the Jewish religion, regards all creatures as worshipping their god, or Allah, in their own way.
In much earlier times, it is true to say that animal slaughter, using a very sharp knife in such a way as to sever the right nerves quickly and end pain almost immediately, was indeed the most humane way to kill.
At this time this halal method was presumably no more cruel, and probably a lot less so, than any other methods used to kill an animal.
Times have moved on since then, and some forward-thinking Muslims do agree that the practice is outdated and that more modern and humane slaughter technology should be used instead. They have noted this falls in with the commandment on avoiding cruelty to animals and would remain “halal” because of that.
But the majority of Muslims care nothing for modernisation and want to stay with their backward and savage ways of doing things.
This is a cultural habit far more than religious.
There are some Muslim countries, such as Indonesia, where the halal slaughter technique is very far indeed from the anti-cruelty law of the Koran.
In Indonesia there are people who care nothing at all for the pain they inflict upon animals.
Sholahudin al-Ayubi, secretary of the Indonesian Ulema Council, the national clerical organisation, said the practices that had been exposed – the gouging of cattle’s eyes, slashing with blunt knives and the breaking of limbs – were unacceptable under sharia. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/thats-not-halal-killing-indonesian-cleric-joins-attack-on-cattle-slaughter/story-fn59niix-1226066813585
It really gives pause for thought that there are people who would treat animals in such horrific ways. Psychologists have long noted that ill-treatment of animals is a strong indication that a person is also uncaring or dangerous to fellow humans. One early indication of psychopathic personality is the deliberate cruelty or torturing of animals.
Ex US President George Bush was allegedly rather partial to torturing animals in his youth.
On Sept. 12, 2000, Baltimore Sun reporter Miriam Miedzian wrote, “So when he was a kid, George W. enjoyed putting firecrackers into frogs, throwing them in the air, and then watching them blow up. Should this be cause for alarm? How relevant is a man’s childhood behavior to what he is like as an adult? And in this case, to what he would be like as president of the United States.” http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/WTCDEMO/wot/conover01.htm
Banning the sickening methods of kosher and halal rites, could be seen as an attempt by western countries to repel foreign influences as much as it is correctly motivated by consideration of our fellow creatures.
There are cases of eastern Europeans abusing animals who are about to be slaughtered in Britain and no doubt elsewhere; kicking them and dragging them around painfully – http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3721871/Shocking-pig-abuse-at-abattoir.html. The practice of battery farming is also contrary to the standards of Islam and an area where we in the west really have to improve our standards. Not only should we ban the ancient ritualistic slaughter techniques, but some of our own modern alternatives must be similarly restricted.
People have a natural inclination to keep to their own kind and to keep foreign influences from destroying their group identity or their way of life.
The moves against halal and kosher slaughter come at a time when also there is a popular feeling that Islam is imposing itself too heavily on the west. It comes at the same time as calls to ban the niqab and burka and Switzerland’s vote demanding an end to minarets.
The fact remains though, that on present demographic trends, with the very low birth rate of westerners and less low (although not actually high by historical standards) Muslim birth rate the west is set to be forced to be dominated by Islam at some time in the next few decades.
It would surely be an idea for those of us concerned with animal rights to use reason to encourage Muslims to discontinue with cruel and backward aspects of their culture that are not ordered by the Koran and which also originate with Jewish practice. There are already some Muslims who have this wish after all.
Moves by the west to ban the most visible proofs of the demographic changes facing Europe is similar in its intention to the ways in which Islam repels Jewish influences – as detailed earlier in this article. There is no sign that the West intends to target Jews, but they are caught up when circumcision is regulated and ritual slaughter potentially banned.
A likely reason that so many animal rights groups even now prefer to leave out demands for a ban on ritual slaughter, is simply political correctness and a fear of upsetting Jews or Muslims. They may remember that animal rights was something dear to the dreaded Adolf Hitler, and worry that to be seen to emulate Nazis on any level – such as what may be seen as persecution of Jews or other cultures is a step they don’t want to take regardless of how hypocritical this is.
There are too many of a Marxist view dominating movements to do with both animal rights and environmental issues. Perhaps they are staking this ideological territory to keep out those who approach things from a different perspective. Nevertheless if they really care about animals or the environment they must act against the effects of mass immigration and pressures this puts on natural resources. These organisations are moving in the correct direction slowly and may well have to act as the pressures to do so come from a public that is increasingly well informed and concerned.
In the mean time we of SOARS will keep the pressure up defending animals against human brutality and educating the public.
Follow us on twitter – http://twitter.com/SOARS_UK