UK: MCB respond to ‘Mail on Sunday’ article

Mail on Sunday Hysteria on Halal Food
Monday 20 September 2010

By its own implicit admission, the Mail on Sunday (18.09.2010) report on Halal food is designed to cause alarm and intended to manufacture controversy. Halal food is prepared ethically in accordance with Islamic traditions and has very close similarities to Kosher food, in accordance to Jewish traditions.
Muslims are not imposing halal food on anyone. Muslims are grateful that businesses are responding to the free market to ensure Muslims are given the choice and freedom to consume genuine halal. Authorities, institutions and businesses would obviously wish to facilitate this; the route adopted to discharge this duty is at their discretion. Those who do not wish to consume halal should also have similar choice and freedom.

We reject the accusation that the halal and kosher method of slaughter is cruel and not humane. On the contrary, the prescribed processes for the Muslim method of slaughter, Dhabah provide a holistic approach to animal welfare. This method enjoins a religious responsibility that animals are treated humanely and with due respect. The Islamic method requires that animal welfare should be addressed in the overall context of the life experience of farm animals – from breeding, their on-farm life to slaughter as well as immediately post-slaughter until death occurs.

Dr. Shuja Shafi, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain and Chair of the MCB’s Food Standards Committee said, “Religious slaughter needs to be fairly evaluated. The issue needs to be addressed using rational arguments and reasoning and not resort to mischievous scaremongering.”

He further added “Muslims wish to ensure that what is sold to them as ‘Halal’ is truly Halal. In pursuance of this objective we are working to developing standards and a system of accreditation”.


The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.