Sweden: City bans halal meat in schools

There will be no more halal meat served in the
schools of Eskilstuna (Sweden). On Thursday the politicians in the
children and education committee will adopt the regulations on this
issue. The new guidelines for meals in preschools and schools the
municipality requires that food and products will not be supplied based
on ethical and religious grounds, such as halal meat.

According to Sophia Ånhed, food consultant, some preschools
in the municipality previously bought halal meat due to an existing
contract. But this will also be stopped when the regulations are

“Most municipalities don’t serve halal meat. So we are not so unique,” she says.

who would otherwise eat halal meat, will now be directed to the
vegetarian and fish alternatives, which will be a satisfactory
alternative to the meat.

Abd al Haqq Kielan, chairman of the
Swedish Islamic Communities in Sweden, says that it’s pure
discrimination and indirectly an infringement of the law.

decision has been made by the children and education committee already
at their last meetings, but it was postponed since they wanted to study
the case further after they got new information.

However, now the committe’s chairman, social democrat Johan Nilsson, says that the decision will be made at the next meeting.

Nilsson says that many other schools around the country have done the
same, and that alternative courses will be offered. Therefore, he
doesn’t see it as discrimination and they’re definitely not breaking
the law.

Muslims, who belong to the Islamic religion, do not eat
meat from animals which were slaughtered in the traditional Swedish way
in Sweden, or if the animal has been shot, beaten to death or died on
its own.

The halal slaughtering methods means that the animal is
killed by cutting the carotid without stunning, it is the only method
that Muslims accept.

There are hundreds of Muslim children in
Eskilstuna preschools and schools, who starting from the fall will not
be able to eat meat in the schools.

Abd Al Haqq Kielan, who is
also an imam at the Sabirin mosque in Eskilstuna, says that the
municipality risks committing an uncommonly targeted discrimination.
These children will feel singled out. Halal slaughter is not illegal
and the politicians apparently don’t understand that.

He thinks
that the Muslim children should have the same rights as the others and
point out that schools around Stockholm serve halal meat.

Abd al
Haqq Kielan says that the discriminating ombudsman already took up
several such cases and gives us support. In the schools where halal
meat is not served the children are forced, for example, to eat
vegetarian, which doesn’t satisfy their hunger. This means that they’ll
have difficulties following the school work and will be tired.

He thinks a ban on halal meat in the schools in Eskilstuna is abusing the children.