Halal, shechita and the politics of animal slaughter

March 6, 2014

 

The practice of slaughtering animals by slitting their throats (The traditional practice in Judaism and Islam) and draining the blood in line with religious custom should be adapted to prevent suffering, the leader of Britain’s vets has said. John Blackwell, head of the British Veterinary Association, said animals should be “stunned” before slaughter.

Mr Blackwell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that animals should be “stunned at the time of death”, which would render them “insensible to pain until death supervenes”.

“It’s important at the time of death for the animals’ welfare not to be compromised,” he said, while adding that he “respected the beliefs of religious sects”.

He said that sheep could remain conscious for up to seven seconds after having their throat cut, while for cattle it was two minutes and said there was “good evidence” that showed that animals could perceive pain at the point of having their throats slit, but he conceded that this research was not conclusive.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also disagreed with the views of Mr Blackwell .stating that stopping this type of slaughter would “remove the right of Jewish communities in this country, Muslim communities in this country, to stick to their religious beliefs about how they prepare food and how animals are slaughtered”.

UK legislation allows halal (Muslim) or shechita (Jewish) “non-stun” slaughter as long as it does not cause “unnecessary suffering”. Ritual slaughter is lawful in the UK and the EU to satisfy the dietary requirements of Jews and Muslims.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is a voice for the UK veterinary profession and has over 14,000 members.

Mr Arkush, who is the vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the Jewish slaughtering practice was a “humane act designed to bring about the animals’ end very quickly” and that Mr Blackwell’s comments were “misleading”.

 

BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26463064

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/06/halal-shechita-politics-animal-slaughter

Nick Clegg will not drop Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz who tweeted a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed and Jesus

January 30, 2014

 

Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the liberal Democrats) has said he will not drop a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate who sparked widespread protests among some Muslims by tweeting a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed. Maajid Nawaz says he has received death threats since posting the image earlier this month, while a petition calling for him to be ditched as Lib Dem candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn in next year’s general election has gathered more than 20,000 signatures, and a rival petition in his defence has more than 7,000.

Mr Clegg told LBC 97.3 radio that he would not personally have tweeted the controversial cartoon of a stick figure of Jesus saying “Hi” to a stick figure called Mo, who replies “How you doin’?”But it is important to show respect to people of all faiths, beliefs and religious persuasions when discussing religious matters. But the Lib Dem leader said: “He is not going to be dropped as a Liberal Democrat candidate. He has the right – as any Muslim, non-Muslim or anyone of any faith or none in this country has – to say things even if that causes offence to other people.

Mr Nawaz, the co-founder of counter-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, posted the image after appearing in a BBC television debate about religious tolerance which featured two students wearing it on T-shirts. He said that he was sending out the “bland” cartoon to show that, as a Muslim, he did not feel it was a threat to his faith and to demonstrate that “Muslims are able to see things we don’t like, yet remain calm and pluralist. My intention was not to speak for any Muslim but myself – rather, it was to defend my religion from those who have hijacked it just because they shout the loudest”.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nick-clegg-will-not-drop-lib-dem-candidate-maajid-nawaz-who-tweeted-a-cartoon-of-the-prophet-mohammed-and-jesusclegg-will-not-drop-lib-dem-candidate-9095691.html

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/28/speaking-islam-loudmouths-hijacked

Nick Clegg ‘uneasy’ about ban on Muslim veils in school

Deputy PM says he understands teachers feeling uncomfortable about pupils wearing veil, but does not back ‘blanket prohibition’ Nick Clegg was asked about a ban on face coverings at Birmingham Metropolitan college during his LBC radio phone-in. Nick Clegg has backed teachers who feel uncomfortable about pupils wearing full-face Muslim veils, but says he is “uneasy” about a college that has brought in a blanket ban. The deputy prime minister said he could “totally understand” teachers who did not want full-face veils in the classroom as they needed to make “eye contact and face contact with pupils”. However, Clegg said these were “exceptional circumstances” and he generally supported people’s right to wear whatever religious clothing they liked.

 

“I’m really quite uneasy about anyone being told what they have to wear,” he said on LBC 97.3. “I think I’ve set the bar very high to justify something like that because one of the things that is great about our country is that we are diverse, we are tolerant.” People do dress differently, people do have different faiths, people do have different convictions and that is reflected in what they wear, in how they present themselves.”

Veils are not appropriate in classrooms or airport security, says Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

It is not appropriate for students to wear a full veil in the classroom or for people to go through airport security with their faces covered, Nick Clegg has said. But the deputy prime minister said he did not want to see a state ban on the wearing of religious items of clothing in particular circumstances. His comments came as a Liberal Democrat minister said the government should consider banning Muslim girls and young women from wearing the veil in public places.

 

The Home Office minister Jeremy Browne called for a national debate on whether the state should step in to prevent young women having the veil imposed upon them. His intervention was sparked by a row over the decision by Birmingham Metropolitan College to drop a ban on the wearing of full-face veils amid public protests. Browne said he was “instinctively uneasy” about restricting religious freedoms, but he added there may be a case to act to protect girls who were too young to decide for themselves whether they wished to wear the veil or not.

 

He told the Daily Telegraph. There is genuine debate about whether girls should feel a compulsion to wear a veil when society deems children to be unable to express personal choices about other areas like buying alcohol, smoking or getting married.

“This is a free country and people going about their own business should be free to wear what they wish. I think it is very un-British to start telling people what pieces of clothing they should wear.

 

“I think there are exceptions to that as far as the full veil is concerned – security at airports, for instance. It is perfectly reasonable for us to say the full veil is clearly not appropriate there. And I think in the classroom, there is an issue, of course, about teachers being able to address their students in a way where they can address them face-to-face. I think it is quite difficult in the classroom to be able to do that.”

 

The Tory backbencher Dr Sarah Wollaston said the veils were “deeply offensive” and were “making women invisible”, and called for the niqab to be banned in schools and colleges.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said he was disgusted by Browne’s calls to consider banning Muslim girls and young women from wearing the veil in public places.” This is another example of the double standards that are applied to Muslims in our country by some politicians,” he said. Adding: “We would expect these sorts of comments from the far right and authoritarian politicians and not from someone who allegedly believes in liberal values and freedom.”

Nick Clegg: We will deport Abu Qatada

In this report Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the Government “will get there” despite losing an appeal against a ruling which prevented the cleric being sent to Jordan, where he is due to face terrorism charges.  He said ministers would continue to seek strengthened assurances from his native Jordan that the authorities would not use evidence obtained by torture against him. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) decided in November last year that Qatada could not be removed to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999. The judges ruled that there was a “real risk” that evidence from Qatada’s former co-defendants, who were allegedly tortured, could be used against him at a retrial, breaching his human rights.

 

Nick Clegg Distances Himself From David Cameron on Violent Extremism

3 March 2011

Nick Clegg has set out a rival government vision for combating violent extremism, striking a different tone from David Cameron’s month-old doctrine to disengage from extremists.

In a speech in Luton, Clegg disagreed with Cameron’s disavowal of multiculturalism, was hesitant about moves to ban extremist groups and said he did not share the prime minister’s wish to rule out engaging with non-violent extremists. He pointed to his decision to allow one of his ministers to attend the Global Peace and Unity conference – which occasionally hosts controversial Islamic scholars – while Tory chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi was forced to pull out.

In contrast to the timing of Cameron’s speech in Munich – the same day as an English Defence League rally in Luton – the deputy prime minister delivered his speech in Luton on Thursday, where he deployed a more emollient tone.

UK-Muslims “backing Lib Dems”

British Muslims are abandoning their traditional support for Gordon Brown’s Labour party and instead look set to back Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats in this week’s election, community organizers have found.

A poll of British Muslims conducted last week found that almost three-quarters of respondents believed the Liberal Democrats offered fairer policies than either the Labour or Conservative parties.

YouElect, a non-partisan grass-roots campaign aimed at persuading British Muslims to vote, polled 940 Muslims from four cities over the days running up to the country’s final televised leaders’ debate last Thursday.

UK’s Liberal Democrats to fight discrimination against Muslims

The leader of the Liberal Democrats has promised he will fight against anti-Muslim discrimination perpetrated by the government and the police in many guises.

Riding high in the opinion polls and looking set to be a potential kingmaker after the 6th May election, Nick Clegg told this newspaper exclusively that his party was completely against the anti-Muslim prejudice at all levels and will campaign to end the discrimination that hurts Muslim communities, from restricting stop and search, to scrapping control orders, to getting innocent people off the DNA database.

“We’re also pushing for changes to reduce discrimination against Muslims in the work place, including anonymous job application forms and pay audits to make sure people aren’t being paid unfairly,” Clegg said, who whop has seen his star rise in the last few weeks in a way unseen in the modern political history.