04 February, 2011


The biter bit

Outwood Grange Academy pupil Qaasim Hussain was left sick and distraught after he took a mouthful of a sausage roll, thinking it was a cheese and onion pasty.
I have to say he doesn't look all that distraught to me, but there you go.

Some time ago, responding to increasingly insistent pangs of esurience, I ventured into the chippy in beautiful downtown Greenwich, where I purchased a Jamaica patty to go with my chips. After microwaving, the factory-made patty was dropped, still in its cellophane wrapper, into the bag of chips. On a whim, I kept and later read the wrapper, including the very small print, which advised me that the meat (minced beef in this case) was halal.

I wasn't best pleased. I prefer to avoid halal for various reasons. Not just because of the widely cited animal welfare issues. But also for the cultural and economic/political reasons referred to here. In particular because, as a kaffir, I do not wish to subsidize Muslim dietary requirements by unwittingly contributing to economies of scale in that contentious market segment.

But I didn't run back to the shop to complain. Nor did I contact the local paper. Nor rope in my local MP,
Mr Hussain has contacted city MP Mary Creagh, who has confirmed she is looking into the issue.
(What, incidentally, is Mr Hussain expecting the MP to do about it?)

No, I simply no longer patronize the chippy in question.

Anyway, isn't there a certain amount of, shall we say, doctrinal "flexibility" going on here? You bought food from a section of the supermarket which sold unprepackaged fresh snacks, including haraam items based on pork. Probably prepared in a single factory environment, perhaps reheated in the same microwave oven on site, certainly handled with the same tongs*. Which makes anything bought from that facility haraam by contamination, as I, worthless kaffir that I am, understand it.

Opportunistic pick-and-mix Islam, eh, Khizer my old China? Pints of halal Foster's all round. Oh, and a family-sized bag of free-range kosher pork scratchings.

* I initially typed "tongues" here. Let's not even think about that.

He'll be back for more now he's got the taste.

"(What, incidentally, is Mr Hussain expecting the MP to do about it?)"

Bow down and humble herself to the will of Allah, of course. And she probably will.

Look out for calls to ensure all pork products have a 'pig' symbol included by law.

XX Which makes anything bought from that facility haraam by contamination,XX

As does the item having been made from animals raised, slaughtered, then being prepared, packaged, delivered and served by non muslims.

From the farm onwards NO non muslim may touch the food, or the "halal" goes out the window. (Kosher is the same).

The fact that it was pork would also not help it's "halal" qualifications.

I grew up on a farm in Southern Africa (not allowed to say Northern Rhodesia nowadays) and I've slaughtered many animals and birds for the table. I can assure you that an animal which dies suddenly, with no previous stress, gives meat which is much more tender. If adrenalin is released into the animal's bloodstream immediately prior to death then the meat is noticeably tougher. We always ensured that our stock died whilst happily munching on some favourite food, a 9mm round through the brain prevented the release of any adrenalin and our meat fetched premium prices at market because it was known to be good.
Cutting a beast's throat and allowing it to bleed to death is a guarantee of inferior meat from the carcass. Halal meat IS inferior.

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