17 January 2019

Halal meat row is being used to stir up racial hatred says council leader

Kirklees Council has gone on the offensive over its policy of serving non-stunned halal meat in its schools.

Council Leader Shabir Pandor accused those campaigning for the policy to be reversed of using animal welfare as tool to stir up racial hatred.

He said they were taking advantage of communities and playing with fears on an issue that ran deep.

And in rejecting calls to end the policy he said: "This debate has been generated deliberately on the back of creating divisions, hatred and putting communities against one another.

"We cannot afford this council chamber to be fooled into a situation where we create a scenario that we cannot control."

In a strong rebuke to anti-halal campaigners he said their moral outrage was "politically motivated".

The announcement has disappointed the National Secular Society, which raised the issue of non-stunned meat in school last year. It said the council was "normalising cruelty to animals".

Clr Pandor's comments followed deputations both in support of serving non-stunned halal meat, and against.

The debate was prompted after more than 7,000 people signed an online petition calling for all meat served in the borough's schools to be stunned before slaughter.

.... "These councillors are dismissing the concerns of Kirklees residents who do not wish their council to supply this meat to children, including Muslims who reject the hardline interpretations of Islam that the council has effectively endorsed.

"Indeed the council's policy flies in the face of the fact that the majority of halal meat consumed by Muslims in the UK is from animals stunned prior to slaughter.

"Those who claim to be standing up for Muslims are in fact helping to stir social resentment and entrench reactionary views both among Muslims and against them." [Examiner Live] Read more