“Our shoppers don't care if meat is halal, claim supermarkets: Retailers face backlash after saying it is 'unnecessary' to label meats” howls the Daily Mail today at the realisation that their legendarily foul mouthed editor does not have it in his power to overhaul supermarket supply chains overnight. But the realisation that this exercise is a thinly veiled attack on Islam is gaining ground, too.
What the f***'s wrong with kicking Muslims, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
The tone is incandescent: “Supermarkets were facing a backlash last night after claiming it was ‘unnecessary’ to spell out on labels whether meat comes from animals killed by religious slaughter ... But retailers claimed that shoppers do not care – and even argued that there is not enough room on packs for new labels”. The backlash always comes “last night” in tabloid land, doesn’t it?
So who is backing the Mail’s crusade? As if one needs to ask: “The Conservative MP Philip Davies, who is leading calls for a new labelling law, said: ‘There is overwhelming public support for this change. People should be able to make an informed choice about what they are buying’ ... Mr Davies has the support of a large number of Tory MPs”. So that’s a straight f*** right off, then.
How many is this “large number”? Is it large as in a lot, or merely large as in font? And what is this “overwhelming public support” of which Davies speaks? Has he polled his Shipley constituents? But what’s the gripe here? “Both halal and kosher slaughter involve a religious ritual in which the throat is cut. But some animals are not stunned beforehand, leaving them in pain”.
Very good, Dacre doggies, and now riddle me this: that line comes just after this one “All the major supermarkets are selling New Zealand lamb killed according to halal ritual without providing labels”. The clear inference is that there is something inhumane about the way that New Zealand lamb is slaughtered. But what readers are not told is that all New Zealand lamb is pre-stunned.
That means, let us not drive this one around the houses for too long, we are not talking about animal welfare here. And this conclusion has also been reached by Cristina Odone over at Telegraph blogs. Ms Odone’s view is significant because she is an adherent of the Church of Rome. As a Roman Catholic, she will know all about prejudice displayed towards religious minorities in Britain.
As she says, “Animal rights easily become a proxy for Islam-bashing and anti-Semitism ... It's an ancient tradition, rising back to the Middle Ages, when bigots liked to say that Jews ritually slaughtered Christian babies”. And as I pointed out yesterday, not even the Mail would allow itself to replace “Muslim” with “Jewish” and hope to get away with it. It’s Islamophobia, plain and simple.
Next thing we’ll be told is that children can “catch Islam” from Halal chicken.