Fillon slams Islamic traditions
PARIS - ReutersFrench prime minister urged Muslims and Jews to consider scrapping their halal and kosher slaughter laws March 5 as the presidential election campaign has gained momentum.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon made the suggestion after President Nicolas Sarkozy called at the weekend for butchers to clearly label meat slaughtered according to religious laws. Jewish and Muslim leaders criticized the government for stoking the debate. “Religions should think about keeping traditions that don’t have much in common with today’s state of science, technology and health problems,” Fillon told Europe 1 radio.
The “ancestral traditions” of ritual slaughter were justified for hygienic reasons in the past but were now outdated, he said. “We live in a modern society.” “I am astonished by this statement by the prime minister,” said Richard Prasquier, head of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations.
“The government has no place giving advice about religious traditions.” Mohammad Moussaoui, head of France’s Muslim Council, said ritual slaughter was no more painful than modern methods and labeling meat as being prepared “without stunning” would feed resentment against the two minority religions using it.