China shelves plan to regulate halal food preparation
REUTERS photoA plan to regulate halal food has not been included in China’s legislative work order for 2016, after concerns were raised that the law would lead to the government having authority over religious issues.
The Global Times reported April 18 that the legislation had been opposed by many scholars, including some who claimed that it “violates the principle of separation of state and religion.”
Wei Dedong, the vice dean of the School of Philosophy at the Renmin University of China, is reported to have said that such a national law would authorize the secular government to define Islam-related issues.
He instead suggested that a unified standard should be issued by religious authorities.
Some of China’s around 20 million Muslims from its many ethnic minority groups have voiced concern that guidelines on halal food preparation have routinely been flouted.
In May 2015, the Times reported that several Muslims had destroyed the facilities of a bakery in Xining, in northwest Qinghai province, after discovering non-halal items such as pork sausages and ham in its delivery van.
Hundreds of Muslims in northwest Shaanxi province took to the streets to demand a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages in halal restaurants.