Muslims in the US having problem with ‘halal meat’
NEW YORK – Anatolia News Agency
Trays of halal meat for detainee meals are stored in a refrigeration unit at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. REUTERS/Bob StrongThe reliability of the establishments claiming to possess a ‘halal meat certificate’ is raising concerns among Muslims living in the United States since the owner of the biggest halal slaughter facility said 60 percent of “halal” certified meat was not actually halal.
The demand for “halal meat” from millions of Muslims in the US is met by many facilities.
The slaughter facilities are inspected by several certification bodies but there are also black sheep among them which send the certificate via internet.
Especially in New York’s smallest and most densely populated neighborhood, Manhattan, Muslims can buy “halal meat” certified food on every corner.
However, questions have been raised about the hygienic conditions and whether the meat was slaughtered according to Islamic law or not.
Süleyman Duman, an official for Islamic services in the Turkish Consulate General in New York said, “our people who live abroad must examine whether the meat they consume is halal slaughtered or not.”
The Islamic halal method of killing an animal requires its throat to be slit and the blood to be drained. Duman said that a Muslim had to say the words “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” before slaughtering the animal, and added that he had to cut its throat and let it bleed before using electroshock.
However in Sweden, for example, this method is forbidden because the animals are not anaesthetized before slaughter.
Ali Küçükkarca, the owner of the biggest halal slaughter facility in the east of the US, also said many institutions which gave halal certificates were not reliable.
“Sixty percent of the meat which is being sold with halal certificate in New York and New Jersey is not halal,” Küçükkarca said. He added that some Turkish butchers also sold meat which was not halal, saying, “one of the most reliable and biggest institutions giving the ‘halal meat’ certificate is ‘Shari’ah Board of America’.”
Küçükkarca recalled that the Jewish butchers were also checked by inspectors who handed out certificates. “But the inspectors who check the Muslim facilities do not visit their stores or control anything because the Muslim community does not make such a demand.”