Pamela Geller, American Thinker, October 28, 2019
The Dearborn Public Schools website states it matter-of-factly: “Dearborn Public Schools ensures all meats served in our schools are certified Halal.” Now one courageous mother is fighting back, challenging Dearborn public school officials to explain why they have done this and to provide options for students who object to halal food.
The mother wrote to Dearborn schools superintendent Glenn Maleyko, noting, “Schools have never changed lunches to fit any other religious needs. If one needed a special diet due to religion or health, they did what all other students do, bring a lunch from home.”
Maleyko responded: “The decision was based on operational considerations only, not religion. By implementing an all Halal meat option we have increased the number of students that we are serving[.] … It would cost a lot more to provide both Halal and non-Halal meat.”
Dearborn’s actions here should be a matter of concern for all free people. This is a manifestation of the Left’s absolute march, without consideration or question, toward exclusionary, supremacist practices that any genuinely pluralistic society should reject. Dearborn Public Schools officials are demonstrating a totalitarian assuredness in the delusional comfort of enlightenment, diversity, and inclusion. They’re in for an unpleasant surprise: they’re accommodating a radically non-diverse, non-inclusive
Dearborn’s policy is discriminatory against non-Muslim students of numerous perspectives, some having to do with different faith traditions. There may be any number of reasons why people don’t want halal meat. They may object to halal slaughter for humanitarian reasons or because they are concerned for animal rights. Evangelical Christians may consider it meat sacrificed to idols, as discussed in the New Testament. Jews are obliged to keep kosher, not eat halal food. Still others may object to the fact that many halal certification organizations have links to jihad terror groups.
In light of all this, Dearborn should rescind its halal-only policy so as to make its schools truly inclusive and diverse, accepting of all students, not just Muslim students.
But that is unlikely to happen. This initiative is already very far advanced. If you’re in Europe, and in many areas in America as well, the meat you are eating is probably halal, unless you’re keeping kosher. In a little-known strike against freedom, yet again, we are being forced into consuming meat slaughtered by means of a barbaric, torturous and inhuman method: Islamic slaughter.
Where were the PETA clowns and the ridiculous celebs who pose naked on giant billboards for PETA and “animal rights”? They would rather see people die of cancer or AIDS than see animals used in drug testing, but torturous and painful Islamic slaughter is OK.
Many people have written to me saying they simply won’t eat halal meat, as they object to the methods used to slaughter the animal. And I agree. The sharia term for halal slaughter is dhakat. Dhakat is to slaughter an animal by cutting the trachea, the esophagus, and the jugular vein, letting the blood drain out while saying, “Bismillah allahu akbar” — in the name of Allah the greater.
In the United States, a great deal of meat sold in this country is already halal but is not labeled is such. It’s a scandal, but an established practice: meatpackers generally do not separate halal meat from non-halal meat and not do not label halal meat as such. We attempted to right that wrong. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture has for four years now ignored, shelved, or just plain refused to rule on our petition.
As many Americans do not, for a variety of reasons, wish to eat halal meat, back in February 2012, my organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), filed a citizen petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, asking that a regulation be enacted to ensure that all halal food be clearly labeled as halal. In April 2012, we agreed not to publicize our petition in order to give the agency some space to review the document without any pressure from the public.
On May 11, 2012, we had a face-to-face meeting in the USDA offices with top FSIS officials. We discussed this petition and the need for halal meat to be clearly labeled. Present at this meeting was Dan Engeljohn, a longtime USDA official who is now assistant administrator for the Office of Policy and Program Development (OPPD) in the FSIS. This position made him responsible for FSIS regulations.
Engeljohn and company had years to rule on our petition. They never did a thing. They just let it die on the table and stonewalled our repeated requests for an explanation.
Then, in November 2011, I penned an article that caused a firestorm across the political spectrum, revealing that Butterball turkeys were all halal but were not labeled as such. Heads exploded on the Left — not over Butterball’s deception, but over my having the audacity to reveal it. The clueless and compromised on the right were enraged as well: John Podhoretz tweeted, “I’d tell Pamela Geller to put a sock in it, but the sock might be halal.”
I was, of course, excoriated as a racist Islamophobic anti-Muslim bigot. In reality, however, we have no objection to halal meat being sold, as long as it is clearly labeled as such, and as long as non-halal meat is available.