The Stupidest Pseudo-Story of the Week

The Daily Mail freaks out over halal food.


This is the actual front page of a British newspaper today:

But do they serve halal food to little boys in heaven?
Daily Mail

Halal food is basically the Islamic counterpart to kosher food, so this is essentially equivalent to a paper breathlessly announcing that "MILLIONS ARE EATING KOSHER FOOD WITHOUT KNOWING IT." Or, if you want to make the barely concealed subtext explicit, "RABBIS ARE PUTTING SOME WEIRD JEW-SPELL ON YOUR MEALS."

For a while, the would-be exposé tries to make this an issue of animal cruelty. "In conventional slaughterhouses, cows, sheep and chicken are stunned, usually with an electric shock, to ensure they are unconscious before their throats are cut," the reporters write. "This minimises suffering but in most Muslim countries halal animals are not stunned." But then the paper acknowledges that "Muslim religious leaders have responded to these concerns by allowing halal animals to be stunned before they are killed" and that the great majority of Britain's halal sheep, cattle, and poultry are indeed pre-stunned. So if the pain felt by the animal as it dies is what concerns you, whether the food is halal is in itself immaterial.

No, the real fear here is the idea that meat certified as halal carries some sort of Islamic cooties. The paper eventually says this outright, invoking "conservative Christians, who take particularly unkindly to products endorsed by a rival faith popping up on high-street restaurant menus." It then quotes a man identified as a representative of the Christian Institute, who tells the paper that he is "opposed to the Islamification of food." And the newspaper embraces his concern, giving one article in its package the headline "A stealthy takeover of Britain's supermarket shelves."

A stealthy takeover by subversive meat products. Even for the Daily Mail, this is insane.

Bonus link: A false rumor hits the United Arab Emirates claiming that McDonald's burgers secretly contain pork.