Today, the Dutch parliament voted to ban the ritual slaughter of animals, a ban that effectively outlaws kosher and halal butchering in the country. The disturbing attack on religious freedom came via the strange coalition of animal rights activists and anti-Muslim politicians who think anyone worshiping Allah is little better than swine.
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The animal rights groups were able to push the bill through after launching a campaign arguing such slaughters--almost identical in Jewish and Muslim traditions and involving the severing of veins in the throats of animals, which allows them to bleed out--were inhumane, far more so than the usual slaughterhouse method of stunning animals and then slaughtering them. They relied on graphic videos shot in halal slaughterhouses, conveniently forgetting about the horrors of modern-day industrial farms. And that's the same strategy that OC-based anti-Muslim activists want to use to get halal slaughter--but not kosher!--banned in the United States.
Yesterday, Bruce Mayall, head of the Mission Viejo chapter of the virulently anti-Muslim group ACT! for America sent out an email to his minions claiming he had video showing how "brutal and horrifying" halal slaughtering is as opposed to factory farming, which Mayall claimed was "humane and instantaneous" (he obviously never read Fast Food Nation). "I want these videos to get into the hands of animal rights people who, I hope, will make every effort to expose and get halal slaughter banned," Mayall wrote.
His illogical and bigoted thinking needs little comment--but if a progressive nation like the Netherlands can outlaw halal and kosher rituals, rituals developed over thousands of years specifically to spare animals any unnecessary suffering, then who knows what can happen in this land where Michele Bachmann is treated as a serious contender for the presidency...