Date :Monday, January 7th, 2019 | Time : 07:12 |ID: 82804 | Print

Belgium bans Islamic halal way of slaughter

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SHAFAQNA- Jews and Muslims in Belgium are upset about a new ban on the ritual slaughter of animals, which they fear is being driven by hostility to their faith. Animal rights groups praised the new law banning halal and kosher practices, but Muslims and Jews see it as part of a right-wing nationalist agenda.

A Belgian ban on the Muslim and Jewish ways of ritually slaughtering animals went into effect on New Year’s Day, part of a clash across Europe over the balance between animal welfare and religious freedom, nytimes told.

With both animal rights advocates and right-wing nationalists pushing to ban ritual slaughter, religious minorities in Belgium and other countries fear that they are the targets of bigotry under the guise of animal protection.

The idea for the ban was first proposed by Ben Weyts, a right-wing Flemish nationalist and the minister in the Flanders government who is responsible for animal welfare. Mr. Weyts was heavily criticized in 2014 for attending the 90th birthday of Bob Maes, who had collaborated with the Nazi occupation of Belgium in World War II and later became a far-right politician.

Animal rights groups applauded the legislation. When it was approved by the Flemish Parliament in June 2017, Mr. Weyts hailed the vote on Twitter, writing: “Proud animal minister. Proud to be Flemish,” rt reported.

Approximately 500,000 Muslims and over 30,000 Jews live in the small European country, which has a population of 11.3 million. Leaders of both communities have railed against the new law and are challenging it in Belgium’s Constitutional Court.

Right-wing politicians in several countries, particularly those opposed to the presence of growing Muslim populations, have seized on the issue of religious slaughter as an example of Western societies bending over backward to accommodate minority communities.

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