bobsal u1553115 wrote:
People are stupid.
Social media storm powered by the ignorant?
The food-related sensitivities of 4.8 per cent of the British population should apparently trump the right of the other 95 per cent to choose whether to chomp birds cut up before death or after death. We’re entering an era of default halal, where more and more meat is made Muslim-friendly, just in case – in case a Muslim should eat a non-Islamic chicken wing and kick up a storm.
The sandwich shop Subway has also gone default halal, dishing up halal-only meat in 185 of its stores in the UK and taking ham and bacon off the menu. What about those of us who might want a delicious bit of pig-flesh in our 6in sarnie? Apparently our wishes come a poor second to the Muslim minority’s religious preferences. Many schools have gone default halal, too. Last year it was revealed that three quarters of schools in one London borough now feed their pupils halal grub only.
Social norms seem to be remoulding themselves around the concerns of a very small section of British society. The majority’s eating habits are being brought into line with those of a minority.
Yet anyone who criticises the phenomenon of default halal risks being branded an Islamophobe.
Muslims aren’t holding modern Britain to ransom. No, modern Britain, unsure of itself, constantly exercises cultural caution, rewriting plays, curriculums and menus to placate what it perceives to be moody minorities who must never suffer any sort of emotional hurt.
It is significant that the story seems to stem from articles in The Sun and the Daily Mail, which are both muckraking tabloids on the right wing of the political spectrum. The Mail in particular has a heavy anti-Muslim agenda, and is regarded by many (even on the right) as a despicable journal. As the Guardian says "There is a subtext to the outrage, for it plays into the narrative of interlopers forcing change upon wider society. Like the Sun's splash on pizzas; that's half-baked too."
Despite recent reports to the contrary, many fast-food and restaurant chains in Britain have been using halal – in Arabic "permissible" or "lawful" – meat for years. Nearly 100 KFC outlets around the country serve halal-approved chicken, as do around 75 – a fifth – of Nando's. The sandwiches served in selected Subway stores have contained halal meat since 2007, while all Pizza Express chicken is halal. Even McDonald's trialled a halal offering, before deciding the changes required to its kitchen procedures would be too great.
Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons, which sell halal ranges at selected stores, and Boots, which sells halal baby food, serve halal meat firstly because people want it: Britain's Muslim population is growing – 3% of the population in the 2001 census, 5% in 2011, and an estimated 8.2%, or around 5.6 million people, by 2030. As KFC puts it: "Feedback from consumers has indicated that there is significant demand for halal food … We've chosen [to serve it] in stores in areas where we expect demand for halal restaurants."
For Pizza Express, as for the major food service companies that supply schools, hospitals and airlines, serving halal chicken across the board simplifies the supply chain and minimises the risk of complaints from customers who may unknowingly eat non-halal meat.
There remains, of course, the risk of complaints from customers who unknowingly eat halal meat – which is why restaurants should make clear, as most do in their windows and on their menus and website, what they are serving. (KFC and Nando's both also say they ensure, when opening a new halal restaurant, that there is a non-halal one nearby.)
Hawkeye is a doom monger who likes to jump to conclusions based on half truths.
"that ain't no Halal back, Girl".
Consumers could, if they bothered, wield enormous power.