On Islam

Brussels, 7 Dhulhijjah 1436/21 September 2015 (MINA) – As world Muslims prepare their udhiyah for `Eid Al-Adha, Brussels Muslims protested on Saturday to demand their right to perform ritual slaughtering during their feast.

“`Eid is an important moment of conviviality for Muslims, who only have this festival and Ramadan,” Mustapha Chairi, president of the Collective against Islamophobia in Belgium (CCIB) said, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Chairi was talking part of Saturday protest held under the banner, “Don’t touch my sheep.”

The protest comes a few days before `Eid Al-Adha, the second largest Muslim feast which comes after hajj.

Protesters, who were joined by elderly people, criticized the country’s recent ban of ritual slaughtering without prior stunning.

The European legislation put an exception for religious rites and on condition the animal is slaughtered at a registered abattoir.

Permanent abattoirs in Flanders and Wallonia are the only ones performing the ritual slaughter of sheep without stunning them first this year. Temporary abattoirs in the Brussels region will be tolerated this year.

Chairi criticised the fact that the European legislation has been applied without any discussion beforehand.

“It took several years to solve the problem of temporary abattoirs. At the beginning, you could slaughter animals anywhere in town,” he said.

“We have gradually improved the situation, with professional sacrificers, transport permits, and an animal can now be traced back to where it came from. These changes were instigated by working together, and there were no problems.”

Rejecting the new regulations, some Muslims threatened to boycott `Eid festivals next September 24.

A similar position was taken last August by a Belgian imam who urged Muslims not to observe the ritual slaughter (Udhiyah) during this year’s `Eid Al-Adha, in a protest against the government’s decision to ban religious slaughter without stunning.

Belgian Muslims are estimated at 450,000 out of a 10 million population about half of them are from Moroccan origin, while 120,000 are from Turkish origin.

Udhiyah or animal sacrifice, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.

A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during the four-day `Eid Al-Adha.

The Udhiyah meat should be divided in three equal parts, one each for one’s own family, friends and the poor.

It is permissible that someone in another country could perform the sacrifice on one’s behalf.

According to the Islamic and Jewish ritual, the animal is slaughtered by a sharp blade.

The concept of halal, meaning permissible in Arabic has traditionally been applied to food.

Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.

Muslim scholars agree that Shari`ah provides a divine law of mercy that should be applied on all Allah’s creations, including animals.

Islam also provides details about avoiding any unnecessary pain. (T/P006.R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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