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Pat Robertson continues the fight against Halal food

The halal food hysteria continues to whip up irrational anxiety on the extreme right. You may remember the last debacle concerning Pam Geller’s embarrassing crusade against Campbell’s halal soups. This time Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network is continuing the fight with its latest smear attack on the Muslim community.

The headline begins by asking a leading question, “Muslim Halal food sales supporting terrorism?”

Muslim halal food is creeping into the food chain not only in France, but worldwide, including the United States.

CBN News visited a butcher shop in a Muslim area of Paris. But it was no ordinary butcher shop. Our camera operator was warned to stop taping.

Why would a butcher shop care if it was being photographed? One reason, according to an Islamic expert we consulted, may have been that our camera operator, who is not a Muslim, was unclean and this was a halal butcher shop.

Notice the use of the trademark Islamophobic phrase “creeping” sharia. We are given the ominous imaginary picture of a dark-skinned, hostile Arab shuffling the CBN camera crew out because, our anonymous Islamic expert tells us, Muslims (maybe) view all non-Muslims as “unclean.” This little anecdote nobody saw is enough to lead some readers to think that somehow Halal butchershops are threatening, menacing. In reality, it is far more likely that the Muslim shop owner didn’t want the camera crew of an anti-Muslim loon causing trouble in his shop. I guess we’ll just have to take CBN and their anonymous Islamic expert’s word for it. The article continues:

Leading the fight against Quick’s sale of halal food is Charles Aslangul, a 21-year old city councilman, college student, and president of the Republican Order.

“Islam is introducing sharia into our society and that’s not clear for people,” Alain Wagner, a French activist with the Alliance Against Sharia, said. “When you see halal food in shops you think, ‘Oh, it’s just a kind of food.’ No. it’s sharia.”

According to some experts, a portion of the proceeds from halal food sales in France go to groups tied to terrorism.

When a French consumer buys Halal food, part of the price paid goes as a fee to Halal Islamic experts. Some of those experts are certified by the UOIF, the Union of the Islamic Organizations in France, which the Simon Wiesenthal Center reports has strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational political organization that supports terrorism.

When French journalist and author Alexandre del Valle began investigating how the Muslims Brotherhood was attempting a mafia-style takeover of France’s Halal food industry, his life was threatened.

“Nearly 60 percent of halal food is controlled by organizations belonging to the Muslim brotherhood,” he explained.

Again, relying on dubious “experts” we are told that most Halal food sales are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood supports terrorism, therefore Halal food supports terrorism. Nevermind that absolutely no concrete evidence at all is presented to substantiate the claim that these Halal food organizations have “strong ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood. But even if this completely made up figure of “nearly 60%” were true, that does not in any way mean these sales are supporting terrorism. The Brotherhood’s public position on political terrorist violence is well-known. The CFR website states:

At various times in its history, the group has used or supported violence and has been repeatedly banned in Egypt for attempting to overthrow Cairo’s secular government. Since the 1970s, however, the Egyptian Brotherhood has disavowed violence and sought to participate in Egyptian politics. The U.S. State Department does not include the group on its list of terrorist organizations. The Brotherhood denounced the April 7 bombing in Cairo by a previously unknown militant group, the Al-Ezz Islamic Brigades, calling it a “cowardly act,” The Associated Press reported.

Nevertheless, baseless speculation and smear by cynical innuendo seems to be the preferred CBN method of journalism instead of actually taking the time to research these things. The CBN article continues:

Journalist Del Valle said Halal food has been a brilliant political and business strategy for the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The food was two victories in one. We split people. We divide two societies inside a society. And we make money,” he said.

Some say halal food is no different than Kosher, but Wagner disagrees.

“No, it’s not like kosher food. Kosher-eating people are not preaching for the destruction of democracy. Halal is sharia. And we need to ban any sharia-related thing in our society,” he said.

This passage takes for granted the ignorance of CBN’s readership. The whole basis of fearing Halal soup has been its nefarious connection to the allegedly omnipresent terrorist-supporting Muslim Brotherhood. However, in this passage, we are also told to associate “Halal” and “Sharia” with “destruction of democracy.” Yet, the Muslim Brotherhood has long been pushing for fairer and freer elections in Egypt. In contrast, it has been the U.S. allied ruling Mubarak regime that has suppressed the democratic opposition, not the Brotherhood. But again, CBN appears to rely on unidentified Islamic “experts” (who are they? where did they study Islam?) rather than mainstream sources. The truth is that those who say Halal is no different than Kosher are correct:

This day good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. (Quran 5:5)

This verse of the Quran allows Muslims, Christians, and Jews to eat each other’s food because of their common belief in the same God (i.e. the God of Abraham). Instead of spreading unfounded fears about Halal food, perhaps the Christian Broadcasting Network should encourage their viewers to get to know their Muslim neighbors by sharing a meal.

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)

Wouldn’t that be more Christian?

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  • Nuur ibnu Mahmuud al-Ugaasiy

    Well I’m happy to see non-muslims who are learning about Islam. I am also saddened by the fact that people misuse their knowledge of religion to mislead the unlearned amongst us and preach for their own personal gain. Halal food? Please. The man loves attention. And for the non-muslims, though there are extremists in Islam as there are in any other religion as you can see…the average man with a beard and islamic dress…or the woman who chose to wear the niqab…NOT extremists.
    AND…to the muslims talking about madhabs. Remember, all four Imaams are revered and honoured, but they were human. Meaning, they made mistakes, no matter how much knowledge they attained. So, in each madhab there are mistakes and we should look to each and follow that which is correct. If we limit to one, we are closing our eyes from a whole sea of knowledge. MORE IMPORTANTLY, their belief was one. They only differed on Fiqh issues. More to learn…

  • corey

    this is by far the funniest bit of parinoia about muslims I have ever heard in the years I have been keeping up with such insane ramblings next this show is going to tell me that if you go to a store and the clerk just happens to be a muslim you are somehow supporting terrorism when he is the guy who is putting the money in the cash register and giving you your leftover change.

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  • Awesome

    Pat Robertson looks like Bush in that pic.

  • http://thebandofstrangers.blogspot.com/ Jack Cope

    My fav comment from the article has to be from this so called ‘Christian':

    AFmom1 23 hours ago (-1)
    Scape Goat? Hardly… muslims guilty? Yes! The Jews don’t use the money from food sales to murder Christians or anyone but we all know that the koran orders its followers to murder. Americans have woken up to the evil of islam and muslims are just unhappy that we get it now. There is a shop selling this food near my home and I get dirty looks from the owner when she sees my “islam is evil” bumper sticker. We will never shop there and I will tell my friends about this article. NO to sharia law, NO to pedophile profits, and NO to islam in Europe and the USA and the west. NO to cbn55, NO, NO, NO. NO to Christians being dimmi to muslms. No way.

    Yep, there really are people like that who claim to be Christians…

  • Khushboo

    Sometimes I’m too lazy to go out of my way to buy zabiah meat so I buy kosher meat instead. Does this mean that I’m helping Jews take over? :/

  • http://www.inspiredbymuhammad.com/ Inspired By Muhammad

    Yusuf

    “I think we should we Muslims should align with Jews to get any prodoct that contains pork indicated on the packaging.”

    Yes, and the Halal market is seen as very lucrative by the brand name food brands, an untapped source of wealth for them.

    Worldwide sales of Kosher products indicate that Muslims are the biggest consumers of Kosher

    Certainly, the biggest consumers of Kosher products in the US are Muslims

    ————–

    Marketing to Muslims

    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/marketing-muslims-82100.html

    In the US, Muslims are the biggest consumers of kosher products, spending $16bn a year.

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