The slaughter of animals without stunning, done according to the Jewish and Islamic traditions, is a matter of religious freedom and human rights which should be respected and considered, Imam Muhammed El Sadi insisted.
Following a TVM article where Imam El Sadi gave his views on the slaughtering of animals using the Muslim method, public outrage spiked immediately as reactions on social media boiled down to a general rejection of this practice.
“There is no cruelty in slaughtering according to the Islamic and Jewish way unless we describe Allah who ordered and legislated this way as cruel,” the Imam said.
“We believe that slaughtering the Halal way is the healthiest and hygienic method because it purifies the meat from blood, which endangers men’s health.”
Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi and Nationalist MEP candidate Dione Borg also denounced the practice, calling it unbelievably cruel and not acceptable, whilst Borg also appealed to the authorities to not accept the Imam’s proposition.
Imam El Sadi also reiterated that the aforementioned method does not cause pain to animals as it immediately cuts the arteries which transmit blood to the brain, and thus halts the sensation of any pain.
“Surely, ignoring the minorities rights will not serve the cause of integration and social harmony and will lead to breaching of the law especially when it concerns the religious beliefs. My duty as Imam representing the Islamic faith is to explain the Islamic teachings. The general public is free to agree or disagree. We do not enforce our culture or beliefs on others.”
He concluded by ensuring that public opinion, politicians’ views and the Maltese law are highly respected, and that they just request their right to be able to follow their beliefs, which is one of common good and not a detriment to others.
As explained in the TVM article, a number of butcher shops owned by Arabic owners which sell halal meat already exist on the island, and mainland Europe too.
A ban on halal and kosher animal slaughter went into effect in Belgium on the first day of 2019.