This story is a typical example of , probably well meaning, political correctness enthusiasts making public institutions like our schools compliant with Islamic dietary dogma even though Muslims are only a tiny proportion of the school population.By their logic perhaps they should be making all school barbecues vegetarian affairs because they surely have some vegetarian students, Oh hang on, perhaps they should just stop barbecues altogether because they might have some Anorexic students and they don’t want to offend them by offering anything that is like , gasp, food…
Members of the school’s Parents and Friends Association believed they were being inclusive when they ordered halal-only sausages for last month’s barbie.
But some parents thought it was political correctness gone mad to offer only halal meat.
Parent Diane Rees said yesterday that she was outraged when told by the PFA that “we have to buy halal because we have some Muslim children in the school”.
“I said to the principal, ‘I think you’re discriminating against the majority of the school and appeasing the minority by only serving halal,’ ” she said. “It’s not fair on my children that they can’t eat at the school.”
Ms Rees said she wasn’t anti-Muslim – her concern was over the way animals were killed under the halal method, which involves a knife cut to the jugular veins and carotid arteries in the neck.
“They take two long minutes to die and I think that’s bloody cruel,” she said.
But Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said research showed that, done properly, halal was a quick and humane slaughter of animals.
“I think they are using the issue of some halal sausages at a barbecue, for God’s sake, to bring out their own xenophobic bigotry,” he said.
“It was very thoughtful of the parents and friends association to try to cater for Muslims. I think they (the critics) need to get real and get a life on this one.”
School principal David Kilmartin, who has been in the job for only a month, said halal-only barbecues were not school policy and the PFA had been told to provide a choice of meat in the future.
“I don’t think it was done with any malice. I’m assuming there would have been requests from Muslim families to have halal meat,” he said.
Although I have previously expressed concern about the place of ritual slaughter in the preparation of meat I firmly believe that every one should follow their conscience and their taste when it comes to what they eat, but any group of people who seek to impose a set of dietary rules from a religion upon people who do not share that faith are doing no service to that faith or their followers.
After all who has ever heard of a halal pork sausage?