Highlights

  • French Presidential candidate's promise alarms Muslims, Jews
  • Marine Le Pen wants animals stunned before slaughter in France
  • Muslims, Jews feel stunning would violate halal, kosher rules

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France to ban halal meat? Muslims, Jews alarmed by Marine Le Pen's election promise

French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says she will order the stunning of animals before slaughter, which Muslims and Jews claim will violate halal and kosher rules.

Amid the ongoing Presidential election in France, the issue of meat consumed by Muslims and Jews has become a major issue.

Right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen's plan to regulate the slaughter of animals has alarmed the Muslim and Jewish communities. Le Pen says she will order the stunning of animals before slaughter to curb animal suffering.

Le Pen said, "I am not going to abolish halal and kosher butcher shops at all. As you know, a certain number of countries in Europe and elsewhere, the European Union, moreover, in a directive, calls for it as part of the consideration of animal welfare. And also, the consideration of health safety, since the veterinarians have had the opportunity to express themselves on slaughtering (animals) without stunning, calls for slaughter with prior stunning. Acceding to this request, which is a majority request from the French, that does not mean that it will be the disappearance of halal or kosher, since I would maybe authorise the import, of course, of these meats in France."

This has apparently threatened the practices of halal and kosher. Muslims and Jews have claimed that if animals are stunned first, then the slaughter is not considered religiously appropriate. Halal meat shops fear closure, while consumers say they will be forced to slaughter animals as per religious rules at home.

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Incumbent President Emmanuel Macron has opposed Le Pen's promise, presenting a more tolerant vision of France if he wins. He said, "I want a France that resolutely fights against Islamist separatism, but which, through secularism, allows everyone to believe, or not to believe. To exercise their religion. And not a France that prevents Muslims or Jews from eating as prescribed by their religion, this is not us."

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