2012 seems to have got off to a distinctly non-PC start with Muslim Members of Parliament in Westminster told they cannot be served Halal meat because the Islamic method of slaughtering animals is offensive to many of their non-Muslim colleagues. The demand for Halal meat to be made available at supermarkets and restaurants has grown sharply in recent years from an extremely vocal segment of the Muslim community in the United Kingdom in spite of the fact there remains little statistical data about its consumption. As a result many establishments – from Tesco and Waitrose to Pizza Express and McDonalds – have begun using Halal meat without informing customers, even though many find the Halal method extremely offensive.
The Halal method involves slitting an animal’s throat and bleeding it through without first stunning it; a method that is abhorrent to many non-Muslims and one which animal rights campaigners have opposed for years.
The stance taken by Westminster has infuriated some parliamentarians who have eaten meat in the Palace’s 23 restaurants and cafes, having been assured that it was halal. Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said: “I did feel misled. I think a halal option should be made available.” Alison Ruoff, a member of the Church of England, said: “It’s a bit hypocritical that the Houses of Parliament, which have allowed other people to provide halal food, have ruled it out on their own premises.” Spokesmen for the House of Lords and the House of Commons confirmed that halal meat was not served in their restaurants, according to the Daily Mail.