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Belief Beat

An Islamophobe Says What? Pam Geller’s Fowl Language

A bit late to the party, but USC’s Trans/Missions Scoop blog just alerted me to the latest nonsense from my old friend Pamela Geller: a diatribe against halal Thanksgiving turkeys, because real Americans shouldn’t be forced to eat Muslim-approved meat. Ball’s in your court, Butterball!

For the record, here’s a gist of Muslim vs. Jewish religious dietary rules:

Halal: Meat is killed by using a sharp knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the animal’s throat, carotid artery and wind pipe. Muslim prayers are said. No pork, booze, etc.


Kosher: Meat is killed by using a sharp knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the animal’s throat, caroid artery and wind pipe. Jewish prayers are said. No pork, shrimp, etc.

The Houston Chronicle has a more detailed rundown here.

I’ve heard of people against Muslim AND Jewish ritual slaughter, either because they oppose religious rituals or they think these methods are outdated and cruel. It’s odd to see someone rant against halal while defending kashrut. Then again, Pamela Geller is Jewish, so I guess kosher meat gets a pass, but the slicing and praying required to meet halal standards is “torturous.”


Color me confused. And, uh, hungry. Time for some leftover Popeye’s Cajun-style turkey, which my husband turned into a pretty decent curry. (We must REALLY be infidels!)

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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Shomer Kashrut

posted November 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I would like to share two anecdotes about the relationship between halal and kashrut.

My wife grew up in Milwaukee. During her childhood, Kareem Abdul Jabbar played for the Milwaukee Bucks for a number of years. This was at a time when halal meat was not generally available in the US. It was well known in the kosher observing community in Milwaukee that Mr. Jabbar purchased his meat at Kramer’s, which I believe was at that time the only one kosher butcher in town.

When I was a student at the University of Illinois in Chicago in the late 1970s, I became friendly with a Moslem student because we were standing in line at the only place on campus where prepackaged kosher sandwiches could be purchased. He would only buy kosher sandwiches because he did not trust the cafeteria to not use pork.

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Eva Stavrinides

posted November 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I am neither Jewish nor Muslim – but there is a reason why chicken/Turkey and anything with feathers and beak repel me:)

However, I still manage to enjoy Thanksgiving sans the bird!

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agatha christi

posted November 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

What fowl? I was at least hoping for a duck recipe…

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