There is a view, prevalent among a sizeable minority of people in this country, and particularly within the angry, fat and drunk white underclass, that one day very soon the green flag of Islam will fly above Westminster and Britain will have become a Muslim country, by stealth. This is the snarled and yet resigned reaction to every inflammatory news story printed in the popular press about Muslim-only swimming nights at local leisure centres, or councils banning Christmas, or teachers upbraided for talking about Jesus Christ in school and so on. There are one or two Muslim groups who would cheerfully concur with this assessment, arguing that this would be the consequence of a sort of historical inevitability which it is beyond the reach of mankind to affect; Islam will naturally prevail, inshallah. Small and furious Muslim groups distinguishable by their copious beards and stunted IQs in the main.
As someone who has never much liked Islam, on account of its authoritarianism, illiberality and bone-headed certitude, this is nonetheless not something I have ever seriously worried about. Muslims constitute about 4 per cent of the British population, no more, and contrary to the concerns of those who dislike them, do not breed like flies, or even like Roman Catholics; they breed much as do slightly libidinous Protestants, Protestants with a certain zest for romance. By my reckoning, at the rate they breed, they would overtake the Christian population within about 800 years, by which time I suspect other apocalyptic stuff will have happened to render such a development irrelevant. And for every story about Muslim-only swimming nights — which are annoying and divisive and true, I’ll give them that — and Christmas being banned by some witless politically correct council leader who cannot count to five without worrying that he or she has inadvertently
offended a minority group, there are plenty of stories of Muslims being targeted by the state for imagined offences, or vilified by the press on account of the clothes they choose to wear, or beaten up by some untermensch thug because they are a different colour.
Muslims are rather more sinned against than sinning and they are not to blame for the political correctness shown by state or quasi-state institutions which, in a misguided if well-meaning attempt to respect their sensibilities, stir up more trouble with the outraged white minority. Whenever you read these stories — Christmas banned, Easter re-christened (to use an inappropriate term) spring break, dogs banned from the local park — there is always some poor local Muslim ‘community leader’ quoted saying listen, we didn’t want any of this… we think it’s stupid, too, if we’re honest.
But maybe I’m wrong, because this halal business, this stuff with the meat, is of an entirely different order. The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday have revealed that we’re all eating halal meat all the time, wherever we go — as a consequence of big business making pragmatic decisions and not bothering to tell us about them. Chicken and lamb bought from your local
supermarket will most probably be halal-slaughtered — but this is also true of the meals you order from those untermensch staples such as Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Nando’s and Subway. Not to mention Wembley Stadium. And the less obviously untermensch venues of Ascot, Goodwood and Epsom. It wouldn’t surprise me if next week they discovered that the food at Buck
House and Glyndebourne was halal. In other words, whether we like it or not, we are conforming to Islamic strictures in the food we eat; we are subsuming ourselves to the wishes of a tiny minority of our population.
Does this matter? After all, one way or another the creatures we eat have to be killed and you might assume that it doesn’t matter to them how, ecumenically, they are dispatched. But as you probably know, the halal method of slaughter almost always involves killing the lamb, or cow, without having first rendered it insensate by stunning it. This matters to me. In 2003 the Farm Animal
Welfare Council, a sort of quango established by the government back in 1979, reported that the halal method of slaughter resulted in ‘significant pain and distress’ for the animals concerned. The RSPCA is similarly opposed.
For a true halal slaughter, the animal’s throat is cut while the butcher recites some religious rhyme from the early middle ages. I do not want that to happen to the meat I eat. I want the creature to be conveyed to lamb or calf heaven painlessly, perhaps with the butcher whistling ‘All Da Niggas and Da Bitches’ by Snoop Doggy Dogg. Maybe this is overly sentimental of me
and the whole business should not really matter too much. Maybe I should be a vegetarian if such things discomfort me so. But this is down to personal choice and in this case, call it stubbornness, I wish to eat the meat of animals which have suffered as little as possible before they arrive on my plate.
The real bone of contention is that it is big businesses which are inflicting this supposed choice upon me. (Except it isn’t a choice because there is no labelling in our supermarkets telling us which meat is halal and which, on the other hand, is slaughtered by people who live in the same century as myself.) But this is not the witless council leader obeying politically correct
strictures, or the government trying to appease minority sensibilities; it is the call of the market, hoping that we will not notice because the process is a hell of a lot cheaper for the companies concerned if we do not notice. And the consequence is that it makes me think we shouldn’t allow halal slaughter anywhere in Britain, or allow halal slaughtered meat into the country if we as
a nation, through the various authorities, believe that it is unkind to the animals we eat. In the meantime, I will buy no meat from supermarkets.