Some Germans intolerant of Islamic animal slaughter























Some Germans Intolerant of Islamic Animal Slaughter | The world of PRX










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Conflict and justice

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Animal rights are a big issue in Germany. It is currently the fifth largest meat producer in the world, butchering the third largest number of pigs in the world, over 55 million per year. The way Germans slaughter the animals they eat is strictly regulated, more so than in most EU countries. But the Germans’ concern for animals also has a dark side. The Nazis vilified the Jewish method of slaughtering animals. And today, the Germans do not tolerate the tradition of its four million Muslims. The methods of slaughtering animals are roughly the same for Jews and Muslims: both prohibit animals from being knocked out or knocked out before being slaughtered, and both use the same type of knife. Reuven Yaacobov is a rabbi in Berlin and a shochet, someone trained to slaughter animals under Jewish law. “The knife has no point,” ?? he said. “Its shape is rectangular, so it cannot be used for stabbing just for cutting. And it must be as sharp as a razor blade. Yaacobov says kosher or halal slaughter methods are more humane and animal-friendly. Not like the industrial methods common in Germany, which do not recognize the sacrifice an animal makes of its life. But historically it is the Germans who consider Jewish butchery to be cruel and bloodthirsty. The infamous Nazi propaganda film “The Eternal Jew” ?? shows bloody scenes of Jews slaughtering animals. “These images reveal the character of a race of people who cover up their crass brutality under the guise of religious piety.… Immediately after taking power, the Föher passed a law ensuring that all warm-blooded animals would be knocked out beforehand. to be slaughtered. And so Jewish blood will never again be able to contaminate the German people. ” ?? Kosher butchers closed their doors overnight. But after World War II – and after slaughtering 6 million Jews – you could say that the Germans lost the moral authority to tell anyone what kind of murder was human. Today Germany has a small but vibrant Jewish community and kosher slaughter is permitted. But Germany also has a huge Muslim population now, mostly from Turkey. The German authorities have become less tolerant of their practice. Its Federal Administrative Court, one of the highest courts in the country, ruled in 1995 that Muslims must stun animals before killing them, unlike Jews. Every Muslim butcher in Germany has agreed to knock out or pretended to do so. All Muslim butchers except one: Rüstem Altinköpe, a Fleischermeister, the highest qualification a butcher in Germany can achieve. Since 1988 he has lived in the center of a medieval village called Werdorf, in the state of Hesse where most of the 3,100 inhabitants are German. Downstairs is a butcher’s shop and a small slaughterhouse. He and his family live above. For seven years, the Altinkèpe butcher’s shop went well and he invested in the latest technologies. But then, in 1995, came the ban. He saw it as an attack on a fundamental right “Jews can practice the same form of slaughtering animals as Muslims but I, as a Muslim, cannot” ?? said Altinküpe. Altinküpe found a lawyer who admitted it was an injustice. “Because people living in Germany who are Muslims who want to obey stricter food rules, we can’t tell them to become vegetarians, we can’t tell them to buy imported food”? said Rainer Nickel, a specialist in the German constitution. Nickel represented Altinküpe to the German equivalent of the Supreme Court. It delivered its judgment in 2002. “The constitutional court ruled in our favor and in the decision expressly said that we found a violation of fundamental rights and the case was referred to the administrative court” ?? said Nickel. End of story… or at least it would seem. “On the one hand we won everything, but on the other hand we won the battle but we lost the war” ?? said Nickel. And Nickel and Altinküpe have been going around in circles in German bureaucratic circles ever since. “It’s very complex and very complicated. I can’t even count the number of times we’ve been to court,” ?? said Nickel. They have been before federal and state courts, appellate courts and the Constitutional Court – twice. And they won every time. But the problem is that the courts don’t issue licenses. This work falls to a district administrator named Reinhard Strack-Schmalor. “We have an extra binder just for Altinküpe,” ?? said Strack-Schmalor. “For me personally the matter is a huge burden and I receive pressure from animal rights activists, and I can tell you here that I am also encouraged by the far right.” ?? That is, the neo-Nazis, whose traditional hatred of Jews is now mainly directed against Muslims. A few years ago, Altinküpe’s house was burnt down. Strack-Schmalor certainly didn’t approve, and he insists he has nothing against Muslims. But despite the rulings of so many German courts, he still believes Muslims should not be allowed to massacre without stunning, because in Islam there are ways around that. Needless to say, Altinköpe doesn’t think Strack-Schmalor knows what he’s talking about. You don’t have to go to a Muslim country, he says. In the US, France, UK, Muslim butchers are all allowed to slaughter without stunning. But what really irritates Altinküpe is that a local German bureaucrat can impose his interpretation of Islam. Even after Germany’s highest court overturned the ban on halal slaughter, Strack-Schmalor found all kinds of technical details to delay or hinder the granting of a license to Altinküpe. “So we were in the situation again where we had to go to court and challenge all these conditions individually. Nickel said. Last year Altinküpe got a license, but only to slaughter 30 sheep and 2 cows per week. But this year, Strack-Schmalor said he was reviewing the license, and so far the slaughterhouse has been inactive. Altinköpe still hopes that in today’s Germany justice will eventually prevail. The Jews of Germany are not yet speaking on his behalf. Some say it is none of their business and fear losing their right to slaughter as well. Others argue that if anyone is to talk about religious freedoms, it must be the Jewish population of Germany.

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