SS, a major chain of Icelandic slaughterhouses, has decided to drop the use of halal slaughtering not one week after announcing that they would adopt the practice to expand the market for Icelandic meat.
Halal slaughtering – the prescribed method of slaughtering animals in the Muslim faith – is actually not very different from how animals are already slaughtered in Iceland. The most visible change to the slaughtering method is that a Muslim stands by and either recites prayers or has prayers in mind as the animals are slaughtered.
This sparked opposition from Iceland’s fringe Christian conservatives, among them the Filedelfia Church, who had threatened to organize a boycott if the halal methods continued. The business newspaper Viðskiptablaðið also reported that some Christians were erroneously claiming that the Bible forbids Christians to eat animals slaughtered by someone of another faith. No such law exists in the Bible.
Steinþór Skúlason, the chairman of SS, announced yesterday that his slaughterhouses would drop halal. The primary reason, he told RÚV, was because of these complaints.
However, the slaughterhouse will call in a Muslim to fulfill the necessary part of the halal process when meat for sale to Islamic countries is about to be slaughtered, and this meat alone will be slaughtered with the halal method. KVH in Hvamstangi and KS in Sauðárkrókur – who have also adopted halal practices – have not announced any plans to drop the method.