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Contemporary Issues Part 4 (Halal Animal Slaughter)

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Bilal Philips

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Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim, In the name of Allah Beneficent, the Most Merciful. I'd like to welcome your dear viewers to another now series, contemporary issues. Samadhi Kumar rahmatullah wa barakato. We are lost peace and blessings be on each and every one of you.

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In this segment of our program, we'll be looking at the issue of animal slaughter. And we're looking at it particularly because of the fact that there has been an accusation pointed at Muslims as being somewhat bloodthirsty. You know, what, among those who led this accusation was Brigitte Bardot, the famous French actress who observed in France that, you know, every time it will occur, how would come around, that Muslims would be buying sheep and cutting their necks, you know, and she's very much into this protection of animals from human cruelty, etc, etc. So she had made some very disparaging remarks about Muslims there in France, and she was taken to court and in fact, required

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to apologize to Muslims. But the idea still is out there, you know, of Muslims. Really, very bloodthirsty, we are known as wanting to fight everybody, and we like to cut the necks of these animals is how we are presented. Now.

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I remember, there was actually a case a couple of years back also, in the newspaper in New York City, you know, where Muslim had bought a rooster or whatever, chicken and Annie, fatten it up in his home, and he was gonna, you know, kill the animal and cook it up and eat it. And, you know, the mspca, this Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? got wind of it. Yeah, I guess one of his neighbors informed on him that he was going to kill this animal in this home. And they, you know, they burst in his front door, you know, they had pictures of them bursting in the front door and catching this man wanting to saving the life of this chicken, taking the chicken away from him.

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I mean, very,

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quite hilarious, really. But anyway, let's look at the issues involved here.

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The basic issue, you know, is one of what we could call irrational sentimentality.

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Because here, we have people very much concerned about the killing of animals. And there are millions, literally millions of human fetuses, which are aborted every year, in America, millions in England, millions in France, millions and millions of children are killed, they're aborted every year. But at the same time, for us to kill an animal and eat it, this becomes a, you know, major case that people are going to be up in arms about now. So really, I think this is very distorted the whole image that they have, you know, of saving lives, animal lives. What about those fetuses? They may not be human beings in your perception, but surely that's animal life that is being destroyed.

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Anyway, if we leave that, and we actually tackle the claim that Muslims are cruel to animals in their slaughter, and we say, Well, okay, let's look at the methods that you have. As an alternative, what are the western methods? Okay, Western methods for small animals like chickens, what they will do number of slaughterhouses. They put the chickens they put them on these racks and their legs are hanging down. And then they put them and dip their feet in water, and then they electrify this water. So they're zapped. And they say, Okay, this zaps them into unconsciousness or kills them, whatever. And then they cut their heads off. This is supposed to be more humane, because they're

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cutting the head after they're dead. But hey,

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has any of you stuck your finger in a socket, they've got a shock. It's not a very pleasant experience, and enough electricity to kill you is definitely not going to be a pleasant experience at all. So to claim that this is a more humane way this is very painful. This method of electrifying these animals is a very painful method. It is not in any way, you know, more humane. The other method for the bigger animals

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is what they call like a stun gun, right? They have a gun with a piston at the end when they put bullets in. It's not the bullet with a lead which flies out and shoots like regular guns do. Instead the bullet explodes inside and drives a pistol

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an outage hits the animal in the head, and then the piston goes back in the gun, you can use it again.

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They put it near the head of the animal, they pull the trigger the piston bangs, the animal, the head, knocks it unconscious. And then they will string him up and cut his neck, whatever it is, is more humane. But again, if somebody were to take a crowbar, or a baseball bat, and whack you on the side of your head until you fell into unconsciousness, is this a humane method? Is this without pain? Or is this a very painful experience?

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I mean, anybody who has been involved in boxing etc, you know, knows, even with all those padded gloves on blows to the head that are gonna knock you out a very painful, this is not that, you know, it's not a painless experience at all. So this claims that this in fact is is more humane, a false claims. And when we look at the the method of that Islam prescribes, where the animal's neck is cut, I mean, the reality is that the whole of the neck isn't cut

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only the veins, jugular veins of the neck, and the esophagus, this is what is cut. So the spinal cord is intact.

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signals from the brain still going to the heart of the animal, that's an animal, and the animal will eventually will die slowly, it is not a quick death, it's a slow death, where the blood comes out. And as blood decreases in the body, blood not getting to the brain, the animal goes unconscious, and it dies. Now this is more in keeping, for example, with the popular method of suicide in Western society, where people will get a razor blade, you know, fill their tub with warm water, and then cut their wrists and lie there as the blood seeps into the water or whatever. Eventually they go into unconsciousness and die graduate isn't a popular method of suicide I'm not suggesting is for

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anybody. But just it is chosen because it's painless. Why? Because when you cut yourself with a razor blade, you don't feel it. I mean, we know it, people handling sharp instruments, you may cut yourself very easily and not even realize that the shave or whatever, you don't realize that you see the blood, you know. So similarly, when Muslims are prescribed, you know, to kill the animals by cutting the jugular vein and esophagus, this knife is supposed to be razor sharp. So when they cut it, the animal doesn't even feel the cut.

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And as I said, the the animal loses consciousness gradually. And it's a very painless death. It is not a harsh and inhumane way of taking the life of the animal.

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And it is far superior to the electric shocks given or the stun gun used, by the way, in western method, this is far superior.

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Now,

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that's one point. The other point, you know, which is the vegetarians arguments, you know that well, humans are really not meant to eat meat, you really shouldn't kill it by killing the animals anyway. You know, we don't need to kill the animals, we can get all our needs from vegetable sources, etc, etc. The reality is that human beings are neither herbivores, nor carnivores, we are omnivores, we our systems are made to eat both meat and vegetable matter.

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So if if, you know if we say we are created Mother Nature, as they would say, created us this way. I mean, there is a purpose here.

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We are created able to eat meat, why to eat meat? So this is a very, you know, fallacious argument. You know, I mean, and in fact, when we go and look to see what is behind this argument, we find that the root of this argument comes out of India, out of those people who believe that

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you shouldn't eat meat period. And of course, it's good to point out that really, this is something rather new in Hindu tradition, because the early writings, you know, in there, the Bhagavad Gita and the other books when they talk about the gods, the gods are eating meat. They're meat eaters. Actually, this not eating meat is something which developed later on in their history, as not the early beliefs and the early practices of the

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original Hindus.

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But in any case, this is their standard belief now and this really came along with the belief in reincarnation. So for a Hindu, I mean, killing an animal eating that animal is a situation where due to the reincarnation belief that a person when he dies, or she dies, if they were not good if they were

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In this life, they move up the ladder, right this is the caste ladder towards the top caste, which is the Brahmin caste. And after that they unite with God with the universal soul, Rama. But if they are not good, they go down the ladder. And they can be reborn as an animal, as a sheep or a goat. And if you're really unlucky, maybe as a cockroach. So the point is that here,

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here, what is happening,

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people don't want to eat meat, don't want to eat a goat or a cow, because this may be your grandfather, as may be a great grandfather that you're eating. So this is where this dislike for the eating of meat came from. I mean, of course, it's been cloaked in other language, you know, all medically arguments, you know, our bodies, and you know, it's it's better and, but really, that is the essence of it. It's based on that belief, and of course, it's nonsense. It's nonsense. Americans eat beef burgers, you know, how many cows are eaten every year, you know, at the whim, B's and McDonald's, etc, etc, you know, so

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this is a really a pointless argument.

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From the Islamic perspective, animals were created for the benefit of human beings, just as the rest of the world is, we have an obligation to them to look after them to treat them. Well. In fact, so much so that Prophet Muhammad SAW solomid, this described the circumstance of in the time passed, when she said that a woman who was in fact, a prostitute from among the Israelites, she came to a well, she went and got himself some water. And then when she came out, she saw a dog thirsty, dying from thirst, so much so that it was licking the earth trying to get some moisture out of there. She climbed back down into well tied her shoe to a scarf and filled it with water, brought it up and fed

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the dog. And out of that act of mercy for that animal, God forgave her her sins, and put her in paradise.

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On the other hand, there was another woman who had a cat, which she tied up. And she didn't allow that cat didn't feed it and didn't allow it to go and find its own food and it stayed in starve to death.

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And due to the evil of that act that she did, God put her in hell

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is the profit informed his followers,

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stressing here the importance of kindness to animals, opposed funding fundamentally to the cruel cruelty to animals.

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And his companions that if I asked him, he said, I mean is there goodness in animals and feeding he said, in every living being, there is a chance to earn good deeds to gain goodness to helping them.

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So Islam is very much in favor of protecting animals looking after them. Problem is this element even said that we should never take animals as our targets, never make them a target that we fire our bows or arrows or guns, etc, take them for target practice. This is forbidden in Islam. So the whole process, the western safaris, where, you know, Western civilization send certain, you know, elements, the upper crust of the society into Africa and Asia, you know, hunting down elephants and rhinoceroses and killing them and, you know, to bring back trophies for their fireplaces, etc, is something abhorrent in Islam forbidden in Islam, and Islam, an animal's life may only be taken for

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the reason of protecting ourselves from a time because it's a dangerous animal, threatening our lives we take his life for that reason

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to protect human life. Secondly,

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to we may kill them for food for our own benefit to eat.

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Thirdly, we may kill them, because their skins will provide warm for us, for example, in winter, you know, provide shoes or provide belts or whatever our needs, we may kill them for our needs. You know, I mean, of course, I mean, those people would argue that, hey, we have artificial means of, you know, creating these other things. Now, we don't need any more Well, of course, we don't have to. But if people some people prefer leather, they want to have leather, the leather is there for us to use, we can still utilize it, but the method in which these animals are killed should be humane methods. I mean, when you look at how they would take the first of the, the animals that create

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these fur coats, you know, they show pictures of these people with the small these little animals and then they have these people's clubs just bashing in their heads and things like this.

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Of course, this is inhumane, this is evil, and Islam would never support it. But the use of the animals for human benefit from the Islamic perspective is legitimate, but we have bounds by which we are bound, we have to stay within them.

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We are humane to them when we take their lives

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and we don't take their life for support.

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I mean, the hunt, you know, letting out the fox and letting the animals and going for the hunt, you know, which is very popular

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game and sports from Islamic perspective is evil. Islam would not support that.

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But hunting animals to eat to go bird hunting or whatever. And when you kill the animal, you cook it and you eat it. So you're taking benefits from it, it is permissible.

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The other topic, which I would like to cover in this segment is concerning dogs.

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Now, a lot of people are familiar with the fact that Muslims tend to avoid dogs generally speaking, people maybe think that Muslims fear and hate dogs you know, I usually Westerners if they come in the presence or an area where Muslims are they're carrying a dog and Alicia find Muslims running in all directions don't want to be, you know, near the dog. So it gives the impression of this great fear. Or in the West, of course, where the dog has become man's best friend.

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Right?

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The dog is treated like a child, people who lose family members or they grew up and they're left alone. Instead of adopting a child. You know, they will get a dog go get an animal which they will look after and then you find them you know, petting the animal giving it clothing and you know, really, so much so that you'll find even people leaving all of their inheritance to their dogs. I mean, this is the kind of love which is developed around dogs replacing even love for children.