Friday, 24 July 2015

Exeposé Features, 'Halal Hysteria'

Originally published on Exeposé Online, 24 May 2014. Click the image to read the full article.

Is it political correctness gone mad? Should it be Britain first? Or is it the media’s attempt to stir up Islamophobia and oppose ‘Muslim food’? Christy Ku investigates. 
Subway announced that they would provide Halal-only meat at some of their stores, a few days before The Sun published its front page ‘reveal’ on Wednesday 7 May that the chicken used by Pizza Express is Halal. Since then, a ‘Boycott Subway’ page has been created on Facebook and received over 8,000 likes, and debates between respecting faiths and putting Britain first have resurfaced once more.
However, there have been a lot of misinterpretations. Firstly, not all 1,700 Subway stores are having their meat replaced by Halal meat – only 185 stores are.  Furthermore, there is no need to fear that bacon and ham are being eradicated from every Subway menu (pork is forbidden for Muslims); Subway emailed to state: “Absolutely nothing has changed, bacon and ham aren’t going anywhere (…) The small proportion of Halal specific menu stores that carry Halal-approved turkey-based ham and bacon, have been around since 2007”. Indeed, Pizza Express’s use of Halal meat should not be new information – whilst it is not expressly written on menus, the fact has been addressed several times in previous years in the media and on Pizza Express’s website: “it is no secret that all the chicken used in our dishes is Halal slaughtered. Our teams in restaurants have and always will provide this information, and in addition it is available on the customer service section of our website. We are looking at whether we take steps to make this information even clearer through our menus”.

But why are restaurants switching to or providing Halal meat? And what is all the fuss about?

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