Anti-Shariah activist Pamela Geller’s campaign to get halal meat labeled on American supermarket shelves has been sent down the memory hole by the federal government.
Geller petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in November 2011 seeking to have halal meat – which is ritually slaughtered in the presence of an imam to make it suitable for Muslims to consume – labeled as such.
It was only fair, she said. Kosher meat is labeled on store shelves so why not halal meat?
More than four years later she says her petition has been quietly removed from the FSIS website without explanation. She has screen shots of its previous posting.
A great deal of meat sold in this country is halal but is unlabeled, Geller says. Companies such as Subway have boasted on their websites that they provide halal meat in locations heavily populated by Muslims.
In Arabic, the word “halal” means “permitted” or “lawful” and defines anything that is allowed or lawful according to the Quran, as Subway explains on its U.K. website.
Campbell Soup Co. also caused a stir when it launched an expanded line of vegetarian soups all certified as halal.
McDonald’s has offered halal meat in Muslim areas such as Dearborn, Michigan, for years.
But according to established practice, most meat packers do not separate halal meat from non-halal meat, and do not label halal meat as such.
“It’s a scandal,” Geller writes.
“We attempted to right that wrong. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture has for four years now ignored, shelved, or just plain refused to rule on our petition.”
Geller says her petition was not to single out Islamic halal but to get an across-the-board ruling that would require labeling for all ritually slaughtered meat and products that include such meat.
“We just wanted all meat that had been ritually slaughtered to be clearly labeled to that effect. Kosher meat is routinely marked accordingly; why not halal meat?” she wrote on her website, PamelaGeller.com in a posting Friday.
As far back as October 2010, Geller reported on little-noted but explosive revelations that much of the meat in Europe and the United States was being processed as halal without the knowledge of the non-Muslim consumers who bought it.
Then in November 2011, she penned an article that blew the whistle on Butterball – all of its turkeys were ritually slaughtered according to halal rules, but were not labeled as such.
“Heads exploded on the left – not over Butterball’s deception, but over my having the audacity to reveal it,” she writes. “And the clueless and compromised on the right were enraged as well: John Podhoretz tweeted, ‘I’d tell Pamela Geller to put a sock in it, but the sock might be halal.”
Others are not so dismissive of her efforts, including Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Wash. who authored the “Blood Moons” book and is an expert on the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.
“Pam is absolutely correct as far as truth in labeling goes,” Biltz told WND in an email. “Why can’t we be ‘pro-choice’ in the food we eat? What are they trying to hide? How can we be pro-choice if we don’t know all our options?”
Some Christians see it as a religious issue, given the warning in Acts 15:29 to “abstain from food sacrificed to idols.”
Biltz explained that “In order for it to be halal, they have to slaughter the animal facing Mecca … and they have to say this prayer about Allah is great and greater than all other gods. Muslims can only eat food that is halal, that has been sacrificed to their idol, Allah … and with Allah’s name prayed over it.”
Part of Islamic supremacism?
But for Geller, who is Jewish, it’s strictly an issue of false labeling and consumer choice.
“It’s very strange. Why would anyone oppose wanting halal meat labeled as such? But it’s in line with Islam’s supremacist imperative to have people eating halal meat without knowing it,” Geller told WND in an email Friday. “And the USDA no doubt doesn’t want to appear ‘Islamophobic’ by pushing for such labeling.
“But Jews have no supremacist imperative, no interest in having people eat kosher meat who don’t want to, and thus no objection to the labeling of kosher meat as such.”
But Islamic leaders are not endorsing the change so don’t look for it to happen, at least not as long as President Obama is in control of the executive branch.
“He will do nothing that might cause them the slightest offense,” Geller said.
‘ Clear case of Back-door Shariah’
Biltz, in a 2011 article by WND, said he considered unlabeled halal meat in U.S. stores to be a clear case of “back door Shariah.”
At issue, says Biltz, is eating food that’s “halal,” in other words “lawful” or “permitted” for the Muslim diet.
“From the Christian standpoint, Allah would be an idol,” Biltz told WND in a previous article.
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“You could be eating beef, chicken, etc., offered up to Allah and not even know it. I can just imagine at a Passover Seder the caterer unbeknownst to anyone is serving halal meat! It could be on your pizza without you knowing it, or at your favorite restaurant. People don’t realize they could be eating meat sacrificed to idols!”
He notes New Testament instructions specifically warning Christians:
“Stay away from food that has been offered to idols (which makes it unclean), any kind of sexual sin, eating animals that have been strangled, and blood.” (Acts 15:20, New Century Version)
“As for the Gentile Christians, all we ask of them is what we already told them in a letter: They should not eat food offered to idols, nor consume blood, nor eat meat from strangled animals, and they should stay away from all sexual immorality.” (Acts 21:25 New Living Translation)