Monday, August 22, 2005

Targeting Muslims, affecting Jews

JTA is reporting on an attempt (going on a year now) to ban shechitah in Belgium. There seems little chance that it will succeed, however any attempt must be taken seriously as there are dangerous precedents elsewhere. What's interesting, however, is the allegation that the law is partially motivated by a desire to control Muslim animal slaughter, which is often unsupervised and illegal:
The second representative, Pinchas Kornfeld, a community leader from Antwerp, claimed that the law “mainly tried to attack the Muslims, but the Jews will also feel the effects of it”...
The legislation urges the government to crack down on animal slaughter outside of government-inspected abattoirs. Illegal killings occur yearly around Id al-Adha, a Muslim festival that traditionally involves the slaughtering of a sheep for each family. As many as 22,000 animals are slaughtered illegally for the festival each year, and Dedecker said he wants to pass the law before next January’s festival.
We're going to be seeing much more of this -- laws actually targeting the Muslims which inadvertantly effect the Jews, as governments can't be seen to be discriminating against one religion. In England, for example, there are already people wondering how talk of banning state 'faith schools' as a result of 7/7 is going to affect the Jewish community's schools. Something to watch.

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