The Belgian Ban on Kosher Slaughter Shows the Hollowness of European Concern about Anti-Semitism

Dec. 28 2020

On December 17, an EU high court upheld a Belgian law that effectively prohibits the kosher and halal slaughter of animals. The ordinance in question requires that animals be stunned before being killed, and the court defended it on the sophistical grounds that it only forbids “one aspect of the specific ritual act of slaughter.” Ben Cohen comments:

[T]he Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice (ECJ), which is the final arbiter of EU law, drew a line between the “civilized” and the “uncivilized” in terms of how farm animals that are slaughtered for human consumption are treated by different religious groups in Europe. On the “civilized” side of the line are those carnivores whose meat is stunned before slaughter, which the ECJ deems to be humane. On the “uncivilized” side are those—overwhelmingly Muslims and Jews—whose religious commandments strictly forbid the stunning of animals before they are slaughtered.

While there are many more Muslims than there are Jews in Europe these days, the roots of this enmity towards ritual slaughter lie in the anti-Judaic and anti-Semitic traditions that have persisted and so often flourished throughout the continent’s history. . . . The method of sh’ḥitah (kosher slaughter) has been twisted and distorted by anti-Semites in various libels involving ritual murder and theologically mandated cruelty allegedly practiced by Jews down the ages. And lest we forget, one of the first legislative actions undertaken by the Nazi regime in Germany was a ban on kosher slaughter, which was depicted in official propaganda as an ugly, alien, and thoroughly un-German practice.

Instructively, the ECJ’s ruling came just weeks after the EU Council, the bloc’s main coordinating body, issued a solemn six-page declaration against anti-Semitism.

No matter how many words the EU expends on the evils of anti-Semitism, no matter how many definitions of anti-Semitism it adopts, any restrictions on the supply or sale of kosher products will render all of those efforts meaningless.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Belgium, European Islam, European Union, Kashrut

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy