Debates over Ritual-Slaughter Bans Heat Up in the European Union

Since 2019, citing concerns related to animal welfare, Belgium has outlawed the killing of animals for food without first stunning them. This law has created difficulties for religious Jews and Muslims, who now must import frozen meat from outside the country. As Eddy Wax writes, the ban may also contribute to a mischaracterization of religious communities as “medieval.”

“The discussion itself puts the Jews and also the Muslims in this case into a corner of ‘you do harm to animals,’ or ‘you are medieval,’” said [the EU official] Katharina von Schnurbein . . . on Wednesday at the European Jewish Community Center in Brussels.

The bans were challenged by religious groups but upheld by the Court of Justice of the EU in late 2020, in a surprising decision that said EU countries could restrict no-stun slaughter to promote animal welfare without infringing religious rights. . . . Bans are permissible provided countries do not contravene the EU’s charter of fundamental human rights, the court ruled.

“In some countries, we have seen also that this was only the start, and then the discussion about circumcision was next,” von Schnurbein said.

Read more at Politico

More about: Belgium, European Islam, European Jewry, European Union, Freedom of Religion

A Catholic Reporter Attends Anti-Israel Protests and the Pro-Israel Rally

Mary Margaret Olohan has spent much of her career in journalism covering demonstrations of various kinds. Since October 7, she has attended numerous anti-Israel gatherings, an experience she discusses with Robert Nicholson and Dominique Hoffman. Olohan explains the ways protestors intimidate outsiders, the online instruction booklet for protests distributed by Students for Justice in Palestine, the systematic avoidance of any condemnation of Hamas, and much else. To this, she contrasts her experience at the joyous yet serious November 14 rally for Israel. Olohan also talks about how her own Christian faith has influenced her journalism. (Audio, 61 minutes.)

Read more at Deep Map

More about: American Jewry, Gaza War 2023, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict