Transcript of "France - meat 'halal' a juicy trading"
FRANCE: Meat "Halal", a juicy trading ...24 July 2008 Nobody knows exactly how many Muslims in France, but their number exceeds four million(out of a total population of 60 million). About half are foreigners, and half have Frenchnationality. If it is estimated that each person eats at least fifty kilograms of meat per year, thequantity of meat consumed by Muslims in France is quite considerable, around 200,000 tons ifall Muslims in France were good Muslims and not eat meat as "Halal", ie the meat of animalsritually sacrificed, it would represent a fairly large market, for 10 to 15 cent of the nationalmarket for meat prepared for Muslims in a predominantly Christian country. And actually just walking in some neighborhoods of Paris, particularly along the boulevards ofBelleville, Ménilmontant, and Villette in the rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, in the north-east of Paris,to be convinced that indeed all these Arabs, the Turks and french these believers are goodMuslims: one can see signs of almost all these butchers the inscriptions "Boucherie Halal" orMuslim butcher. " Abandoned by their traditional customers, who buy 80 percent of the meatthey eat in supermarkets, butchers french sell their businesses to Muslim immigrants.Not more than five to ten percent of meat sold under the label Halal is really Halal But in fact, most of the leaders of the Muslim community and french experts believe - and this is probably the only thing on which they are agree - that no more than 5 to 10 percent of meat sold in France under the label "Halal" is really "Halal": "Between 90 and 95 percent of meat sold in butcher shops" Muslim "is not" Halal ", said an expert of the Ministry of Agriculture:" A butcher who buys a sheep was killed ritually supervised by a Muslim, and beam clearly the front of his shop, withits blue and green patch, but the rest of the meat he sells in his shop comes from the wholesalemarket at Rungis, and certainly not "Halal" ... Larbi Kechat, the rector of the Mosque "Ad Dawa", the worlds largest Muslim places ofworship of Paris, known as the Mosque of Stalingrad, admits that a "very large percentage ofstores selling meat is not really "Halal". Why? "Because everybody knows that Islam earns aprofit. These people want to get rich at any price. " Ahmet Bakjan, secretary general of the Islamic Union ofFrance, who oversees one of two small "mosques"Turkish du Faubourg Saint-Denis in Paris, claimed that"in this street (full of" Muslim butchers ") is not can notfind meat "Halal", especially in the Turkish butchers. "Iknow personally," says Ahmet Bakjan, a Turkish butcher
who communist east, but has made "Butcher Muslim" on his teaching to earn more money. " Paradoxically, the problem of "false Halal meat has become a national problem in a country thatis at the same time secular and predominantly Christian. Firstly, because like all "labels", thelabel "Halal" is subject to French law, which prohibits misleading the consumer and to sell aproduct that does not conform to the label ... And also because of the colossal sums of moneyare at stake And finally, because this problem directly affects the very delicate question oforganizing the Muslim community in France.How to kill animals so "Halal" To be called "Halal", the meat must come from an animal that is not Haram (outlaws, likepork), but must also come from an animal which was slaughtered by a Muslim who cut throat ofthe animal, cutting the carotid artery and jugular, to bleed to death by directing the animals headto Mecca, and one who sacrificed the animal must pronounce the words "Bismilla oua RahimAllah Akbar" ( In the Name of God, God is Great). In all European countries and France inparticular, the slaughter of animals for meat consumption is regulated by many decrees and lawsthat aim to protect the consumer (his health) and animal (in the prevent suffering). Normallyanimals are killed by a mechanical or electrical shock. But the slaughter of Muslim and Jewishcommunities enjoy special exemptions. This poses technical problems: Because the animal is killed by being bled, it slows theproduction of the slaughterhouse: 25 oxen were killed in an hour, instead of 30. This is evenmore marked for chickens, two men can ritually sacrifice of 1,000 to 2,000 chickens per hour,against 6,000 at a slaughterhouse in automatic. The French law also stipulates that an animal cannot be suspended before being put to death: beef or mutton should be detained in a special trap,very expensive, about 400,000 francs for an ox. It is therefore a considerable investment ... In addition, a decree of 1980 stipulates that animals can be ritually sacrificed by personsqualified by recognized religious organizations "and these organizations must be" registered bythe Ministry of Agriculture, on a proposal of the Ministry s Interior. " The decree added that "ifno organization has been registered," the prefect of the department may grant "individual". Thishas been the case for over ten years: prefects regions have given several hundred "priests"permission to kill cattle, sheep and chickens for the Muslims of France. Sometimes these peoplewere employed permanently by slaughterhouses that provided regular customers Muslims, inother cases the priests were working at the request, a few hours or a day or two a week.A new profession: ô their contr But it soon created a religious and political problem: Who would control the priests and meat?If a slaughterhouse is not working full time on a ritual, which will verify that the meat is "lawful"and affix a stamp on it for customers that the butcher know that this meat is really "Halal"? Andeven if a slaughterhouse works full time on a ritual, which will control - given that anybusinessman, Muslim or not, may be tempted to save time - and money. A new profession wasborn: "controller".
These inspectors verify that the animal has been killed in ritual, and for the guarantee, they affixtheir stamp on various parts of the body of the dead animal. All these organizations have onething in common: they pay the slaughterhouse for this - it can be an annual fee (which reached36,000 F), or a daily fee (800 F) or animal (10 to 12 F) or per kilo from 0.30 to 1 F F. .. In turn,slaughterhouse pass this tax on the butchers, which charges ... the consumer. In recent years we have seen the emergence of several organizations "controllers": AVS, linkedto the FNMF (National Federation of Muslims of France); BARAKA, near the UOIF (Union ofIslamic Organizations of France); AL TAKWA; GUII ( Groupement des Unions InternationalIslamic); CIAM (Islamic Centre of the Alpes-Maritimes); LICOM; GISCOM (Islamic Group ofPriests and Controllers Muslims); BCAAR (Control Bureau of Food and authenticationReligious). The list of these associations authorities without any legal status has no end.The export market Alongside the french internal market, there is another market, even more important: the meat"Halal" for export to North Africa and the Middle East - about 200,000 tons of meat and 200,000tons of chickens, according to estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture. Again variousorganizations of "controllers" verify that the animals have been ritually sacrificed, and are payingfor it: Because the quantities are substantial, the tax is "only" a few cents (0.02 to 0.05 F) perkilo. Officials french and most leaders of the Muslim community agree that most of theseorganizations, if not all, are more intended to get rich that provide for the welfare of the Muslimcommunity: the name of "Muslim association. .. "Is often a facade for a business, there isactually no association behind the name. It is an ingenious mechanism set up by a businessman"Muslim" and a few friends, sometimes its a family affair: a so-called "president" with his wife,his daughter and son-in-law! In Marseilles, where a large Muslim community, a man whoproclaimed himself "imam" sells 4,000 F to a slaughterhouse the right to use its stamp "Halal" ... An organization based in Paris to pay 0.30 francs per kilo to monitor meat and put his stamp onit. According to most observers, it works quite seriously, often inspecting slaughterhouses, andeven claiming to have permanent inspectors in some slaughterhouses (for chickens). Theorganization also controls butchers, verifying that they only sell the meat "Halal". In this casethey get a sticker they can stick on their windows. But this organization is subject to a number ofrumours: "A few years ago, they traveled by subway, and we give them from time to time 200 or300 francs for their volunteer work," said a butcher installed near the mosque "Jamaa al Tabligh"in the rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in Paris, "but now these people are riding the wheel of new cars... And they pay slaughterhouses, which we are paid to turn their services ". According tovarious sources, the organization also asks for money - under the table - to slaughterhouses andbutchers to deal with them. And Khalil Merroun, the rector, a native of Morocco, the IslamicCenter of Evry, n Reluctance to condemn the "controllers" that threaten butchers telling them:"If you do not take our meat, we tell people that your meat is not" Halal ". In less diplomaticterms, officials Ministry of the Interior speak of "racketeering".
These organizations controllers also try to get juicy commissions in the export market: it oftenhappens that a representative of a "Muslim Association" to contact an exporter of meat and tellhim: "I have a customer in the Middle East or North Africa which could you buy meat, but hewants the priests and controllers are appointed by my association ... And since I bring the case,can you pay me a commission ... under the table ". The four main exporters of meat french - SOCOPA, ARCADIA, BIRET International, VITAL -have regularly complained of such practices. In some cases, companies importing or ministriesof Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, or Yemen, have formally asked the exporters to work withsuch and such "association", leading officials of the Ministry of Interior to whether thesecountries are not funded or indirectly such as Islamic association. In 1994, the Ministry ofAwkaf (religious affairs) of Yemen has requested that BARAKA, an organization linked to theUOIF (Union of Islamic Organizations of France) is the "controller" for a contract to be signedwith this country . Apparently, it was known, and Fouad Alaoui, secretary general of the UOIF,we said: "We agreed to monitor this contract because the Yemeni minister, who was a formerboard member of our association , Had insisted that we do ... But it does not brought us anyproblems, and we froze the activities BARAKA ". And Lhaj Thami Breze, president of theUOIF, said, on the defensive: "The UOIF has been accused of finance itself with meat" Halal "Iswear on God that we have nothing to do with it" ... SOCOPA, french largest exporter, exported 110,000 tonnes of meat annually, of which abouthalf is "Halal: if there are between 0.02 and 0.05 franc per kilo, this represents a" tax Halal"comprehensive" an amount ranging between one and five million francs for this company -without taking into account commissions unofficial ... BIRET International exports a little lessthan 15,000 tons of meat a year, and approximately 7,500 tonnes ARCADIA ... The France alsoexports large quantities of chickens to North Africa and the Middle East: 200,000 tonnes peryear, half of which is exported by a single company, SWEET, Brittany. This is clearly alucrative market for receiving "commissions". Iran is a special case: the contracts are negotiated directly with the french government, whichdivides the market between the main exporters of meat, and then send Iran to France a relativelylarge team, including a veterinarian, several officials of the IMO (Iran Meat Organization) and animam. The imam visit slaughterhouses, control the priests, and verified the entire chain, whileofficials of the IMO and the veterinarian are also their checks: certificates final "Halal" coverthree different signatures ... All these people are "guests" of exporting meat, which providesthem with housing, food and pocket money. But there is no "tax" per kilo. At the other extreme, Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia import any meat provided it is stamped"Halal". According to persistent rumours, shrewd businessmen Algerian based in Marseillesimport cargo intact meat from Argentina, and re-export directly to North Africa after a localimam has put his stamp "Halal" documents - with a generous payment.The "monopoly" of the Great Mosque of Paris This is to clarify this situation, which became increasingly unhealthy that the french governmenthas promulgated on December 15, 1994 a decree known as "Decree Pasqua" (named after the
Minister of Interior) stating that the Great Mosque of Paris was the only organization qualified toappoint priests and monitor their work. The current rector, Dalil Boubakeur, considering thefrench market of Halal meat and 500,000 tons (a figure highly inflated, as we saw) announced inJune 1995 that it had signed an agreement with FNEAP (Federation Nationale desSlaughterhouses Publics), which undertook to pay the Great Mosque of Paris one franc per kiloof meat for the "cost of technical assistance and theological (CATT). Furieuses, all other Muslim organizations in France denounced the "hegemony" of the GreatMosque and declared that they boycotteraient "label Halal". The protests were such as the newinterior minister (Jean-Louis Debre) postponed the implementation of the decree at the end ofJune 1996. In fact, it removed. Why Charles Pasqua he made such a "gift" to the Grand Mosque of Paris? This decision fallswithin the framework of its close relations with Lamine Zeroual, President of Algeria. He hadalso Dalil Boubakeur to propagate Islam a "modern", "enlightened" and "tolerant": Inauguratedin 1926, the Great Mosque of Paris, the only "real" mosque in the capital, has for decades issueda "Islam french "very official ... Managed since 1982 by the Algerian government, it controlsand pays the salaries of hundreds of imams in France, and it is linked to a hundred local Muslimassociations which can not be suspected of harbouring "Islamic militants" close to the FIS.Finally, the Great Mosque control associations "harkis" and their descendants, became frenchcitizens who take part in national elections a few months before the presidential elections ofspring 1995, Pasqua could expect that such a gift would be paid back. This mit boiling theMuslim community.The divisions of the Muslim community in France The french government is once again facing an almost insurmountable challenge: how toencourage the emergence of a council representing different groups, associations andcommunities of Muslims living in France to resolve various pending issues: the meat " Halal ",but also the distribution of Zakat, the problem of Muslims doing their military service, the ban onheadscarves in French schools, and so on. This is even more difficult than the Muslim community in France is extremely diverse: inaddition to the various national communities (Algerians, Moroccans, Tunisians, Turks, Kurds,Senegalese, Malians, Comorians, French, etc.), there are associations have close links withinternational Islamic organizations, as "Tabligh and Dawa ila Allah" (affiliated to the JamaaTabligh, Pakistan) and the UOIF, which adétroites relations with the international movement ofMuslim Brothers. There are no fewer than 1,300 registered Muslim associations in France,including 48 for the only city of Marseilles.The map Moroccan While stressing that this is a purely internal French affair, officials from the Embassy ofMorocco show willingly letters of Muslim associations French regional declaring their embassythat they can not accept the decree because Pasqua We can not trust the Great Mosque: "The