The folks over at online video website Newsy
have responded to something they call 'Halal Hysteria' with a friendly video that aims to make the practice of cutting and blessing meat a little less scary for some. And they recruited the help of some Eastern Market butchers to do it.
Here at the Metro Times
, we weren't really aware people were scared of Halal meat. Maybe it's because we are based in metro Detroit, where a large portion of the U.S.'s Muslim population resides, and we know Halal basically means kosher. Or maybe it's because we're not xenophobic.
"Like many terms used by Muslims around the world, 'Halal' is one that a lot of people like throwing around and make sound scary," explains Newsy correspondent Noor Tagouri.
Indeed, the Newsy video includes footage from an ominous ad released several years ago that asks, "Could Sharia law be creeping into every day American life? Hidden inside a sandwich?" An interview with some old dude we think may be famous is also included, with the old guy saying, "It's kind of weird."
"In reality when it comes to meat, [Halal] just means the animal was treated a certain way, and killed a certain way," Tagouri tells us. "The meat is as clean as possible and the animals were treated properly. Funny thing is, a lot of non-Muslims prefer halal meat too. When we were shooting this video, we saw nuns at the butcher shop buying meat."
So, in case you're scared of a piece of dead meat, or just don't know the definition of Halal, here are some basic facts:
• Halal translates to "permissible" or "allowed" in Arabic
• Anyone can eat Halal meat
• It involves the blood being drained from the animal
• The animal is blessed with a small prayer
Tagouri says Halal methods also require that the animal feels as little pain as possible, both physically and emotionally. It must be killed in one cut and can't be slaughtered in front of other animals. However — unlike in traditional slaughterhouses — the animal cannot be stunned before its blood is drained, which has drawn criticism from PETA