Vol. 12    Issue 5   01 - 15 August 2017
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The Growing Global Salience of Halal Food

Professor A. R. MOMIN

The Islamic faith represents not just a system of beliefs and rituals but also a comprehensive blueprint for individual and collective life. Islamic principles and values encompass all aspects of life, including the means of livelihood, marriage and family, food and dress, inter-personal relationships and manners and etiquette.

Islamic law draws a distinction between two types of food: Halal or permissible, and Haram or forbidden. Haram food items include pork and pork-derived products, animals that are not slaughtered according to Islamic ritual and alcoholic beverages and other intoxicating substances. Muslims around the world strictly follow the injunctions of Islamic Shariah in respect of their dietary practices.    Read more


Professor A. R. MOMIN

50 Years of Israeli Occupation of Palestine

Speaking at a Knesset event in June 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to have said, “Everyone has a right to live in his home and no one may uproot him.” As it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Netanyahu’s statement appears as the epitome of irony. Evidently, what Netanyahu meant was the right of Jews to live in their ‘ancestral homeland’. He is least concerned about the right of Palestinians to continue to live with dignity in the land where their ancestors have lived for centuries. The fact that thousands of Palestinians were forcibly uprooted from their villages in the wake of the establishment of Israel in 1948 does not bother him.    Read more

Canada town votes against having a Muslim cemetery

A Canadian town has voted to oppose a zoning change that would allow a Muslim cemetery to be built. The referendum was held on Sunday in Saint-Apollinaire, a town of about 5,000 located just outside Quebec City. Provincial rules meant only 49 people were eligible to vote; the nays won 19-16 and one ballot was rejected.

The cemetery was proposed by the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, which was the site of a shooting that killed six people and injured 19 in January. "We never thought people could oppose the installation of a cemetery," the centre's president Mohamed Labidi told Radio-Canada. "What are they afraid of?" The Islamic cultural centre had purchased a plot of land in a wooded area next to an existing cemetery after the shooting. The only Muslim cemetery in Quebec is in Laval, hours from Quebec City.

The town's decision to oppose the cemetery has led to an outcry amongst Muslims and civil-rights advocates across the country and may lead to a human rights complaint, Mr Labidi said.

The mayor of the town supported the cemetery and has said he fears his town's reputation has been hurt.

"They do not know these people so they base their decisions on hearsay," Mayor Bernard Ouellet told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Opponents went door to door to gather signatures to call for the referendum, since building the cemetery would require a minor zoning change. A provincial law allows referendums to be held on zoning matters, with only people who live in the affected area eligible to vote.  Read more

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