Christians in Barbados buying halal meat?

Acts 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols (other gods), and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well

BARBADOS, Bridgetown -- Barbados has a growing Muslim community and the demands for halal prepared meat products will be a reality which has to be faced.

It is believed therefore that popular fast-food restaurants on the island of Barbados such as KFC, and Chefette might someday, if not as yet, cater to the needs of this section of the community.

Is it fair though for these establishments to sell halal meats without properly informing its clients, as some of these patrons might be Christians? Christians according to their God, has been forbidden from eating food offered to other gods. Christians believe Jesus is God, and Muslims don't. If common sense is to prevail it therefore means that Christians and Muslims worship a different God, because both religions can not be correct.

In the preparation of halal meats, the animal is not dead prior to slaughter, and the blood is drained which is not the bone of contention, but what is, is the recital of a verse from the Qu'ran by a Muslim called the Bismillah.

The Bismillah is an invocation used by Muslims at the beginning of an undertaking. It might be similar to the following "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful."

Thus far on the island, KFC nor Chefette, has displayed at their establishments through the displaying of the halal sign, that they might be preparing halal meats to the Christian community.

One establishment which makes it quite clear that it offers halal products is the Roti Hut in the Lantern Mall in Hastings. The halal sign is clearly shown at that establishment so Muslims who are very selective in what they eat can participate at that restaurant, but it also allows persons of different religious persuasions, and non-religious persons to decide to refuse to eat if they are also called to be selective in what they eat.

One chicken processor also clearly state that they meat is halal, but are Christians aware of this? Christians need to familiarize themselves with the halal trademark. See Amir's logo below with the halal Trademark. Fason Foods operate as Amirs Fresh Chicken, and also intends to process halal chicken burgers, chicken nuggets, chicken wieners etc.

The below comment is being displayed on the Fason Foods Facebook page about KFC Black Rock offering halal products. It was apparently made by the owner of the Facebook page on March 29.

"Please note, Fasons has supplied the full amt of halal chicken to KFC Black Rock for halal Saturday and SUnday. Unfortunately, the BHA has refused to authenticate the KFC as halal. Please note this is NOT because of our Chicken, this is on their part. Please feel free to contact US or The BHA for details".

In an updated comment, March 31, approval was apparently given. "Just got word that the BHA approved the KFC!".

Amir's logo halal Fason's food (Amir's fresh chicken) logo

For although these products are very tasty, I would know because I once lived in Trinidad and Tobago where rotis were one of my staples, but at the time I had no knowledge of what the halal sign meant which is also located in some food outlets there.

If this is the case an alerted Christian community should pressure government to make it law that these establishments, and meat processors, be prepared to clearly display all halal products so Christians, other religious groups, and non-religious groups beliefs and concerns may not be compromised.

Amir's chicken on display Photo taken at a leading supermarket. Montrose on the right , Cool Chick on the left, and halal chicken (Amir's) is in the middle. The halal chicken can be identified here with a reddish tinge.

In the United Kingdom for example KFC clearly displays signs to alert the public of its restaurants, which do and do not offer halal. They have also created a website with a listing.

According to the Newsday newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago, Muslims there have been given assurance that their meat products are halal prepared and the meat is imported from Virginia in the USA.

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Comments (18)

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Suleiman Bulbulia (Barbados) says...
Sir:
I am now reading your article on halal although it is a few months old. While I can understand your concerns regarding a public restaurant selling halal meat and you not aware I would like to raise a few points, if I may.
-How are Christian beliefs compromised by eating halal?
-Are Christian beliefs compromised by eating Kosher?
-You have correctly described the process by which the meat of the animal becomes halal. Where in this process is idolatry involved?
-Are you always aware of where your meat comes from or the process it went through whenever you eat?
-Cheffette has never sold halal products.
I appreciate your kind response
28th August 2012 8:48pm
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Jeff says...
'Hi Suleiman
Thanks for your queries.
Christians as followers of Christ, can eat anything under the sun, but if prayers are said over it and the name Jesus Christ is not invoked, then we can''t.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God and that all our prayers should end with "through Jesus Christ", "in Jesus name" etc.
Jesus said, he is the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by him. Joh 14:6
After Adam and Eve sinned they broke that direct link man had with God, and we believe that only after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the link available once more.
[[[This is why the prophets of the Old Testament prophesied about the coming of, and the horrible death of Jesus. (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 :: Mic 5:2 :: Jeremiah 31:15 :: Zechariah 9:9 ::Isa 53:5-12)
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an *****, and upon a colt the foal of an *****.]]]
We tend to take things blessed to be eaten very seriously, one only has to look at Christians taking the communion. We believe that after praying for the items of the communion they become holy, and if taken unworthily, then there could be serious repercussions. 1Co_11:29
As a non-Muslim I would rather refrain from eating something for which I can be found unworthy.
31st August 2012 10:21am
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Suleiman Bulbulia (Barbados) says...
Jeff,
I thank you for your response. Permit me some further queries as I am still trying to fully understand. Your article began with a verse which speaks to meats offered to idols and went on to base your position on halal with regards to that verse. Your response to my email on the other hand speaks to meat in which prayers are offered and the name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned as being forbidden to Christians.
-You can eat anything once nothing is said in the killing of the animal or once Jesus Christ is mentioned? Is this position backed by verses in the Bible which state this?
-How do you respond to St. Mark''s Gospel Chapter 7:15-23 beginning: "there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him"?
-Are Christian beliefs compromised by eating Kosher?
-Are you always aware of the source of your meat
3rd September 2012 7:28pm
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Jeff says...
query 1: Yes. 1Timothy 4 specifically vs. 1-5. Also 1 Corinthians 10
query 2: Christians can''t use this account to eat all things because the subject of these verses was unwashed hands. The Book of Mathew is clearer. The Pharisees thought unwashed hands could defile.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
query 3: If prayers are said over Kosher and Jesus'' name is not invoked we won''t be able to eat it.
query 4: I''m not always aware of the source, but I usually just give thanks in Jesus name. We were told whatever is sold in the shambles (butchery), that eat asking no questions for conscience sake. With that said we have to be mindful that it was not strangled.
3rd September 2012 10:06pm
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Jeff says...
To query 1, please also read 1 Corithians 8
4th September 2012 7:24am
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Suleiman Bulbulia (Barbados) says...
-Can you please quote the verses referred to in Timothy and Corinthians?
-St. Mark''s verses 18 and 19 make the point:"..Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters, not his heart but his stomach and so passes on?" Several Christian scholars have stated this refers to food, yet you say unwashed hands.
-As you admit you are not always aware of source of the meat you eat but you mention Jesus name and you are sanctioned to eat once not strangled I am at a lost as to why you want to make a case against halal meat for Christians.
4th September 2012 8:56pm
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Jeff says...
It is always best to read chapters of the bible in their entirety, so please download the bible here: www.e-sword.net
In the interim please confirm if halal meat is dedicated to God, and if you believe Jesus Christ is God.
Let us further discuss the scriptures after you have read the chapters.
4th September 2012 9:52pm
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Suleiman Bulbulia (Barbados) says...
I have read the verses as you suggested. I have not found in any of them a clear commandment to eat meat over which Jesus''s name is mentioned. It does say do not eat meat offer to idols which is your premise in your article. So once again I ask how does the process as you rightfully described of "halal" equate to idolatry?
The process of halal which you know well is not a dedication to God, it is simply the process which is carried out with the animal when it is being slaughtered. Very much like Kosher. There are certain requirements that must be fulfilled in both cases for the meat to be kosher or halal. Strangulation, hitting the animal on the head etc is not part of the process.
And I am sure you are also well aware that Muslims don''t believe that Jesus, the son of Mary, peace be upon them both, is God.
5th September 2012 7:19pm
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Jeff says...
Please allow me to put the puzzle together.
1 Timothy 4 mentions that :-
1Ti 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
The prayer mentioned is the thanksgiving prayer a Christian would offer before eating. This prayer is always said in Jesus'' name because we believe Jesus is God. So basically it is a given that Jesus'' name is mentioned.
You also mentioned that Muslims do not believe Jesus is God. It therefore follows that Christians and Muslims serve different gods.
Since Muslims say a prayer/blessing (Bismillah - please correct me if I''m wrong) over the animal to another god, then we Christians can not eat of it because we were forbidden from acknowledging other gods, as you have read in the passages mentioned.
As to idolatry that term is used to show that we are serving different gods as we have come to realize, and not that idols are being honoured.
Please note that it is not the process by which the animal is killed alone, because Christians would then be able to eat it, but it is the prayer/blessing that is said over it.
After this discussion do you still believe Christians can eat Halal?
5th September 2012 8:15pm
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Suleiman Bulbulia (Barbados) says...
After discussing your article and subsequent responses with several Christian theologians who have all differed from your conclusion on Christians eating halal meat and who have provided proof from the Bible on their findings I am satisfied that your opinion is not a universally accepted Christian position.
As to the Bismillah being said at the time of slaughter and which you rightfully translate as "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful" this saying which for all intents and purposes is neither a prayer or blessing but words that are commanded to be said I am also satisfied that the God referred to is the same God of Abraham, Moses, David etc and is the same God in the first commandment: "Hear ye o Israel, the Lord thy God is One". The same God to whom Jesus prayed to and commanded his disciples to pray to as well. Matthew 19:16-17 and Matthew 26:39. And the idolatry in the verses you quote in regards to meat is clearly distinct and different from the ''halal'' process which is not an offering to any idol of any kind or a sacrifice. On the contrary you should be advising people to eat halal as from your own admission the animal is sure to be healthy, alive at the time of slaughter and no strangulation, hitting on the head etc would have taken place, and the blood properly drained to ensure a healthier meat. Unlike other meat where one is not sure the method of kill.
7th September 2012 9:52am
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Jeff says...
I have done further research on the Bismillah and it appears you will have some work on your hands convincing persons, even Muslims, that it isn''t a prayer/blessing or use in seeking a blessing from god. I will let some excerpts from these websites speak on my behalf. I must warn that I could not find not even one website supporting your comment "neither a prayer or blessing but words".
Some of these quotes are on websites which appear to be maintained by Muslims such as haqislam. org, muslim. org, systemoflife. com. I have included links.
www.haqislam.org
"If we were to give an exhaustive account of the benefits of the recitation of “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” we would need more than a single volume to do justice to it."
www.muslim.org
"when a person recites bismillah ... at the beginning of each and every work so that God''s help is asked for in that work."
"any work started without reciting bismillah ... is without blessing", and certainly if any person starts his works by asking for the help of God then his work will be blessed."
www.systemoflife.com
Bismillah - Clearing the confusion
"When we say bismillah before beginning any act, it means that we are seeking Allah''s blessings and help in the act which we are going to do next."
"Allah will save that person from the evil of Shaitaan and add His mercy and blessings in his actions because when we call upon Allah like when we say Bismillah, Allah gives that person his attention. He listens to you."
"Before sacrificing an animal: We muslims believe that all good things are directed to Allah alone and hence before slaughtering an animal we say: Bismillah ("In the name of Allah") because we don''t want to leave any scope or chances of people considering the fact that we are sacrificing for anyone else other than Allah."
www.collinsdictionary.com
the words which preface all except one of the surahs of the Koran, used by Muslims as a blessing before eating or some other action
www.encyclopedia.com
Basmala (Arab.). The saying of Bismi''llah, ''in the Name of Allah'', invoking a blessing upon every action and undertaking of a Muslim.
8th September 2012 6:32pm
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Jeff says...
Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father''s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Joh 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Joh 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
The the God of Abraham, Isaac, and the Jacob in the Bible sent prophets who spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ, and a new covenant.
Jesus has said he is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man cometh to the Father except through him.
Christians therefore do not support prayer/blessing said in any other name, and therefore can not eat halal.
8th September 2012 7:38pm
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Suleiman Bulbulia (Barbados) says...
Everything you have quoted is correct with regards to the Bismillah and its meaning but read it carefully and you will understand that the words are meant to invoke God''s blessings on the action or as you say "use in seeking a blessing from God". But no where is it directed to a idol or idolatry. Furthermore you must know that not only Muslims says these words but Arabic speaking Christians will use Bismillah as well. Interestingly I am even told by an Arab Christian that they say it when they kill animals.
8th September 2012 7:16pm
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Jeff says...
"the words are meant to invoke God''s blessings on the action"
Therefore it is not mere words, but communication to god to seek a blessing. Therefore I was not incorrect in saying basically it is a prayer to god.
Christians need to read the Bible more for themselves and not wait for their pastor to tell them what is in the Bible, because the pastor might also be in error.
8th September 2012 9:11pm
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Suleiman Bulbulia (Barbados) says...
I have further questioned Christians scholars on Christians eating halal meat and it appears you will have some work on your hands convincing persons, even Christians, that eating halal meat is not allowed. I would let the following responses speak on my behalf:
"As for the references they are using you may easily rebut these by the following:
Mark 7:1-8; 14-23
Luke 10:1-9 esp vs 8
Acts 10:1-16 esp. vs 15
Romans 14 esp vs 2; 17; 20;
1 Cor 8 (the whole of this chapter is appropriate)
1 Cor 10:25-33
Gal 2:10-21
I have knowingly eaten Halal and Kosher foods. God is One."
"In response to the query here are some words out of the New Testament that we find of the lips of Jesus. You query is indeed interesting as it comes at a time when this particular passage will be read in churches across the world. They are from St. Mark''s Gospel chapter 7:15-23.
[15] there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him."
[17] And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.
[18] And he said to them, "Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him,
[19] since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
[20] And he said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.
[21] For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery,
[22] coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
[23] All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man."
Foods do not present a religious scruple for Christians. Paul the Apostle mentions the same issue - (thought a different context from our conversation) in his first letter to the Corinthians chapter 8:8. There are always folk who seek division; in the name of God, we will press on in the path on which we have entered."
9th September 2012 9:41pm
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Jeff says...
I thought I should help you with your interpretation of the Bible as you have left out the key verses in Mark, which shows Jesus was speaking about unwashed hands, and therefore taking the Bible out of context.
Mar 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
Mar 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
Mar 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
30th September 2012 10:36am
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Jeff says...
I only just noticed that you had quoted Corinthians chapter 8:8 for support, but you only pulled one verse from that chapter. Here is the rest of what Paul said.

8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

9 BUT take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

7th August 2013 11:27am
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Jeff says...
All I can say is that the Bible does not contradict itself. If any verse or verses seem in contradiction, then one needs to read in context of the whole chapter. covenant, or the entire Bible.
I''ll give you an example. Under the old covenant God did not permit the eating of pork, but under the new covenant God says you can eat all meat. Although God said you can eat all meat under the New Testament certain parameters must be met. No animal should be strangled, and you should not eat the blood etc.
One of the scripture verses you mentioned goes as follows:
Luk 10:8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
It does not mean that Christians should eat meat that was strangled.
It''s the same way with Muslims. You can eat all halal chicken for example, but if that chicken is strangled you can''t eat it.
10th September 2012 7:31am
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