Muslims and Jews in Belgium have reacted in anger after the parliament in Wallonia—one of the two regions of Belgium—outlawed the ritual slaughter of animals as demanded by Islam and Judaism.
The other region—Flanders—is soon to be expected to adopt a similar law, which will mean that the killing of all animals without first stunning them will be illegal in all parts of Belgium.
The ban on ritual slaughter in Wallonia will take effect in June 2018.
Flanders is expected to outlaw the practice by January 2019.
Ritual slaughter is a process which involves slitting the throats of live animals and letting them painfully bleed to death while a rabbi or imam prays over the suffering creature in order to make it “holy” (in Judaism, “kosher,” and in Islam, “halal”).
This is the same method which is used by extremist Muslims in places such as Syria and Iraq to behead hostages, and is based on the same rationale.
The similarity between Jewish and Islamic practices in this matter also serves to indicate the closeness of those two religions.
The motion to ban ritual slaughter in the Walloon parliament was made by Josy Arens from the “Humanist Democratic Centre” party (Centre démocrate humaniste, cdH), and Christine Defraigne from the Reformist Movement (Mouvement Réformateur, MR) party.
Only the Labor Party of Belgium (Le Parti du travail de Belgique PTB), a small Marxist party, voted against the motion.
Both Jews and Muslims sent official delegations to the parliament to try and persuade legislators from passing the motion, but were unsuccessful in their attempts.
Brussels-based European Jewish Association spokesman Alex Benjamin told AFP just before the vote that the Walloon parliament’s adoption of the legislation “sends a signal to the Jewish population here… that we don’t really respect you or your practices.”
The Executive of Belgium’s Muslims, which represents the country’s estimated 800,000 Muslims, voiced “serious doubts” over the law’s compatibility with the free exercise of religious rituals.”
The Walloon Parliament also adopted a decree imposing an “obligation” upon all six recognized religious institutions in the country—Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, and Islam—to sign a declaration in which they say that they will “respect the constitution and democratic values” of the country.
In addition, the financing from abroad of houses of religious worship will be restricted.
These latter measures are clearly aimed at the Muslim population, whose ambitious mosque-building program is largely financed from Saudi Arabia, and who have produced all the major terrorists in Belgium in recent times.