Dutch Muslim activist, Jewish Rabbi form platform to campaign against ban on ritual slaughter

(KUNA) — A Dutch Muslim activist and a Dutch Rabbi have joined hands to from a Jewish-Muslim platform to campaign against a ban on ritual slaughter and to protect religious freedom in the Netherlands.
Chairman of the Islamic Burial Foundation Ibrahim Wijbenga told KUNA by phone Eindhoven that he and Dutch Rabbi Lody van de Kamp formed the platform to protect the freedom of religion.
The Islamic Burial Foundation is a member of the City Council of Eindhoven and a member of the Christian Democratic party.
He said they have lodged an appeal in the courts of Eindhoven and Amsterdam this week against the legislation to ban ritual slaughter.
Eindhoven is a city of about 213,000 people and lies close to the Belgian border and about 105 kilometers from Amsterdam.
On June 28, the Dutch parliament passed a law proposed by the Animal Welfare Party, which has only two seats in parliament, to ban ritual slaughter.
The ban requires that animals must be stunned before being slaughtered. The Muslim and Jewish ritual slaughter customs are opposed to the stunning.
“We do care about animal health and take good care of the animals before slaughter,” Ibrahim, who is also a politician, told KUNA.
“Here the freedom of religion is at stake. I am very surprised that no Muslim country has commented or said anything about this issue,” he said.
An estimated one million Muslims and 40,000 Jews live in Holland out of a total population of about 17 million.
Ibrahim noted that the prohibition of halal and kosher meat has been widely condemned by both Jewish and Muslim communities in Holland as a violation of their religious freedom. He warned that circumcision “could be the next target” after the expected ban on the face-veil (burqa).

(www.kuna.net.kw / 15.09.2011)

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