• Sweden's news in English

'You become a Muslim if you eat halal meat'

The Local · 7 Jul 2015, 12:01

Published: 07 Jul 2015 11:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jul 2015 12:01 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sweden Democrat members in the small town of Heby in central Sweden want to issue a blanket ban on halal meat in local schools, claiming it is against Swedish animal protection laws.

And apparently because they also believe it will automatically convert those who eat it to Islam.

“You become a Muslim if you eat halal meat,” Michael Öhman, head of the nationalist party's Heby wing, told local newspaper Sala Allehanda on Monday.

According to the local authority, meat produced through the traditional Islam halal method of butchering an animal is currently only being served to two pupils -- who have both specifically requested it.

The Sala Allehanda journalist went on to ask Öhman if he meant to say that halal meat has magical powers, to which he replied: “Yes. This is precisely what we have warned of. They sneak halal in everywhere.”

His comments were immediately mocked by readers with many taking to social media to put the politician's knowledge of magic to the test.

"What happens if you mix halal and kosher meat?" wrote one Twitter user, referring to the traditional Jewish way of preparing food. "Which magic is the strongest?"

Traditional methods of halal butchering involve slaughtering animals by cutting their throats and killing them, without damaging their spinal cords. This takes place while butchers say Islamic prayers.

The practice is sometimes criticized by animal rights activists, but according to experts at the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) the method only presents a problem when it is carried out without stunning. In Sweden all animals are stunned prior to halal butchering.

“Swedish halal slaughter meets the same requirements as other slaughter [in Sweden]. We don't care about religion, only animal protection,” Shivar Magdal, veterinary inspector at the Board of Agriculture, told Sala Allehanda.

BLOG: Sweden Democrats' day at Almedalen Week

Story continues below…

In his proposal to Heby Council, Sweden Democrat politician Öhman also claims that serving halal meat in schools goes against rules stating that all Swedish schools should not have religious affiliations. But this too is wrong, according to the Swedish School Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen).

“The school should be non-denominational, that is no confessions of faith or prayers. Eating halal meat is not a confession of faith,” School Inspectorate lawyer Sofia Wirlée told Sala Allehanda.

The Local has approached the Sweden Democrats' Heby branch, party press spokesman Henrik Vinge and Michael Öhman himself for comment.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available