District of Corruption

Dutch Halal Ban—A Lesson from Europe?


The BBC reports:

Next month the Dutch parliament is expected to approve a ban on halal and kosher methods of slaughtering animals for food.

Those who proposed the ban say it is simply an issue of animal welfare, but it received strong support from the right-wing Freedom Party.

Many see it as a violation of their religious freedom, and among the Jewish community it is a worrying echo of a similar ban brought in by Hitler.

One of the Muslims interviewed moaned that the Dutch desire Muslims to be Muslims at home, but not in society. I think that is correct. And, what is more, I venture that many would also define 'home' as 'not in the Netherlands'—meaning, overseas, far away, where the Muslims came from originally and ought to have remained.

It is disappointing that the Nethelands' chief Rabbi, Benjamin Jacobs, hauls in Hitler and the Holocaust to bolster his complaint (see video in the BBC report). Could he not have voiced his displeasure without doing that?

Be that as it may, this ban on halal butchery shows what is still possible to achieve in contemporary politics, despite the state-sponsored policies of immigration and multiculturalism.

Animal welfare has preoccupied both the liberals and traditionalists, and because this common ground exists, it has been possible for anti-immigration politicians to use arguments processable by their opponents to slow down the damage caused… by their opponents.

This is not the only example of how the very ideology of the Left can be turned against them—with Leftists' approval.

Another has been criticism of Israel's human rights record, which has resulted in academic boycotts of Israel. Although progress on that front has been somewhat slow.

Yet another should be opposition to the debt racket ran by the banksters of Goldman Sachs and their ilk. There have been screams of disgust from both extremes of the political spectrum, but no tactical coalition has been formed in order to achieve fundamental reform in this area.

I bears noting, however, that policies or practices that indirectly exclude non-European immigrants and their descendants are, from the point of view of tactical politics, not entirely reliable, and ought to be formulated with care.

In December 2005, for example, Soulidarieta, a charity group with alleged links to Identity Bloc, began distributing pork soup to the needy at locations close to soup kitchens. Alsace Solidarity launched a similar initiative in Strasbourg a few weeks later. The traditional soup was designated 'Identity Soup' by its chefs.

Within less than two months officials banned the handouts in Strasbourg and the police closed down offending soup kitchens Paris. This, at the urging of an anti-racism group, the rather Orwellian Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between Peoples, whose lobbyists urged the then Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to impose a country-wide ban.

Strasbourg's mayor, alerted to the racial subtext, pontificated: 'Schemes with racial subtexts must be denounced'.

The weakness of this scheme was that the Left does not care about traditional cuisine or traditional anything, the way that they think they care about things like animal welfare and human rights. Thus, although the anti-racists' complaint was eventually rejected in the courts, it was easy initially to impose a ban. 

It seems it has been less easy to argue against banning halal butchery, even if there is a racial subtext, when animal welfare is concerned. Note that a supporter of the Dutch ban is Marianne Thieme's Party for Animals, a party that for modern standards is considered to be of the 'centre-Left'.

Perhaps there are lessons for identity politicians here.