Lancashire Muslims Halal school dinner boycott call
Muslim children in Lancashire are being urged to boycott meat provided for their school dinners.
The Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) said the latest school suppliers do not meet their Halal "criteria" for meat killed in line with Islamic tenets.
Hanif Dudhwala, of the council of mosques, said its own criteria were acceptable to all Lancashire Muslims.
But county council leader Geoff Driver said its supplier was approved by the same Muslim body used for the Olympics.
Mr Dudhwala said: "The county council should pick suppliers who are accredited to the Lancashire Council of Mosques and until they can find those suppliers there is no reason why they cannot give Muslim children vegetarian options or fish options until they find a supplier we can endorse from the council of mosques."
Dietary laws: Halal
- Halal means "lawful" or "permitted" and indicates foods that conform to Islamic dietary laws
- On the other hand, haram indicates foods and drinks that are not permitted by the laws
- Haram foods include animals not deliberately slaughtered for consumption, pork and its by-products, blood and alcoholic beverages
- The Islamic ritual slaughter is called dhabihah, or zibah, and has a clear set of procedures that must be followed
- One of the rules is that the animal must not be anaesthetised or stunned and must be conscious and alive when it is slaughtered
Source: BBC Religion and Ethics
He added the council of mosques set its criteria for Halal after consultation with Lancashire Islamic scholars.
The council ended its contract with the previous supplier after an inspection by its food standards department.
The LCM is urging Muslim parents not to allow their children to eat meat and chicken at schools that are supplied with meals from the county council.
But, Mr Driver said the council would not use suppliers who did not stun the animals before slaughtering.
He said it was "unacceptable" to use meat from animals which had not been stunned. "This is non-negotiable," he added.
Mr Driver said: "This is acceptable to Muslims in the rest of the country and I am really, really sorry if the Lancashire Council of Mosques won't accept that."
He added: "It is misleading to say the suppliers we have chosen are not accredited Halal suppliers - the body which accredited our suppliers was the body which accredited the meat for the Olympic Games."