H.R.H. Princess Alia Al Hussein (pictured right) is known around the world as an advocate for animal rights. She is currently on a mission to end the inhumane slaughter of animals for halal meat. Just in time for Eid al-Adha!
Jordan’s H.R.H. Princess Alia Al Hussein – sister to King Abdullah II – believes that stunning animals prior to slaughter is not only halal, but should be mandatory. Ḏabīḥah (ذَبِيْحَة) is the word used to describe how Muslims ensure that the meat they eat is pure and wholesome. According to a Wikipedia entry on the subject, “this method of slaughtering animals consists of using a well sharpened knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the front of the throat, the carotid artery, wind pipe and jugular veins but leaves the spinal cord intact.”
Unfortunately, many Muslims and Jews, who have similar rituals for kosher meat, take these traditions to drastic ends – often killing animals prior to stunning them. Last year we wrote about a bloody scene in Egypt, where scores of livestock were butchered on the side of the street in a manner considered more haraam (forbidden) than halal. And Australia, which produces a lot of the meat exported to the Middle East considers it perfectly lawful to slaughter animals without stunning them first. Longtime animal rights activist Princess Alia is determined to change that.
Bahrain, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates import much of their meat from Australia. These imports increase during festivals such as Ramadan and the upcoming post-Hajj festival called Eid al-Adha during which time Muslims commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to god.
According to Kuwait Times, the Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading Company (KLTT) has announced that Kuwait alone will import 186,000 sheep for Eid Al-Adha.
Bikya Masr reports that Princess Alia has been in discussions with the Australian agriculture department for several years to advocate for more humane methods of killing animals that are then exported to Jordan. While some countries welcome meat that was pre-stunned, meat exported to Israel and other countries is often stunned after cutting takes place.
Earlier this year, the NY Times reported that Australia banned exports to Indonesia after Lyn White, an activist for Animals Australia, unveiled disturbing footage of animals being slaughtered inhumanely for that country.
The Princess Alia Foundation (PAF) “aim[s] to promote the balance, harmony and respect of all Creation, using a holistic approach and bringing all stakeholders together to work as a united front.”
Paul Morris, who is Australia’s acting deputy secretary for live animal exports, told the country’s Rural Affairs and Transport committee that Princess Alia has also advocated for animal welfare and stunning in Jordan and the greater Middle East region, according to BM, who also wrote that:
Princess Alia explains that stunning fits with Islamic teaching to prevent cruelty to animals… She adds that pre-slaughter stunning is used by both of Jordan’s government abattoirs for cattle and sheep.
Last year, Green Prophet spent Eid al-Adha in Lamu, Kenya, where animals raised locally were carefully slaughtered in private ceremonies throughout the small island. It was a colorful ceremony that showed respect for the animals being “sacrificed.” As a monarch who is widely respected among Muslims, Princess Alia’s consistent activism brings to light that inhumane animal slaughter goes against Islam’s message of purity, peace, and respect.
:: Bikya Masr
More on Halal and Animal Slaughter:
image via Linda Vista Arabians