Bel­gian Jews sue to over­turn ban on rit­ual slaugh­ter

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS -

The um­brella group rep­re­sent­ing French-speak­ing Jews in Bel­gium filed an ap­peal with a fed­eral court against a regional ban on the pro­duc­tion of kosher and ha­lal meat.

The Bel­gian Fed­er­a­tion of Jewish Or­ga­ni­za­tions (CCOJB) filed the mo­tion with the Con­sti­tu­tional Court of Bel­gium ear­lier this week, seek­ing an in­junc­tion against the ban passed in May by the par­lia­ment of Bel­gium’s Wal­lo­nia re­gion – one of the bi­na­tional king­dom’s three au­ton­o­mous re­gions, CCOJB’s pres­i­dent, Yo­han Benizri, said Tues­day.

Both Wal­lo­nia re­gion and the Flem­ish re­gion passed laws ear­lier this year that out­law as of 2019 any slaugh­ter that is not pre­ceded by stun­ning. Both halacha, the Jewish re­li­gious Or­tho­dox law, and Mus­lim re­li­gious laws for­bid the con­sump­tion of an­i­mals that are not fully con­scious when their necks are cut. If the an­i­mals are stunned at the time of the slaugh­ter, the meat is not con­sid­ered kosher by Jewish stan­dards and ha­lal by Mus­lim stan­dards.

In re­cent years, rit­ual slaugh­ter has come un­der at­tack from anti-Mus­lim ac­tivists and an­i­mal wel­fare lob­by­ists who view it as cruel or for­eign to Euro­pean cul­ture.

“If the leg­is­la­tion is not an­nulled prior to com­ing into force in 2019, it would un­der­mine the abil­ity of mi­nor­ity faith com­mu­ni­ties to prac­tice cen­tral tenets of their re­li­gions in Bel­gium,” CCOJB said of its law­suit, which is be­ing sup­ported by The Law­fare Project, a le­gal think-tank com­bat­ing what it re­gards as anti-Jewish dis­crim­i­na­tion.

The bans in Bel­gium “vi­o­late har­mo­nized EU law on this is­sue, the Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights of the Euro­pean Union, the Euro­pean Con­ven­tion on Hu­man Rights and the Bel­gian Con­sti­tu­tion it­self, all of which guar­an­tee free­dom of re­li­gion,” CCOJB added.

“Ir­re­spec­tive of its jus­ti­fi­ca­tion,” Benizri said, “a ban on kosher meat pro­duc­tion sends a mes­sage to Bel­gian Jews that they can choose be­tween liv­ing in Bel­gium and prac­tic­ing their re­li­gion, but they can­not do both.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Israel

© PressReader. All rights reserved.