CAIRO – The seat of the British Parliament has upset Muslim lawmakers by refusing to serve halal food at its restaurants.“I did feel misled,” Lord Ahmed of Rotherham told The Daily Mail on Sunday, January 1.
“I think a halal option should be made available.”
The issue came to headlines after the Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, had rejected requests by Muslim lawmakers to serve halal meat in its 23 restaurants and cafes.
Muslim MPs and peers were told that they cannot eat halal meat slaughtered in line with Islamic rituals for being offensive to some non-Muslim colleagues.
The concept of halal, -- meaning permissible in Arabic -- has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.
Now other goods and services can also be certified as halal, including cosmetics, clothing, pharmaceuticals and financial services.
Neither the House of Lords nor the House of Commons serve halal meat in their restaurants.
The refusal to serve halal meat was slammed by membes of the Church of England as reflecting hypocrisy of the Westminster Palace.
“It’s a bit hypocritical that the Houses of Parliament, which have allowed other people to provide halal food, have ruled it out on their own premises,” Alison Ruoff, a member of the Church of England, said.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of two million Muslims.
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