So here's a question. At my university, in the student cafeteria (the one that you have to go to if you live on residence) there is a halal grill. For those who don't know what that is (I didn't until about an hour ago) it's where they serve food that is acceptable to the Muslim code of conduct. They don't have a big muslim population (with the exception of the cooks) at the school and my question is, should I be offended by this? Is having something religious like this appropriate? They don't have a kosher grill, or anything for any other religions even. I'm not even sure how I feel about it, I just know I don't like it.
Does anyone think I should make a fuss about it or should I just ignore it?
Recognize that all people do not believe the same, are not the same, and are entitled to their beliefs, as long as they don't harm anyone and I don't see how having an additional choice for lunch can possibly be hurting you. Grow up already!
Halal means that the food is permissible under Islamic Law. Ḏabīḥah (ذَبِيْحَة) is the prescribed method of slaughtering all animals excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic law. 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.The head of an animal that is slaughtered using halal methods is aligned with the Qiblah. In addition to the direction, permitted animal should be slaughtered in the name of Allah (the Lord) and the person who is slaughtering should be a Muslim and he/she should be in a good mental condition and faith.
However if there is no other food available then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food.Surah 2:174 states:
If one is forced because there is no other choice, neither craving nor transgressing, there is no sin on him.
Because one is allowed to eat non Halal if the option for Halal doesn't exist, I feel there should be no problem if the option of Halal is not provided.
I suspect some muslims would not agree with you. For someone to have "no other choice" I would suggest that means different things for different islamic sects. Some might take it to mean that if they enter a cafeteria and there is no halal option then normal food is fine. Others might take it to mean that they can eat non-halal food if and only if they are starving to death in the desert or some other remote location.
That is true. There are many things that a Muslim might not agree with me on seeing as how I dislike their religion.
It's easy to interpret something how you want. I don't want to support the Muslim traditions and I could argue that I'm being just as inconvenienced by having it
Seems like a cultural thing. I see no apparent problems.
Thanks everyone for your comments. My big problem with it was that it is set up for muslims. There is other food there that could be acceptable to them but they have a section devoted specifically to their religious views. This isn't like a random restaurant that you can choose not to go to. As long as you're living on residence, you must have a meal plan, and this cafeteria is the only place to use the meal plan.It's not like the entire caf is set up like this though, just the one section. To me, it mostly just seems like an odd thing to have. After all, this is Canada, not Saudi Arabia
My thoughts are that most likely you should just ignore it. The fact of the matter is that you depend for your survival on the participation of religious people in society. As long as they aren't being oppresive, since their contributions are vital to the upkeep of society, it is essential to provide some concessions to them so that they do not experience high levels of discontent regarding their value in society. That is a utilitarian argument, but the other is, that the oppression of religion creates an experiential reality of oppression for those who have religious beliefs. I don't know what goes into halal food, but I suspect that it is offered due to the ease of the cooks to provide it. If they are trying to afford a special status to those that eat it, then that might be wrong, but it is a dietary restriction, so having that option there does help.
That said, it all depends on the amount of shared resources being used in order to run the grill. You should not ignore it if there is not enough demand to warrant the upkeep, and the upkeep is too high, then it is reasonable to oppose taking such drastic measures with shared resources to accommodate such a small portion of the population. So what are your thoughts on the amount of resources being used for this? It all hangs on that.
Well I wouldn't say that I depend on the religious for my survival by any means, but that's a different argument for a different day. I think they just serve it, I gaurantee that a large portion of people that eat there have no idea (or don't care) what halal food is.
The demand for food is there. The demand for it to be halal? Not so much. I think I'll probably send a respectful email to someone in charge asking about the logic for it. Mostly just out of curiosity. The amount of resources being used for it I'm unsure of although I'm sure its much more expensive to supply food that's halal and considering how chincy they are with food anyway makes it seems like an added expense they don't need
Religious people provide the largest portion of the resources, including manpower that keeps society in a functioning state. If every religious person disappeared, it would be chaos. Eventually we would regroup, but we are dependent on them for the upkeep of present society. Essentially all this means though is that we each make concessions so that we can work together. They also ought to be making concessions and not holding onto privilege.
My thought on it is ... do you really care? I mean really, do you care about this grill? I could think of any number of things in relation to faith that would deserve attention for being out of line but this is not one of them. My advice to you is to not look for things to be offended by and save it for when you really do need to fight religious intolerance etc.