Jewish, Muslim leaders: Danish minister ‘put[s] animal rights before religious rights'

Agriculture Minister in Denmark Dan Jorgensen banned ritual slaughter of animals without pre-stunning.

By
March 22, 2014 20:14
2 minute read.
Muslims stand next to sheep  for ritual slaughter

Ritual slaughter 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A joint delegation of European Muslim and Jewish religious leaders accused Danish Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen of putting animal rights before religious freedom on Thursday.

Jørgensen had enacted a ban on Muslim and Jewish rituals performed without pre-stunning slaughter in February.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The delegation included the chief rabbi of Brussels, Afzal Khan of the Muslim- Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester and several other advocates of Muslim- Jewish cooperation.

The meeting was organized by New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders.

Jørgensen denied having made the statement that “animal rights come before religion,” which was attributed to him by Danish media as his rationale for the ban, participants in the gathering said.

In response, Alexander Goldberg, a Jewish chaplain from the UK told Jørgensen that the affected religious communities would judge him by his actions rather than his words and that “those actions show that you indeed put animal rights before religious rights.”

Speaking with The Jerusalem Post on Friday, Samia Hathroubi, the FFEU’s European director, said that Jørgensen told her he made efforts to prevent a widespread debate over the issue among Danes due to the rise of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in Europe.



According to Hathroubi, Jørgensen said that he was attempting to defend the rights of Muslims and Jews to import ritually slaughtered meat, which is still legal in Denmark.

While a European Commission regulation mandating pre-stunning did come into effect last January, special provisions were made for the rights of religious minorities to practice ritual slaughter. A specific process was put in place for countries wishing to employ stricter laws on this issue but no country was required to ban such practices.

“The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding will be vigilant in fighting this injustice to the Muslim and Jewish communities,” founder Rabbi Marc Schneier said in a press release.

Hathroubi quoted Jorgensen as saying that he “knows [that] if there is a referendum, people will want to totally ban ritual slaughter,” and called Jørgensen’s assertion a “threatening argument.”

According to the FFEU, Jørgensen said “that the decision to ban slaughter without prior stunning of the animal was not something he initiated on his own, but rather the Danish government carrying out a directive of the European Union.”

“He [Jørgensen] was quite defensive at the end,” Hathroubi said of their conversation.

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF