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Its Halal!

Author : Odessa Parisian
Publish Date : 2021-02-09 13:13:12
Its Halal!

Paris (France) - August 1978; it was a hot August day and we jumped the turnstiles at the Place D'italie Metro heading towards Montmartre to look for some Arab food. English was not a widely used language then although I believe it was a mandatory subject taught in French schools then; so getting around in Paris knowing very minimal French then was quite tricky. The most common response to our queries was "No Anglais." Montmartre is where you can find Parisian residents of Middle East descent and what we were looking for, food prepared by Muslims. Europe in the 70s was not a place where you could easily find Muslim or Halal food. Now, all that has drastically changed.

Muslims across the world now number approximately 1.8 billion and their numbers are expected to grow at twice the rate by 2030, representing 27% of the global population. The global market value for trade in halal food and non-food products is about US$2.1 trillion annually, and GDP per capita of Muslims worldwide has grown at a cumulative annual growth rate of 6.8%. Expanding interest shown in the halal market has led to the growth in the development of halal global standards. Halal food is not only consumed by Muslims around the world but also by at least 500 million non-Muslims.

Islam is a way of life, setting comprehensive standards and guidelines to be followed by Muslims. One of these is the concept of halal and haram. Very simply, halal means what is permitted or allowed. The most well-known meaning of halal relates to what a Muslim can eat. Haram is actions including food that are forbidden or unlawful. Muslims are not allowed to eat pork as stated in Surah Baqarah, verse 173 of the Holy Quran; "He hath only forbidden you Dead meat, and blood, And the flesh of swine, And that on which Any other name hath been invoked Besides that of Allah... " Christians are also not allowed to indulge in pork. In Leviticus 11: 7-8 of the Bible (RSV), "And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you." Deuteronomy 14:8 states "And the swine, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch."

Prague (Czech Republic) - January 2017; it was a very cold morning with light snow showers when we landed at Václav Havel Prague Airport. We took a van to the city and immediately set out to look for some food. Being in a former communist country, we had significantly lowered our expectations of finding halal food. Much to our surprise, there were many middle eastern restaurants, sidewalk kiosks, and grocery stores selling halal food and ingredients.

France, which prides itself in diligently maintaining its culinary heritage and standards, now produces halal French cuisine for local consumption and export. One of the largest expos on halal goods and services in Europe, SIAL, is held yearly in Paris; c'est magnifique! The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will have more than 50 Muslim countries participating in the event in addition to a large number of Muslim athletes from other nations as well. Japan is working hard to accommodate the halal dietary needs of its visitors and athletes, and will also provide praying facilities such as mobile mosques.

Paris (France) - August 1978; it was a hot August day and we jumped the turnstiles at the Place D'italie Metro heading towards Montmartre to look for some Arab food. English was not a widely used language then although I believe it was a mandatory subject taught in French schools then; so getting around in Paris knowing very minimal French then was quite tricky. The most common response to our queries was "No Anglais." Montmartre is where you can find Parisian residents of Middle East descent and what we were looking for, food prepared by Muslims. Europe in the 70s was not a place where you could easily find Muslim or Halal food. Now, all that has drastically changed.

Muslims across the world now number approximately 1.8 billion and their numbers are expected to grow at twice the rate by 2030, representing 27% of the global population. The global market value for trade in halal food and non-food products is about US$2.1 trillion annually, and GDP per capita of Muslims worldwide has grown at a cumulative annual growth rate of 6.8%. Expanding interest shown in the halal market has led to the growth in the development of halal global standards. Halal food is not only consumed by Muslims around the world but also by at least 500 million non-Muslims.

Islam is a way of life, setting comprehensive standards and guidelines to be followed by Muslims. One of these is the concept of halal and haram. Very simply, halal means what is permitted or allowed. The most well-known meaning of halal relates to what a Muslim can eat. Haram is actions including food that are forbidden or unlawful. Muslims are not allowed to eat pork as stated in Surah Baqarah, verse 173 of the Holy Quran; "He hath only forbidden you Dead meat, and blood, And the flesh of swine, And that on which Any other name hath been invoked Besides that of Allah... " Christians are also not allowed to indulge in pork. In Leviticus 11: 7-8 of the Bible (RSV), "And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you." Deuteronomy 14:8 states "And the swine, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch."

Prague (Czech Republic) - January 2017; it was a very cold morning with light snow showers when we landed at Václav Havel Prague Airport. We took a van to the city and immediately set out to look for some food. Being in a former communist country, we had significantly lowered our expectations of finding halal food. Much to our surprise, there were many middle eastern restaurants, sidewalk kiosks, and grocery stores selling halal food and ingredients.

France, which prides itself in diligently maintaining its culinary heritage and standards, now produces halal French cuisine for local consumption and export. One of the largest expos on halal goods and services in Europe, SIAL, is held yearly in Paris; c'est magnifique! The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will have more than 50 Muslim countries participating in the event in addition to a large number of Muslim athletes from other nations as well. Japan is working hard to accommodate the halal dietary needs of its visitors and athletes, and will also provide praying facilities such as mobile mosques.

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