Toronto local news website blogto.com reported on an act of vandalism targeting Chin Chin Side Street Kitchen, a fully Halal restaurant, which is a Muslim-owned restaurant and the majority of employees working there are Muslim as well. According to BlogTo’s report, on December 24, 2019 “Chin Chin staff arrived at work to find a rock thrown through the store’s window facing Spadina Avenue.” The report implied that the act of vandalism might have been initiated by people who oppose the Halal (Islamic) slaughter.
What is Halal (Islamic) slaughter?
Mufti Aasim Rashid, a senior Imam and scholar in Vancouver, British Columbia, explains the proper method of the Muslim Halal slaughter. Here are excerpts from Aasim Rashid’s instructions published by the British Columbia Muslim Association:
The animal should not be treated roughly while bringing it to the place of slaughter. The knife used for slaughtering should be very sharp… The animal must be slaughtered at the throat. The slaughterer should slice four vessels: the two jugular veins (on either side of the throat), the windpipe (at the front of the throat) and the gullet (the esophagus). Slaughtering all four will render the slaughter complete and perfect. The act of slicing the throat should be performed speedily and without pausing.
According to Mufti Aasim Rashid, the proper method of Muslim Halal slaughter is designed to minimize the suffering of the animal by avoiding treating it roughly on its way to the slaughterhouse, using a very sharp knife and slicing the animal throat speedily and without pausing, like a sawing motion.
The name of Allah must be invoked at the time of slaughtering by saying: Bismillah Allahu Akbar. (In the Name of Allah; Allah is the Greatest.) If the name of Allah is not mentioned, then the meat becomes Haram “unlawful.”
How is Muslim Halal slaughter practised in Canada?
A video posted by Jubaer Ahmed Prodhan on September 12, 2016 documented the Halal slaughter during Eid Al-Adha, Festival of Sacrifice. Jubaer Ahmed Prodhan confirmed that the qurbani (sacrifice) ritual took place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in September 2016: “a farmer field where he sells qurbani (sacrifice) animals and have place to make qurbani (sacrifice) there.”
Diane Bederman described the Muslim Halal slaughter performed in the video:
This Halal sacrifice took place on a sunny day in an open yard. Five slaughtered sheep are lying motionless on the ground, soaked with their blood. Open to flies. Three men, wearing their everyday clothing; jeans and sweatshirts, are busy skinning and dismembering the sheep. Two other men are seen dragging a sheep to the slaughter. And yes, this live animal smells the blood and feels fear. So this animal is resisting participating in its death. With the help of two other people the sheep is prepared for sacrifice. Two are holding tightly to its front and back legs. A third is pressing its body to the ground close to a fresh pool of blood while the fourth is wielding a knife above the sheep’s head. Both of his hands are heavily stained with blood. He pulls the neck of the sheep to the side creating an arch that exposes its throat. His knee is pressing hard against the sheep’s head to hold it to the ground, not allowing any movement. Then he starts cutting its throat in a back and forth motion. (Note the small size of the knife being used to cut the throat of this animal).