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Intro: "You may think that when you buy a Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving you're as American as apple pie. But, you'd be wrong. In fact, you're the victim of a 'stealth halal' conspiracy."

Beware the Sharia Turkey! (photo: Chuck Kennedy/MCT/Shutterstock)
Beware the Sharia Turkey! (photo: Chuck Kennedy/MCT/Shutterstock)

This Thanksgiving, Beware the Sharia Turkey

By Jillian Rayfield, TPMMuckraker

24 November 11


ou may think that when you buy a Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving you're as American as apple pie. But, you'd be wrong. In fact, you're the victim of a "stealth halal" conspiracy.

In a column on The American Thinker, anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller explains that halal meats are already prevalent throughout most of the meat industry, but now they have even infiltrated the popular frozen turkey producer Butterball.

A citizen activist and reader of my website wrote to Butterball, one of the most popular producers of Thanksgiving turkeys in the United States, asking them if their turkeys were halal. Wendy Howze, a Butterball Consumer Response Representative, responded: "Our whole turkeys are certified halal."

"In a little-known strike against freedom, yet again, we are being forced into consuming meat slaughtered by means of a torturous method: Islamic slaughter," Geller writes.

She continues that if you like freedom and hate sharia, you should boycott Butterball and ask them to stop selling these nefarious birds:

Non-Muslims in America and Europe don't deserve to have halal turkey forced upon them in this way, without their knowledge or consent. So this Thanksgiving, fight for your freedom. Find a non-halal, non-Butterball turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. And write to Butterball and request, politely but firmly, that they stop selling only halal turkeys, and make non-halal turkeys available to Americans who still value our freedoms.

Geller's anti-Sharia cohort Robert Spencer called this revelation "shocking" on his Jihad Watch blog - and touted the "Boycott Butterball Turkey" Facebook page, which so far has 758 "likes" and encourages supporters to "keep calling and writing. All halal should be labeled."

Spencer's not the only one to be outraged.

The site Bare Naked Islam provided this "WARNING" for its readers: "ALL ‘BUTTERBALL' TURKEYS ARE HALAL-SLAUGHTER CERTIFIED. JUST IN TIME FOR THANKSGIVING. I have just learned that the turkeys so many Americans enjoy for the holidays are certified Islamic-blessed, halal-slaughtered birds."

And anti-Islam, anti-bear activist Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association tweeted this warning on Tuesday: "Be advised: every single Butterball turkey sold in America this Thanksgiving has been sacrificed to Allah first."

TPM is awaiting a comment from Butterball, and we'll update when they respond. Meanwhile, stay tuned for our expose on Communist infiltration of the turducken.

Adam Serwer of Mother Jones. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+43 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 10:36
Butterball already responded. Naturally, the right-wing loon is lying. What a surprise.

Still, how scary to think that right-wing repugs are becoming "animal rights activists". I also think it's scary to think the people most against human rights in our own country are worried about human rights violations done in another style.

One commedian found it funny that repugs are both worried about gay rights and sharia law. She said the basic fear is that people will get married on Saturday and have to behead themselves on Sunday.
+3 # Obwon 2011-11-27 06:46
Oh no, we're all doomed, doomed I tell ya!
First the Homeland Security Turkey Fryer warning, now this! Muslim turkeys from
Allah on American plates, is there no end to this nightmare?

PS. (Hahahaha Frankly Pamela, I don't give a damn!).
+71 # mark_proulx 2011-11-24 10:47
At first, I thought that this was some sort of send-up. Now that I know it's on the level, I will close this window and rest my head on the desk for several hours.
+99 # barkingcarpet 2011-11-24 10:49
So, just what DOES this mean folks? More hysteria and brainless jerking knees? Oh no, Islam.

We are the real turkeys, in our ignorant arrogance.

God, Allah, Great Spirit, etc, may we all wash in Dr Bronner's all one soap, come clean, and quit killing eachother, and the planet which sustains us all.

Truly, we are all one. Happy Giving Thanks, EVERYDAY.....

Ps, go ahaead and look up halal, kosher, etc.

Idiots, it is ALL GOD! Give Thanks, and praise nature and life while we have the chance.

Enough Homeland Insecurity Bullshit.

Occupy your hearts.......
+5 # Doubter 2011-11-24 20:31
All imaginary...

(not that there isn't something weird about the third dimension, but why think the mystery is solved just because it has been given a name?)
+126 # barkingcarpet 2011-11-24 10:52
Ps, go ahead and boycott Butterball if you like, as well as most of the whole "western" food mill producers, but do it for the right reasons.

Do it because factory farms are environmentally toxic and leave a wasteland in their wake.

Support sustainable and organic agriculture
+35 # BFree3 2011-11-24 11:02
Better get your facts straight before writing articles like this. The Butterball turkey passed with the demise of the
Swift Meat Co. many years ago.
Currently one company bought the rights to the Butterball name and there are probably a
dozen turkey processing plants killing turkeys and packing them in a Butterball bag on a custom basis. You had better not boycott Butterball without boycotting the whole Red Meat Industry, most meat that goes for Export meets Muslim requirements.
+72 # iguanab 2011-11-24 11:17
I have to say that I find a problem with your article.

I live in the Middle East where all meat is halal. When I first came, I had no idea what this meant but, after finding out, I think you have missed a few pertinent facts.

While Halal meat must be killed and drained of blood, it is with a swift cut and a prayer is said. Now, I'm not naive enough to believe that Butterball has someone saying prayers as they slaughter turkeys, but I do believe that less adrenaline is released by this method.

I feel your hysteria is uninformed and only causes problems for people already inundated with a slanted view by the west. Where is the respect for culture?

At the same time, Butterball shouldn't force Eastern practices on the west. But give Muslims a break. They are not all terrorists or Assads.

Quote from the Qur'an:

"God calls for mercy in everything, so be merciful when you kill and when you slaughter, sharpen your blade to relieve its pain".

My suggestion is that you visit the Middle East and find out what halal is really about before starting mass hysteria for people who simply want to enjoy their blessings and a day with their families.

In peace...
+16 # Texan 4 Peace 2011-11-24 20:33
Iguanab, you missed the point. The article was highlighting the absurdity of the situation.
+7 # mwd870 2011-11-25 07:36
I had to look up the meaning of "halal," but the headline photo of the Turkey was all I needed to know - anti-Islam bloggers are turkeys. As Barbara K said, "you can't fix stupid."

iguanab, given that people actually waste their time propogating this kind of moronic thinking, I can understand your reaction.
+15 # William Bjornson 2011-11-25 14:42
1) An even better lesson would be to visit a chicken or turkey processing plant in America. When the truck pulls up to the plant piled high with open grid cages, the birds have all traveled many miles completely exposed to whatever weather happened to be extant. Any birds in the second lavel down have acute awareness of which way shit flows. On the loading dock, the birds are rudely pulled from the cages and their feet inserted in wire devices on the assembley line carrier so that they hang upside down. They move down to where their necks enter a 'channel' made up of two bars on one side and one on the other through which they slide until encountering the spinning 'pizza cutter' like blade which slices their neck about halfway through so that they bleed out while the line goes up and into a tank of boiling, scalding water while they are still flapping and struggling. This hot water loosens their feathers so that the following carwash like spinning rubber flaps rip out all of the feathers. Then back down onto the line proper where someone inserts a wide rubber powered "screw' into their rectum (vent) and pulls out all of their guts which are then further ripped out by hand and dumped into the trough that runs along under the line. From there they are processed into whatever their final fate will be.
+14 # William Bjornson 2011-11-25 14:43
2) (please) The two times I visited such a facility, I observed a fair number of tumors hanging with the rest of the entrails. If you ever get a 'weird' Chicken McNugget, round and firm, you'll know exactly what I mean. And, seriously, MacD, make an issue of this in court because I'd be more than happy to widely publicize what your suppliers ( and ALL suppliers) do to these poor animals. And, while you're exploring this issue, see if you can get into a hog processor and see the horror there. Instead of hot water, the hair is flamed off the still struggling animal hanging by one leg from a chain with its throat cut. The screams from the killing floor will loosen your bowels in their human-like quality of fear and despair and agony. Cattle? Don't ask. Of course, our corporate laboratories don't even have the excuse that the animals are 'dead' when they torture and maim thousands of dogs, cats, throw whole boxes of living white mice into furnaces, and do things that even Mengele would have considered beyond any decency whatsoever, all for profit.
+10 # pierre 2011-11-24 11:19
FYI, Islamophobics.. . You can start the audio part at 11:37 for the turkey segment.
+44 # sol4u2 2011-11-24 11:32
Fear Mongering has got to stop - this is ridiculous! Slaughter of the animal is pretty much the same with all these big food companies. Halal means that the slaughter / processing / packaging of the animal follows the requirements of Sharia, same thing the Jews do to get Kosher food certified. Blessed with Yahweh, blessed with Allah same as when we sit and bless our food before we eat if you still do -- God is God he certainly is not as judgemental as we poor humans. You would have to boycott most of the food industry as Kosher and Halal are prevalent throughout the market place - most of us just do not pay attention to what we are eating. Go organic, eat sustainable agriculture don't get pulled in by these fanatics who only want to continue hate and fear -this is Thanksgiving Day - let us be thankful and work toward peace throught the world!
+7 # Timaloha 2011-11-24 12:02
I wondered why my turkey tasted like heathen.
+12 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 20:28
Mine did too. It must have been that sharia recipe I was using - or maybe the gravy had too much O-I-L in it.
+24 # mim 2011-11-24 12:06
This sounds EXACTLY like the reaction to kosher food about a century ago. It is why the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations adopted a hechscher (kosher symbol) that wouldn't tip off the general public that the food was "Jewish" - the O-U symbol. Now all sorts of thing are certified kosher: Coca-cola, Heinz ketchup, Oreo cookies, French's and Gulden's mustards, all major domestic brands of pasta and a few imported brands, Eight o'Clock and Starbucks coffee and most major canned coffees - the list goes on and on. Enjoy!
+45 # walt 2011-11-24 12:08
Have a look at many other products labeled as "Kosher." So what?

Actually, I prefer a Kosher turkey even though not of that faith! No preservatives and all that!

Hey, does the USA have a monopoly on idiots? It sure seems so.
+29 # America 2011-11-24 12:11
Sorry stupidest article ever published by RSN.

My research on hala and kosher suggest food that is certified and are more acceptable anyway and meat from animals slaughtered in a more humane fashion.

This author is like a lot of people who srtive to segregate rather than integrate.

This is Thanksgiving please lighten up.Time for people to get together in harmony in fellowship.

IF there is anything to boycott it is this author, an extremist striving to divide.

We should be more concerned not how the Turkey is slaughtered but how it grew with toxic stuff and hormones.
+20 # readerz 2011-11-24 12:11
I can remember hearing a rant a few years ago against Kosher foods, because every time the Kosher label goes on, a rabbi is paid. Well, the same is true here; the prayers wouldn't be free.
It is possible that the "horrible slaughter" label should be amended; there is a farm in PA run by a partnership between Kosher and Halal farmers that raise their animals kindly.
But the final joke is what is considered acceptable by the religious foodies these days: Kosher used to mean that you could get soda made with sugar instead of corn syrup, but now they allow the corn syrup (which is really bad for you). And Butterball? Please, if there is any way to afford it, get your foods from people that don't inject the food with all sorts of fats and additives first. If I were Butterball, I would be crowing that some sort of religious group had given their stamp of approval, because if anybody had any sense, they would eat something raised free-range and without additives. And then, if you are so inclined, say your own prayers around the dinner table.
Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful that we are not in a civil war, even though there are so many things that need to be changed.
+16 # ncporcaro 2011-11-24 12:11
Hi Mark. I will also join you with head on my desk. It seems there is no limit to what people will do to differentiate themselves.
+7 # bobby t. 2011-11-24 12:13
i have tried them all, and empire, fresh or frozen, (i use frozen and it is terrific) is the best. also kosher. my friends could tell the difference and so could will you. i don't know if it is more expensive per pound, but it is worth it. 20 minutes per pound, plus an extra 20-30 minutes with the aluminum off the top to brown. perfect. try it with lipton's secret recipe white potatoes for the diabetics in the house who can't eat the sweet potatoes, etc....
+15 # Utopia Bold 2011-11-24 12:26
How about erring on the side of caution to avoid supporting animal cruelty? Eating turkey on thanksgiving was merely a major advertising coup of the poultry industry.

We can just as easily have a vegetarian meal with corn, squash, yams, sweet potatoes, apple sauce, cranberries, etc etc!

Barbarian tribes used to eat a sacrificial animal to bond the tribe. Today, the US, a "modern" nation uses turkeys for the same reason-a national bonding ritual over the slain bodies of turkeys who were raised in hellish factory farms.

According to United Poultry Concerns ( ) turkey chicks have their toes and beaks cut off so they don't damage each other when crammed together (their "meat" must not be damaged by beaks and claws).

When sent to slaughter, they are hung upside down from shackles on a conveyor belt to the waiting blades wielded by poor whites or desperate immigrants.

Read Jim Mason's An Unnatural Order to understand the link between animal abuse and all the ways humans exploit and abuse each other (racism, sexism, economic exploitation, homophobia etc etc)!
+24 # Regina 2011-11-24 12:28
Here we go again with the dim-bulb ultra-Christian s. Halal for muslims is the same as kosher for Jews -- but then it hasn't been so long since anti-Judaism was the Christian hue and cry. Both words mean CLEAN, and nothing else. The respective rituals to achieve acceptable cleanliness may differ in some details, but there's nothing "terroristic" in any part of those processes. Nothing that is halal or kosher will hurt anybody -- but outside of our American FDA, non-halal and non-kosher might.
+33 # rhgreen 2011-11-24 12:34
My God (or Allah which is just Arabic for God)! What idiots! I sometimes indicate "Muslim meal" for a flight because I'll get a nice meal. In Singapore the locals regardless of their religion often go to the halal food stalls because they like the food. A Malaysian Muslim friend of mine was posted to the UN and went to Orthodox Jewish grocery stores and restaurants because he knew strict Kosher was very similar to Halal - even stricter actually because Muslims can eat all sea food. Why do we have to deal with such ignorant narrow-minded prejudiced asses as this article describes?
+6 # readerz 2011-11-24 15:02
I happen to like goat curry. I can get halal goat from an Indian grocery store; it's great. Goat was also often used in the oldest chile recipees; I've eaten the best Texan chile in my life made from goat; but just about the only source is halal.
One of the biggest difficulties these days is finding "clean" foods; I don't take anybody's word for it, but we shouldn't be too obsessed. Except that my husband has colon cancer; we think from corn products that were genetically engineered. He used to get corn chips from vending machines at work. But it also could be from corn-fed beef, or corn syrup which is in almost all sweetened drinks. Bring snacks and drinks to work if you can.
+8 # n7ekg 2011-11-24 12:36
A variety of substances are considered as harmful (haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Quranic verses:
- Pork[Quran 2:173]
- Blood[Quran 2:173]
- Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah. All that has been dedicated or offered in sacrifice to an idolatrous altar or saint or a person considered to be "divine"[Quran 2:173] [Quran 5:3]
- Carrion (carcasses of dead animals)[Quran 2:173]
- An animal that has been strangled, beaten (to death), killed by a fall, gored (to death), savaged by a beast of prey (except by a human)[Quran 5:3]
- Food over which Allah's name is not pronounced (or at least not in a name other than Allah)[Quran 6:121]
- Alcohol and other intoxicants[Qur an 5:090]
- All animals which hunt with claws (lion, eagle, panther, vulture etc.)
+8 # Gibbous 2011-11-24 12:45
Sooo, If the animal can't be slaughtered to meet anybody's religious criteria and vegetarianism is not yet a recognized religion, then we are all safe to eat veggie lasagna for our individual holidays - as long as we eat in isolation and don't talk to "the others" about religion. Regardless, does it look any different after digestion?
+10 # maddave 2011-11-24 12:46
Everyone except mark_proulx misses the point, to wit: Pamela Geller and those of her ilk are certifiably insane and spilling their lunacy all over the internet in blogs which appeal to a large population of equally deranged readers.

To quote a century old piece of Southern scatology & authentic privy-graffiti:
He who writes on s***house walls
Rolls his s*** in little balls.
He who reads those lines of wit
Eats those little balls of s***.
Amen, Brother!
+6 # ozonekid 2011-11-24 14:34
As a thin-lipped, slack-jawed, narrow-minded Yankee, I appreciate the sentiments of my rebel, hog maw-eating, moonshine-drink ing Brother from the South. Today, let's eat, drink, and be thankful for common sense, good food, and peace.
-2 # caroldudek 2011-11-24 12:58
..............w e might have won the war in iraq, but are losing the war with butterball here at home.
laughing here and want to wish you a happy
Thanks Giving.
+11 # caroldudek 2011-11-24 15:53
I was laughing at the religlous right nut cases, there is so much humor to be found in their thinking.

Seems if we are to get things done, it's important to lighten up and get down to what's important.
+10 # antineocon 2011-11-24 13:09
Why are we worried about this crap just to distract us from the occupy efforts. I think this is much about nothing....the bankers and excess of ameiran and multinational corps are the crime. lets not lose our focus.
+17 # readerz 2011-11-24 15:07
You must focus as well on agri-business, genetic engineering, big pharma, FDA. Reader Supported News isn't just about Occupy, but also about a lot of issues that affect us that have been pushed by big business.
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 21:00
OWS, itself, isn't just about one issue.
+30 # Barbara K 2011-11-24 13:15
You just can't fix Stupid. Gees, these rightwing idiots need to stop breeding.

+9 # pernsey 2011-11-24 14:35
Quoting Barbara K:
You just can't fix Stupid. Gees, these rightwing idiots need to stop breeding.


LOL! Good one Barbara!!
+11 # whalegurl 2011-11-24 13:42
I agree with so many of the comments here. I wonder why the article was here. So show the lunacy of what is going on?

I was raised in a country that believed in religious freedom. That is one of the reasons this country was founded. I think some people have forgotten that.
+6 # John Gill 2011-11-24 13:44
Am I just confused, or are there a karge number of commenters on here who believe the author is a right wing activist stirring up trouble for butterball? People seriously need to read articles before they post.
+13 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 14:01
I used to work in meat packing. For something to be Halal would be no different than for it to be Kosher. It's simple and totally do-able for a factory. It's CERTAINLY not LESS humane than the way the animals are usually slaughtered. If anything, it would be an improvement.

The God worshipped that gives the meat industry the idea to do these things is CAPITALISM. They wouldn't waste time, energy or money to make ALL turkeys Halal. It would be stupid. It would also be stupid to refuse to sell meat to large portions of the Earth (full of WILLING CUSTOMERS) because some loon with a blog is confused about the facts.

Another irony here, is that companies are willing to do whatever is necessary to sell to a market, yet our government puts few restrictions on food being imported into our own country regarding pesticides.
+3 # Tippitc 2011-11-26 13:32
Our government puts "few restrictions" on pesticides in food being grown in the US - never mind imports. We can't even label foods in this country that contain growth hormones, GMO, antibiotics, etc etc. etc.
0 # Billy Bob 2011-11-26 16:43
That's true, but I'm talking about even fewer restrictions on imports. Atleast you can be reasonably certain food grown in this country isn't covered in dioxin. Can you be so sure of stuff grown elsewhere? No.

As bad as the hormones, antibiotics and GMO crops are, pesticides and herbicides are even worse.
+5 # Riley1 2011-11-24 14:05
With the world crying out for leadership, America has a weak President obsessed by Re-election. My bet is Obama will scrape back in because he is opposed by buffoons and grotesques. The chilling alternative: One of the lunatics could win.

And all we get here is a debate of how awful are some non entities blowing wind on blogging sites of the likes of the Gellers and Spencers of this world.

They are the mad and bad leading the misguided.

Their nonsensical views should be anathema to anyone with a semblance of intelligence. Sadly I have to believe a great number of my fellow Americans are too foolish to understand how they are led astray by the views of these truly stupid people.

The blind leading the blind. Butterball turkeys indeed. The poor things must really look forward to Thanksgiving. LOL Sharia or No Sharia.
-22 # Kiwikid 2011-11-24 14:21
It seems that we have become so focussed on the mechanics of halal that we have missed the point that the original writers are making in warning us about this process. Their concern is the Islamisation of the West. Of course this comment is not going to be very popular given the idealogical proclivities of most RSN subscribers. The original article does, however, raise a valid point - we are the subjects of a form of creaping dhimmitude. If this doesn't bother you, it should.
+19 # Carbonman1950 2011-11-24 16:42
What you termed the "original writers" are not "warning" us about anything, because there is NO "Islamisation of the West" implying as that phrase does, that Islam is replacing the existing "Western" culture, happening. What is happening is that Butterball has, for reasons rightists would normally (if one can use the the term "normally" in connection with "conservatives" ) consider perfectly legitimate mercantile reasons... in order to get as many people as possible to buy their product.

This concern about halal meat being sneaked (yes this is a word, used mostly in England) into our mouths and somehow contaminating our "vital American fluids" [Dr. Strangelove], again underscores the far right's belief in magical thinking. If they say it, it's true. If they want to believe it, it's true. If you disagree with them, you're trying to destroy America.
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 17:05
Beautiful reply.
-4 # Kiwikid 2011-11-24 18:12
Such breathtaking naivete!
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 20:29
Are you a different Andrew?
+5 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 20:57
Seriously, concerning the "dhimmitude", do you really think that less than .5% of the population can rule over the other 99.5% of the population, unless they happen to be rich white repugnicans?

Most of the nervous nellies who agree with your statement have never actually met any Muslims. Not only is the West unbelievably far from "Islamisation", but there's a profound irony in the lack of basic Christianity in the nervous nellies.

Such breathtaking hypocricy!
-1 # Kiwikid 2011-11-25 15:59
No, I think I'm the same Andrew. And, yes, I have a good friend who is Muslim (has often stood in for the Imam at the local mosque). While it's true that the Muslim percentage of the population is currently very small, one needs simply look at what is happening in Europe and Britain and observe that with wildly accelerated birthrates it doesn't take too many generations for a relatively small minority to become a major player in how the country is run. A couple of books that put the issues out there pretty well are: America Alone by 'Mark Steyn' (Yes I know, he's a rampant right winger - the books worth a LOL read nevertheless) and 'While Europe Slept' by Bruce Bawer (definitely nor right wing)
-2 # Billy Bob 2011-11-26 16:49
Ah yes, the old "some of my best friends are ...." argument followed by the old "breeding like rats" argument.

How many more generations do you think it will take before American Muslims can safely cross the street without risk of being followed by the FBI and sent to Guantanamo?

I'm A LOT more worried about the birth rate of people like you, because the real problem here is the conservative religious belief that one's own beliefs are the only ones that should be tolerated.

Is your "Muslim friend" as filled with hatred for other Muslims as you are?
-1 # Kiwikid 2011-11-26 22:19
You assume much Billy Bob (apologies for my own judgements of you - in my case its 'keyboard courage' :-)). 1. I'm not filled with hatred for Muslims - I am concerned at how their religous system can play itself out when the Islamic population approaches 30% (I know, you'll give me some nations where you'll claim this isn't a problem) 2. I'm committed to the concept of multiculturalis m - I live in a country where it mostly works. Unfortunately to be successful, multiculturalis m requires a measure of reciprocation. The Netherlands, Brirain, France and a growing number of European states are finding this commitment largely absent in their Islamic populations. 3. The Religious Right in America would not have room for me. I really find their active commitment to the idea of America being a Christian nation with an expectation that the general populous will follow their rules and abide by their values to cut right across the underpinning values of Christianity. On this issue, however, - the growth of Islam in the West, and ultimately the embedding of radical Islam and the incremental introduction of Sharia law into western society (often promoted as a misplaced ideological response by western leadership or allowed as a fear response to placate the radicals) - I believe there is real cause for concern. I will be delighted, and very relieved if I'm proved wrong - time will tell.
0 # Billy Bob 2011-11-27 00:21
Andrew, Please respond to my reply to "soundthealarm" down below (near the bottom of the comment thread). It's really directed at you.

It offers a PERFECT SOLUTION to all of your worries. It's called the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. I don't think you need to lose any more sleep.
-1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-27 00:24
Just to make sure you don't avoid my reply, here's a large chunk of it:

The separation of church and state guaranteed by the 1st Amendment GUARANTEES that our country will be completely sharia-proof forever. So, what's the big problem? The only problem I can see is with people who are constantly trying to undermine our NATIONAL SECURITY by acting like terrorists to:

1. get enforced prayer in public schools,
2. blow up doctors who disagree with their views on pregnancy to intimidate the electorate into changing the Constitution
3. make things like gay marriage illegal, due to personal religious opinions
4. try to convince the rest of us that this is "a Christian nation" contrary to the very words of the founding fathers.

Actually, I could go on and on and on, because the right-wing "christian" threats to our Constitution are never ending.


If you disagree, you're either pro-sharia law, or a terrorist, or both.
-1 # Kiwikid 2011-11-27 12:44
I agree with all you say here, Billy Bob (Excepting last sentance). However, if separation of church and state were the answer to creeping islamisation in the West, then the Netherlands, France, Britain (I know, The Church of England is tied up with its 'constitution' but is more ceremonial than anything else - unlike USA, Britain is a very secular society) Norway, and even my neighbour Australia, would all be safe from such concerns - they clearly are not. In fact, it could be argued that America (which is far and above the most religious western nation - NZ where I live is a very secular state, Australia - even more so)is the 'safest' country on earth BECAUSE of these very things that you think are at the core of the problem. It's actually multi-culturali sm, which is a wonderful idea, that is at the core of the problem. Its when we expect all people groups to respect its tenets, and then find that one group aggressively refuses to do so, that we have a serious problem. The Netherlands is a classic case. The worlds most free, open, tolerant society, liberalism's dream, has become a nightmare for Amsterdam's gay community, for example, because it is no longer safe - they are now living with a sizeable proportion of their population who believe that all gays should have their throats cut. While church and state need to be seperated, this is not the problem. Multiculturism is.
-2 # Billy Bob 2011-11-27 13:56
NO. Clearly the Separation of Church and State IS THE ANSWER. Without it, people can make laws based on religous beliefs. WITH IT THEY CANNOT, PERIOD.

That's all there is to it! If people can't make laws based on religious beliefs ther IS NO SHARIA "LAW". END OF STORY. If they can, we open up a can of worms that allows sharia law to be possible.

Multiculturalism is the ONLY ACCEPTABLE result of the separation of church and state. Legislating what people can and cannot believe as part of their own religion is ANTI-CONSTITUTI ONAL AND ANTI-AMERICAN.

Without multiculturalis m, the beliefs you claim to have supporting that separation are nothing but a very transparent lie. YOUR sharia law isn't any better than someone else's.

You CAN'T disagree with my last sentence and agree with the rest of it. I'm a conservative about this. In other words, yer either with me or agin' me.

So which is it? Do you love your country? If you can't stand multiculturalis m, then you HATE THE CONSTITUTION, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND YOUR MAMMA.

-2 # Billy Bob 2011-11-27 14:05
In other words, you CAN'T have it both ways.

You CAN'T claim to be for the U.S. Constitution and then bitch about "multiculturali sm". Unless you're 100% Native American you have 0% chance of winning an argument based on logic that we need LESS multiculturalis m. If you don't like it, go back to Europe or wherever else your ancestors came from. You have ABSOLUTELY NO AUTHORITY to preach about this subject and the added touch of claiming to care about the First Amendment just makes you a HYPOCRITE as well.

If you want to win this argument, here's a hint. Stop whining about whatever is or isn't happening in foreign countries. This is about AMERICA. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT. If you don't like the First Amendment, go somewhere else.

You can't have it both ways. If you love AMERICA, then support the multicultural result of the U.S. Constitution.
-2 # Billy Bob 2011-11-27 14:27
This is part 3 of my response to you: Perhaps you know NOTHING about the U.S., so here are some points I'd like to make:

-First of all, if you're only a New Zealand citizen and NOT an American citizen this is frankly none of your business.

-I assume you have some ties to the U.S. or you wouldn't bother going out of your way to join this conversation, so I'm treating you like an American.

-New Zealand has 4.5 million people. The U.S. has 330 million. It's going to take a lot longer for the about 2 million American Muslims to become even a sizeable minority, much less a majority.

-Perhaps you don't even understand the First Amendment. In the U.S. we don't have a pure democracy. We have a compromise between a republic and a democracy. NO ONE can safely enact sharia law in any city, country, state or portion of the U.S. without changing the U.S. Constitution. Even a local majority can't use the vote to enact any local legislation which would overrule the First Amendment to the Constitution.

-The ONLY way sharia law could EVER become the law here would be another Constitutional Amendment, which is so hard to enact that one hasn't been added in decades.

-If local Muslims want to commit hate crimes, they won't be any more dangerous than "Christian" hate crime offenders. We've been there and done that.
-2 # Kiwikid 2011-11-28 00:41
'if you're only a New Zealand citizen'
- I guess that says it all. A bit like dismissing me because I'm coloured, or gay, or Mexican - You have clarified for me what you mean by multiculturalis m. Apparently I'm not really entitled to a viewpoint even though I'm a citizen of the world, a world that is curently dominated by American foreign policy - whether I like it or not. So, yes, I have an interest and a viewpopint on what happens in America, because it ultimately affects me and the people I love and care about. I have no other ties to the US. Even though I'm 'only a New Zealand citizen' I care about what is happening in your country - where America goes effects us all. Although you consider that what is happening in the US is 'frankly none of your (my) business', I beg to differ.
Finally, although you are confident that the separation of church and state will protect you from Sharia, this original article about halal turkey indicates that Sharia already has at least a toe hold in America - halal is a faith based requirement for slaughter - apparently your first amendment is not as Sharia-proof as you might like to think it is. And no, I'm not 'Soundthealarm' . I actually use my own given name and will continue to do so.
-1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-28 15:12
"A bit like dismissing me because I'm coloured, or gay, or Mexican - You have clarified for me what you mean by multiculturalis m. Apparently I'm not really entitled to a viewpoint even though I'm a citizen of the world"


If you were a gay AMERICAN, I'd want to know what you have to say.

If you were a Mexican AMERICAN, I'd want to know what you have to say.

If you were an AFRICAN AMERICAN, I'd want to know what you have to say (by the way, unless your a member of the ku klux klan, it's not "colored")...



-1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-28 15:15
Now, about your two claims:

1. That you're NOT an American citizen AT ALL, but still feel entitled to tell the REAL American citizens how to conduct our own INTERNAL affairs.

Do you like American foreign policy policing the rest of the world. Would you like the U.S. to replace your government with one we like better? This isn’t about international affairs. It’s about AMERICAN DOMESTIC POLICY. In other words, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

2. What is this "toe hold" on America that you're fantasizing about? Is the idea that a multi-national company selling turkeys in the U.S. would actually obey the regulations of foreign countries a problem for you? TOO BAD. That's capitalism.

Those turkeys sold in the U.S. are NOT halal. THE WHOLE THING WAS A BIG FAT LIE TOLD BY A BIG FAT LIAR.

So, what do you do when someone is lying to you, but the lie fits a personal agenda you already have? Do you just run with it as though it were the truth? Apparently, that's your strategy. It's not working though.

The fact that the entire warning was based on a lie is one thing. But, let's say it were true. How would a turkey being slaughtered more humanely be a threat to America?

If butterball wants to perform a black mass over their turkeys it is still up to consumers whether or not to buy the meat.
+5 # noitall 2011-11-25 00:56
Quoting Andrew:
It seems that we have become so focussed on the mechanics of halal that we have missed the point that the original writers are making in warning us about this process. Their concern is the Islamisation of the West. Of course this comment is not going to be very popular given the idealogical proclivities of most RSN subscribers. The original article does, however, raise a valid point - we are the subjects of a form of creaping dhimmitude. If this doesn't bother you, it should.

I think the turkey I ate was shot by a sniper, unarmed, and on its way to visit its mom. You know, the good old American way.

The Christianizatio n of the west was a bitch too.
+23 # ozonekid 2011-11-24 14:25
As a godless, anrcho-syndical ist, radical, retired, geezer malcontent, I have to say that I look for the Kosher or Halal label to ensure my meat and poultry products are clean, slaughtered humanely (although some of my comrades would disagree), not crammed with hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives, and packaged under more stringent standards than our vaunted USDA. Just because I'm an atheist, does not mean I have lost my mind. Halal and Kosher products meet or exceed standards of cleanliness in the US, and I look for the labels on all of the foodstuffs I purchase. It is just common sense and informed opinion that makes this so.
+10 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 17:09
As a Christian with Eastern philosophical tendencies who worked in the meat packing industry I feel I should inform you that everything you said is absolutely true. Thanks for the comment.
+4 # ABen 2011-11-24 20:46
Well said ozonekid. As a dedicated Liberal curmudgeon and retired intellectual activist (teacher), I heartily concur.
+1 # freedomfries 2011-11-24 14:28
To eat,

or not to eat....?

THAT is the question.
+4 # Polimorphus 2011-11-24 15:32
It may bother Muslims and Jews that a lamb or turkey is not being slaughtered in the prescribed halal or kosher way. Why the devil should it matter to others if is in fact halal or kosher? In most places in the world where Muslims/Jews live, it just makes good marketing sense to slaughter animals acceptably to them. Nowhere do people lose sleep over "creeping dhimmisation"!
+6 # Carbonman1950 2011-11-24 16:25
Since Arabs and Jews are both Semitic peoples and the prescribed method is the same for both halal and kosher slaughter, I'm wondering if this just the latest iteration in the far right's long and active history of antisemitism.
+12 # Futilitarian 2011-11-24 16:28
If people observed the life cycle in a factory farm setting of a turkey or any livestock for that matter, I doubt they would wish to eat it. It will be no more healthy to consume for the uttering of any deity's name nor the manner of slaughter. Hate to say it, but even more detrimental to one's health is the consumption of any religious ideology. It seems to completely prevent the ability to think critically.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 20:35
The religious beliefs of KittatinyHawk help to show more humanity in the treatment of her livestock than if the process of slaughtering them was totally divorced from her beliefs.

I believe one of the differences is in what one derives from the religious experience. To some it's a personal thing and can make all of life more meaningful. To others, it's an outward badge of tribalism. The tribalists are the ones giving religion a bad name for the rest of humanity
+6 # jwb110 2011-11-24 18:22
ButterBall? Isn't there some stricture about combining Meat and Dairy? I am neither Jewish, Muslim or Christian but the very words ButterBall would make a Jew or a Muslim not believe that the slaughter was according to the OT.
I think Darwin had it wrong. Humans are DE-evolving.
+1 # Kootenay Coyote 2011-11-24 18:34
Oh my. Real, rabidly raving buffoons on the right...turkeys to turkeys, I guess.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-24 18:57
I raise chickens, raised other fowl. I was shown how to kill animals here in this country and found it repugnant. I found the cruelty to kill a chicken by cutting its head off and allowing it to run all over was inhumane, looked like animal cruelty. I raised other animals, Rottweilers once. I felt this type of killing was very bad to get animals into a header.
I went got my 22 went to one of my chickens, away from all the animals put a bullet in its head, then slit its throat immediately to drain the blood. I know that this was done from the beginning. I too say prayer when I eat that meat, for the food on my plate. I have given many to others.

We have been eating Kosher and other types of meat forever, now we are so into our hatred of others we actually care about the Turkey. I wonder if these people have ever seen the egg layers and the meat chickens for your restaurants and their conditions they live in, the way they die in cages with poop as tall as the cage. then workers flinging live birds thru the air.
Yes America really has class in raising anials. Feeds them Sewage, Food with Poison, pens them up to suffocate so yes anti muslim morons, eat all the other crap you want. I will take a good ol butterball, a Nathan's Frank any day.
By the way I just ate one of my chickens, it was killed Kosher/halal as Jesus ate it!
+5 # texfriend 2011-11-25 10:46
=Texas Animal Lover
To: Jillian Rayfield of TPMMuckraker
and to the Editor of Reader
Supported News
You need to choose your sources more carefully. The website of Bare Naked Islam, the source of the Halal slaughtered turkey story, is a hate mongering entity set upon destroying any kind of peaceful relationship between Muslims and anyone else. Any source whose sole purpose is the destruction of any other group of people cannot be trusted or believed and using it as the source of news only assists it in setting one group of Americans against another.

Anyway, go on the web site of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and you will see that in 2006 PETA has already filed a lawsuit against the producers of Butterball turkeys. PETA has photographic evidence of their employees stomping, and striking turkeys against walls (not anything to do with Halal or Sharia)
Sign the PETA petition.

Shame on you for propagandizing such crap against a particular group of people
and fomenting hate against them.
+6 # restore2america 2011-11-25 17:13
I was raised on "Christian" holidays eating industrial-brea d and slaughtered meat. Recently I've taken my food choices more seriously. I drink raw milk and we make our own yoghurt from it. We eat sustainably raised veg and fruit, avoiding imports and plants grown with petrochemical fertilizers and sprays. I've learned about pasture raised beef, lamb and pigs. And I've learned that Halal and Kosher methods of slaughter are cleaner and more humane than the industrial slaughterhouses that process (and contaminate) meat that ships to most stores. I would buy and eat a Halal or Kosher slaughtered, properly-raised cattle, sheep, chicken or turkey any day. Proper, clean and respectful methods of slaughtering clean and safely-raised animals will produce healthier meat. I encourage readers to buy Halal and Kosher meats from smaller, non-industrial producers. I'm not a fan of Butterball because they are an industrial producer that feeds corn to their birds. Buy local, eat local, know your farmer, and you and your family will become healthier for it.
-4 # soundthealarm 2011-11-26 08:18
The real issue here is not whether an animal has been butchered Halal but rather is the slow creep of Sharia law into our nation. The analogy of the frog in boiling water fits here, if the water is slowly brought to a boil the frog sits and boils to its death. Everyone of us is slowly having our liberties compromised by a system that is not compatible with our constitution or our bill of rights. Sharia/Islam has a goal of replacing our system. So why might Shariah be a danger to America?
Shariah (lit. a path, a way) is the product of Muslim jurists who use the Qur’an, the extra-Qur’anic accounts of Mohammed’s teachings, analogical reasoning, and consensus to create Muslim law. There are certain characteristics of Shariah that have been apparent since its inception in the 7th century which I will not describe as it is easy to research them. Suffice it to say that the goal is not to co-exist but rather to replace our system. We are label Islamophobic if we resist,please wake up people, stop mocking those who are raising the alarm and get active yourself in resisting this monster before it is too late for you, your family and your friends.
0 # Billy Bob 2011-11-26 16:58
I'm pretty worried about right-wing Christian thinking trying to squirm its way into the law. Do you have any problems with that, Andrew?

That "sharia law creep" is so slow as to be totally invisible to the objective eye. Of course, if we sprinkle in a conservative dose of wildly bizarre magical thinking we can imagine anything we want.

Personally, I'm a LOT more worried about the slow creep of giant invisible pink elephants flying invisible black U.N. hellicopters trying to scramble C.B. signals in the rural South, than I am about this. It would be a lot more believable.

I think you should stick to worrying about bigfoot and U.F.O.s. Maybe you could "soundthealarm" about that.

By the way, Andrew, You didn't just re-log in as "soundthealarm" on the basis of your alarmist panic over this one right-wing fantasy did you? That would be a HUGE and comical waste of time.
-1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-26 20:52
By the way, why don't we just continue fighting to keep the separation of church and state? You don't have any problem with the First Amendment of the Constitution, do you? If not, just continue to support it and oppose ANYONE, no matter what their religious beliefs are, who would try to undermine it.

The separation of church and state guaranteed by the 1st Amendment GUARANTEES that our country will be completely sharia-proof forever. So, what's the big problem? The only problem I can see is with people who are constantly trying to undermine our NATIONAL SECURITY by acting like terrorists to:
1. get enforced prayer in public schools,
2. blow up doctors who disagree with their views on pregnancy to intimidate the electorate into changing the Constitution
3. make things like gay marriage illegal, due to personal religious opinions
4. try to convince the rest of us that this is "a Christian nation" contrary to the very words of the founding fathers.

Actually, I could go on and on and on, because the right-wing "christian" threats to our Constitution are never ending.


If you disagree, you're either pro-sharia law, or a terrorist, or both.
+3 # michele6933 2011-11-26 11:24
Whoever you are WILLIAM BJORNSON, may the gods bless you for writing of the horrendous western rituals preceding all carnivores' meals . When they say grace before eating, it is meant to pray for forgiveness, not as a thank you.
Thank You, W.B.
0 # papabird 2011-11-26 16:56
Richard Oberlander's book: COMFORTABLY UNAWARE is pertinent to this discussion about eating animal flesh. Animal waste is THE PRIME CAUSE of global warming due to the waste products as well as the deforestation to grow animal feed and the associated transportation of both using fossil fuel. As the third world countries diet changes move to more animal meat the feeding of the 9 billion will be unsustainable and humaine issues will be the least of our worries. Religious practices are a moot issue.
0 # mim 2011-11-26 17:15
>Both words mean CLEAN, and nothing else.

Close but no cigar. "Kosher" means "proper."
0 # revtravel 2011-11-27 10:40
All so funny. Funny that people pray when they slaughter a bird. Funny that people eating said bird are concerned that someone prayed or didn't pray or who they prayed to or in what language or tradition. Funny that any of these people believe that anything was done differently than just moving the whole lot of birds with their beaks cut off in cages just big enough to almost hold them and putting them in a squawking mass into a giant brutal slaughter machine laden with salmonella. Next year my mom wants pizza.
0 # Osiris 2011-11-27 17:48
I had hoped, evidently in vain, that the author was writing with toungue in cheek. If he is actually serious, he is just plain pathetic.
-2 # Billy Bob 2011-11-27 19:42
It IS meant to be taken tongue in cheek. Some of the comments are from people who don't take it that way at all.

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