EDITORIAL: An Unconscionable Sin
Where is Islam’s conscience?
More than three years ago, starting in October of 2019, Asia Sentinel’s Murray Hunter began a series of convincing articles showing that millions of Muslims in Southeast Asia risked being exposed to products from animals that had not been slaughtered according to humane Islamic practices and that authorities in Singapore and Malaysia knew about it and did nothing.
We presented our evidence, in the form of documents and sworn witnesses’ statements, to authorities in Singapore and offered them vainly in Malaysia, with a population of 20 million members of the Islamic faith, which ignored them. That resulted in a half-hearted investigation in Singapore that cleared people who should never have been cleared, and subjected a sizeable Muslim population to continue to eat food that was in contravention of the principles of their faith.
Now we have been provided with incontrovertible proof, through pictures so gruesome they are hard to look at. Subjecting animals to be hung upside down to be drowned in the blood of other animals is so hideous the perpetrators should be subjected to criminal penalties if the allegations are proven. The pictures are in Mr. Hunter’s story adjacent to this editorial although we understand authorities in Australia hurried to clean up the mess after we started asking questions. The pictures, including the one at the top of this editorial, do not lie. The millions who have been subjected to the food produced by these horrible practices should rise up and demand that their governments react and react immediately.
The simple fact is that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, or JAKIM, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia (SICHMA) have turned their faces away not only from these ghastly practices but from the exploitation of workers that were clearly delineated by Mr. Hunter’s series of articles. If anybody it is they – the guardians of the Islamic faith – whose consciences should be keeping them from sleeping at night. If this is a religion with a conscience, the faith’s elders need to act as well.
The millions of people of Islamic faith, who deserve to know they are eating food from animals killed humanely, and who need to know the people who are producing that food are treated fairly, should demand answers to the allegations our stories have produced, and demand those answers now.