Fillon: scrap halal and kosher slaughter

French Prime Minister François Fillon has called on French Jews and Muslims to change their eating habits and scrap halal and kosher slaughter rules.

Fillon: scrap halal and kosher slaughter
Photo: Watershed Post

“Religions should think about keeping traditions that don’t have much in common with today’s state of science, technology and health problems,” Fillon told Europe 1 radio on Monday.

He said the “ancestral traditions” of ritual slaughter were justified for hygienic reasons in the past but had become “outdated”. “We live in a modern society.”

The leaders of the French Jewish and Muslim communities have both reacted angrily to Fillon’s statements.

Richard Pasquier, president of the CRIF, an organisation representing French Jews, said he was shocked in an interview with France Soir.

“François Fillon’s statements are astounding, they were unpleasant, humiliating and against our republican traditions,” he said.

Mohammad Moussaoui, president of France’s Muslim Council, insisted modern slaughter methods were not less painful than ritual slaughter.

Halal meat has become a central issue in the run-up to the presidential election next month after far-right leader Marine Le Pen complained last month that all meat in Paris was halal. This claim was denied by abattoirs.

However, French President Nicolas Sarkozy hit back this weekend by calling for butchers to clearly label meat slaughtered according to religious laws.


French minster orders closure of Cannes mosque over anti-Semitic remarks

France's interior minister said on Wednesday he had ordered the closure of a mosque on the French Riviera because of anti-Semitic remarks made there.

The French riviera town of Cannes
The French riviera town of Cannes. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Gerald Darmanin said the mosque in the seaside city of Cannes was also guilty of supporting CCIF and BarakaCity, two associations that the government dissolved at the end of last year for spreading “Islamist” propaganda.

Darmanin told broadcaster CNews that he had consulted with the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, before shutting down the mosque.

The move comes two weeks after authorities closed a mosque in the north of the country because of what they said was the radical nature of its imam’s preaching.

The mosque in Beauvais, a town of 50,000 people some 100 kilometres north of Paris, was shut for six months because the sermons there incited hatred and violence and “defend jihad”, authorities said.

Last October, a mosque in Allonnes, 200 kilometres west of Paris, was closed also for six months for sermons defending armed jihad and “terrorism”, according to regional authorities.

The French government announced last year that it would step up checks of places of worship and associations suspected of spreading radical Islamic propaganda.

The crackdown came after the October 2020 murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was targeted following an online campaign against him for having shown controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a civics class.

In the interview on Wednesday, the interior minister said that 70 mosques in France were considered to be “radicalised”.

According to the ministry, there are a total of 2,623 mosques and Muslim prayer halls in the country.