From Kosher to Halal


By Suzanne Bousquet, Published in 2020



The hidden face of our shopping carts. You will never look at your shopping cart the same way again after reading this shocking masterpiece! The plethora of tiny kosher or halal seals that most people don’t even notice are far from being innocuous. Firstly, certifications come with a cost that is passed on to every consumer. And since labeling isn’t mandatory, meats coming from animals killed without stunning in religious slaughter often land in the conventional market. Initially, apart from the few dietary restrictions featuring in the Torah and the Koran, everything on Earth was deemed licit. In 1919, a New York Jewish publicist turned that principle on its head: every product that doesn’t bear a rabbinical certification mark isn’t kosher. It became a multibillion dollar industry supported by powerful lobbies.Coinciding with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the early 80s, halal is a marketing concept that operates the same inversion. Hence the wide array of “Shariah-law compliant” products and services and a $2.1 trillion market that keeps growing.By allowing ‘’religious requirements’’ into the 20th century food system, the West’s profit-obsessed political and merchant elites opened Pandora’s Box. Norms reflecting worldviews from long-gone eras rooted in superstition mocks scientific and humanist thinking inherited from the Age of Enlightenment. Islam’s millennial conquest plan surfs on the neoliberal capitalism wave. The author pulls the alarm.

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