Last Thursday, February 27, 2014, Rabbi Schneier of FFEU and Dr. Sayyid Sayeed of ISNA, Islamic Society of North America, spearheaded a delegation of ten Muslim and Jewish leaders in a meeting with Denmark’s ambassador to the U.S., Peter Taksøe-Jensen.These ten men and women met with the ambassador to appeal a new Danish law that effectively bans halal and kosher ritual slaughter.
The law, passed just a few weeks ago, mandates that animals must be stunned before slaughter for consumption. This law directly contradicts both Muslim and Jewish injunctions regarding halal and kosher slaughter, forcing both Muslim and Jewish communities in Denmark to import their meat and constricting the practice of these religions. As Dr. Sayyid Sayeed said before the meeting, “one can only wonder if the Danish government is seeking to make life so difficult for Muslims and Jews that many will decide to leave the country.”The delegation included: Professor Marshall Breger, former Presidents Ronald Reagan’s and H.W. Bush’s liaison to the American Jewish community; Symi Rom-Rymer, co-chair of Standing Up for Each Other sub-committee of Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee; Dr. Mohammad Elsanousi, ISNA director of community outreach; Dr. Masqood Chaudry, president of the Mclean Islamic Center, Jason Kampf, FFEU board member; Parvez Khan, of Jews and Muslims (JAM) DC; and Will Eastman, Executive director of FFEU.These leaders expressed their concerns that such a law is discriminatory and violates the religious rights and freedom of Denmark’s Jewish and Muslim communities. During the meeting, the ambassador acknowledged the delegation’s concern and agreed that the new law may be tarnishing Denmark’s image in Muslim and Jewish communities around the world. He promised to bring these concerns to his government in Copenhagen. Further, the FFEU will continue to work on protesting this law and is organizing similar meetings with Denmark’s ambassadors in London and Paris.