Thursday, May 01, 2014

Subway succumbs to sharia

“Today I place my faith in, and am grateful to Allah the almighty, to announce that tomorrow, Thursday, 1 May, 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases,” said the Sultan of Brunei, as he took his oil-rich Abode of Peace back to the dark ages with the imposition of sharia law for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Phase one, we understand, refers to certain civil matters like marriage and divorce. "Other phases" includes, well.. we know only too well. A country which has been independent from the United Kingdom for just 30 years is about to subject its entire population - including Christians, Buddhists and a 1,000-strong regiment of the British Army - to the hanging of gays, flogging of fornicators, stoning of adulterers and the dismemberment of thieves.

Sharia law phase one in the UK has rather a more liberal face. Formally, the system has no legal jurisdiction at all: provided an activity prescribed by sharia principles does not contravene the law, Muslims are free to live as they wish. And this is as it ought to be in a liberal democracy which embraces diversity and advances religious tolerance. There is no problem at all - bar those concerns relating to animal welfare - with a commercial food chain like Subway catering for Muslim tastes in Tower Hamlets, as one might expect them to cater for Jewish proclivities in Golders Green or Sikh cravings in Southall.

Except, of course, where they do offer kosher meat, non-Jewish customers are given the choice of a hearty BLT baguette; and Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Hare Krishnas are able to choose the vegetarian option should they so desire.

But such freedom of choice is apparently no longer available in 185 Subway outlets in 'Muslim areas' (probably Bradford, Oldham, Birmingham, Leicester, Slough and parts of London), where ham and bacon are banned and all meat is halal. Non-Muslim customers are somewhat limited in their selection of sandwich filling because, Subway say, of a "strong demand" from Muslims. Quite how strong isn't entirely clear. But it's obviously an awful lot stronger than the demands of Jews, Christians or Sikhs, all of whom may very well object to eating meat which has been sacrificed exclusively by Muslim butchers beneath the blade-thrusting declaration: "Bismillah Allah-hu-Akbar!" (‘In the name of Allah, who is the greatest’).

While Christians are at liberty to consume whatever their conscience permits (Mk 7:19; Acts 10:10-15), St Paul expresses a particular concern over "meat offered to idols" (1Cor 10:14-32). But this assumes that the believer is aware that the meat has been blessed in the name of Allah, who is, as we know, the greatest.

If the Christian is kept in the dark, Paul is rather chilled about the matter until someone comes along and makes the believer aware that the meat was idol-sacrificed. Christians are then exhorted not to eat the meat for their sake: we may eat and drink anything unless and until it causes another to stumble.

Subway halal meat is clearly labelled, but they aren't overly bothered about the dietary sensitivities of Christians. Not even those Christians who live in 'Muslim areas'. Probably because they have made no "strong demand".

Unlike Hindus, some Sikhs eat meat, not least because one of their gurus (Gobind Singh) is often portrayed hunting on horseback, and he probably wasn't out coursing for lettuce. Yet within the Sikh religion are the ‘kurahit’, or prohibitions - one of which is not to eat meat "killed in the Muslim way". The origins, as ever, have more to do with the historic subcontinental politics of identity, but it is a sustained article of belief for Sikhs all over the world that they are simply not permitted to eat halal meat at all.

And, for Jews, while halal is similar to kosher in regard to the method of slaughter - shechitah - it is certainly not the same in respect of utensil usage, the mixing of milk and meat, and the foodstuffs which may be consumed (shellfish, for example, are eaten by many Muslims).

But Subway aren't overly bothered about the dietary sensitivities of Sikhs and Jews either. Not even those Sikhs and Jews who live in 'Muslim areas'. Probably because, like the Christians, they have made no "strong demand".

And so, once again, we come to the place where "strong" religious demands subjugate the rights and ride roughshod over the sensitivities of those who make no religious demand. In the pyramid of competing rights, various groups are vying for hegemony at the expense of others, and in Subway a victor has clearly emerged. The store has become a souk. Or 185 of them, at least.

His Grace does not do boycotts.

Unless, of course, he feels strongly about a matter.

Subway has just lost a customer.

But they won't care, of course, principally because His Grace's 12.8k Twitter followers can make no "strong demand" or inflict any economic damage.

Stephen Fry's 6.8m Twitter followers may, however, make a "strong demand" on The Dorchester Collection of hotels, which are owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Mr Fry has decided to boycott the prestigious chain in protest at the imminent 'phase two' sharia stoning/hanging/dismemberment of gays in the Sultanate. And the whole of Hollywood and the global fashion industry are seemingly following his lead.

Since the Church has largely gone Trappist, maybe Christians need a new flexible mechanism for making "strong demands" on commercial enterprises and political parties - perhaps something like 'Holy Vote'.


Blogger Mike Stallard said...

The payment for Muslims - including those who are in my own family and those who are going to attend my English lesson tonight (a University lecturer in constitutional law and his charming wife) - is that things are going to get more and more difficult.

Now that the Catholics are no longer loathed, now that Hitler has made the once unpopular Jews victims after the appalling holocaust, people are looking for a minority to persecute and, by their blatantly rude and unfeeling behaviour, Muslims in this country are in real danger of becoming the new bullied minority.

1 May 2014 at 07:04  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

According to the 2011 UK Census the total Muslim population in the UK was 4.8%.
Given the "strong demand" from Muslims it seems that most of them must choose to buy from Subway. I wonder why?
If it were gay couples wanting to stay in guest houses owned by devout Christians it would be a different story.
That's modern Britain for you!

1 May 2014 at 07:32  
Blogger Martin said...

We don't buy NZ lamb, we don't buy from the halal meat sellers in the town centre. There's plenty of other options where meat isn't offered to idols.

1 May 2014 at 07:48  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

It is the same at my local ASDA, where you can buy any fresh meat you want as long as it's not pork or bacon or Ham. For these you have to go pre-packaged cabinets. Mrs Rebel Saint now travels a little bit further and pays a little bit more to do our shopping at Sainsbury's (which is a very sensible thing to do regardless of shariah non-compliance!)

1 May 2014 at 08:48  
Blogger Donalbain said...

You speak of rights being ridden roughshod over, but you never explain what right that is. I was not aware I had a right to demand that a store sell any particular product. I know I don't have the right to buy beef from a vegetarian restaurant, or a pork sandwich from a kosher deli, so what right does anyone have to expect a particular Subway store to sell any particular type of sandwich?

1 May 2014 at 09:12  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

The irony is that the Dorchester has always been the venue for Stonewall's Annual Equality Dinner; maybe Stonewall's Bigot of the Year Award could be given to the owners of the Dorchester next time?

1 May 2014 at 09:38  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I've never bought anything from Subway, although there is one that I pass every time I go to the shops. I've occasionally looked and wondered whether I should get something there for a quick lunchtime snack, but now I most certainly won't, although it is unlikely to be one of their branches selling Halal food.

1 May 2014 at 09:51  
Blogger John Wrake said...

It seems that many English people have very little knowledge of the Muslim faith. Perhaps that is understandable if Muslims are only 4.8% of the population.

However, demographics can change quite rapidly if birth-rates are widely different.

Perhaps it is worth mentioning two facts, too frequently forgotten.

1. Our nation and society is based on common law - that law which is common to all and which bars only physical hurt, fraud and deceit in our dealings with each other. So long as other forms of law in particular groups do not offend against common law, all well and good.

2. The Muslim faith is a militant faith and a form of government as well as a religion. Consequently, it cannot be allowed to outweigh common law here. Anyone who has lived in a country where Sharia is the rule, as I have, will know that where it has precedence, it is incompatible with common law. The militant nature of Islam is not confined to some sects only, but is incumbent on all the faithful. Tactics may vary when the faithful are weak or thin on the ground, but the injunction to eventually conquer does not change.

The owner of the Dorchester is only doing his Muslim duty.

John Wrake.

1 May 2014 at 10:44  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

As the owner of the Dorchester is doing his duty, he will presumably not have allowed Stonewall to hold its Equality Dinner there anyway? So Fry is being disingenuous by boycotting it; boycotting it avoids trying to book, being refused and then chickening out of suing the Sultan for homophobia. The homosexual lobby is clearly reluctant to face a Muslim v.Gay fight for supremacy of rights.

1 May 2014 at 10:58  
Blogger Albert said...

If the management of Subway want to be like that, good for them. It's their business, they're being honest, and we can vote with our feet. Less pleasing is the idea that because a Muslim does not want to eat something, that therefore he should ask that others not be allowed it either.

At this rate, Muslims will seem almost as intolerant and authoritarian as secular liberals.

1 May 2014 at 11:00  
Blogger Donalbain said...

BusyMum: Stephen Fry says that he cancelled the booking as soon as he became aware of the connection.

Albert: Is it any worse to have halal shops than it is to have kosher restaurants or vegetarian restaurants?

1 May 2014 at 11:15  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Donalbain - So why didn't the same-sex couple cancel their booking with the Bull's B&B as soon as they knew they were Christians? Double standards!

1 May 2014 at 11:23  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thanks Albert,
No need for me to add anything.

1 May 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Jon said...

Busy Mum - your comment is internally contradictory. Either Stephen Fry is facing off against an absolute muslim ruler by boycotting one of his overseas investments (gays facing off against muslims, in your parlance) or he isn't doing either of these things. Make your mind up.

For what it's worth, I think it's a little more nuanced - some gay people and some other thinking people - offended that other humans are about to be killed for merely being themselves, are pre-emptively warning the sultanate that some of their trophy assets are about to lose their lustre. You don't have to be gay to think that killing people for their sexuality is unjust, after all.

Perhaps if the commenters here saw things a little less monolithically, e.g. "muslims", "gays", "christians" and started seeing people as people in their individual glorious complexity, they'd be better shop windows for their faith. After all - I don't think Jesus wrote people off because they were "prostitutes" and the apostles didn't write people off because they were "gentiles". If your comments reflect your personal ministry, so many of you are a poor reflection of your purported saviour.

1 May 2014 at 11:40  
Blogger Jon said...

Why do you think, Busy Mum? Because the Dorchester isn't turning gays away - if it did, it would feel the wrath of the law. Gays are boycotting the hotel to make a point about the Sultanate's laws.

Do you understand the distinction between supply and demand?

1 May 2014 at 11:42  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

There are numerous B&Bs in Penzance happy to accept same sex couple. The Christian one was deliberately selected to make the case that happened. I know many gay people who were disgusted by this, and many who are more than happy with civil partnerships, and believe that same sex marriage is wrong, as it means that gays now have more rights than straights.

The simple fact is that political correctness, multi-culti and moral relativism ("what is that?", Harriet Harman, God helps us) means that the demands of vocal minorities trump the rights of the rest of us. Trouble ahead.

1 May 2014 at 11:53  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"Muslims in this country are in real danger of becoming the new bullied minority." (Mike Stallard): But I bet like gays (as seen in Matthew Parris's revealing article) they would much, much rather be bullied than ... ignored!

1 May 2014 at 11:55  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

With the Savoy being owned by a Saudi prince and with Islamic law pertaining in Saudi Arabia, logic would demand the Savoy be boycotted.

1 May 2014 at 12:07  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


Well Kosher food outlets are clearly there to cater for a specific demographic of society, i.e. the Jewish population, although anyone can go to a Kosher restaurant, as anyone can (even meat eaters) to a veggie place (just don't demand to eat meat or to refuse to eat Kosher slaughtered meat!). So you know with Kosher places what you are getting and you know the food will have been prepared and slaughtered in a particular way, you can make an informed choice as to whether or not to eat there.

Contrast with Sub-way, a national franchise (from America) aiming in theory to cater for sandwich provision of *all* of society, rather than specifically being an Islamic food chain, which is why it has ham baguettes and not just chicken or cheese. Now it is quite clear it wishes to restrict its food choices via the will of one section of the community, but still expecting everyone else to conform to this will. But it has lost a claim to be a *national* franchise as far as I can see by not selling pork products etc.

Personally, I think if you wish to operate a chain of Muslim sandwich shops, then do so openly and build the business up yourself. Don't try and force an existing business to do so. As it happens, I don't care for sub-way, as to me it is a grossly over expensive place for very little quality. The bread looks like rubber (not that I've ever eaten any of it), the food is clearly processed and the coffee (I have drunk the coffee) is like cat's urine. So I don't have to boycott this franchise. I already have.

1 May 2014 at 12:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack enjoys meals at Subway. Individual outlets are by franchise so the decisions about what to serve are locally taken. However, with some regret, he has decided to forego the occasional 'Sub of the Day' from here on in. It will have to be the local bakery from now on with their fresh filled banquettes.

So far as Brunei goes, Jack says "Its not all about the gays." He notes the laws in Brunei are far wider than homosexuality.

Under the law, to be phased in from today over 2 years, the death penalty can be applied for rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations, *insulting* any verses of the Quran and Hadith, *blasphemy*, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and murder. It will also permit amputation of limbs and corporal punishment.

Happy Jack will not be going on holiday to Brunei - or staying at the Dorchester - any time soon.

1 May 2014 at 12:18  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

Just think of the money you'll say by not having a'sub of the day', in fact I'd say just go for a homemade lunch instead. Besides which you'll be able to keep your busking money for something better, such as little savings account or investment bond....

1 May 2014 at 12:28  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

As for Brunei,

Well I won't be staying in any of the Sultan's palaces (not that I ever could). Is this any surprise though? With the oil running out and with the west going to 'fracking', solar and nuclear, the states which rely on petrol products for income are going to be deep in the red. So introducing what is a theocratic totalitarian state (& those who already have this, see a bigger swing in that direction) is going to be particularly useful for those governments wanting to maintain power.

1 May 2014 at 12:32  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

The cost of the lunches are tax deductible, David!


1 May 2014 at 12:32  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This is slightly of topic but Happy Jack has learned that under pressure from pro-abortion rights group NARAL, Google has banned ads from pro-life crisis pregnancy groups.

Under the new Google advertising guidelines, crisis pregnancy centers will not appear on your screen if you search for keywords like "abortion clinic". If you search "crisis pregnancy" abortion clinics will appear.

NARAL claims that their reasons for launching this campaign were: that they conducted their own web search and found that you are more likely to receive an ad for a pro-life pregnancy center than an abortion clinic and that pro-life pregnancy centers are lying about their message.

Jack says there is a great need for the 'Christian Pound' to get organised and to start exercising greater influence.

1 May 2014 at 12:44  
Blogger Albert said...


Is it any worse to have halal shops than it is to have kosher restaurants or vegetarian restaurants?

I think there is a difference, if you set up your shop specifically to cater for certain groups. But Subway isn't that. Beyond that, I think your point is well taken. Subway should be regarded as a place that caters specifically for Muslims. I don't have a problem with that, and I can either choose to go there or not.

1 May 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack

Did you see Johnny Rottenborough's warning at 12:07? Next time you go busking at Covent Garden, be firm with yourself and avoid the temptation to stroll along to the Savoy for your lunch.

1 May 2014 at 12:48  
Blogger Albert said...


Further, I would add that part of the issue is that these restriction seem to be imposed because the shop is in a "Muslim area". Ominous phrase I think.

1 May 2014 at 12:52  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Happy Jack,

It's always good to check the status of your lunch box, so make sure you've got a big banana or a nice pair of pears, some wholemeal bread & a descent sandwich filling.

Anyways off to Costa for a decent coffee... with the Sultan there isn't a lot ordinary folk can do, I mean isn't the Dorchester like for squillionaires?

1 May 2014 at 13:05  
Blogger Nick said...

What I particularly dislike about this whole halal meat thing is the lack of transparency. I recently wrote to 9 of the major supermarkets asking them if the sold halal meat, when are they going to label it as halal, and what the alternatives are for people who want to avoid it. Posibly the strangest response came from Sainsburys who told me they could not label it because there was no agreed definition of "halal". I think that comment belongs in their confectionary section next to "fudge".

I also discovered that NZ lamb in all supermarkets is halal. Many ready meals contain halal meat. It seems the only way to be sure of avoiding it is to eat poork, buy local produce, or buy your meat from a local farm shop instead of your supermarket.

1 May 2014 at 13:17  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

With the Savoy being owned by a Saudi prince and with Islamic law pertaining in Saudi Arabia, logic would demand the Savoy be boycotted.

Hey Johnny Rottenbugger - by this logic we would be obliged to boycott all oil supplies from the Gulf or anything (which is almost everything) connected to Saudi money.

1 May 2014 at 13:21  
Blogger Donalbain said...

David Kavanagh

Nobody FORCED Subway to do this, they did it for the very simple reason that they think it will make economic sense for them to do so. And they are not refusing to serve anyone, so nobody is being denied any rights by this action. If you want to buy a pork Subway sandwich, you can walk to the next one along, they seem to be everywhere these days.

No, there is no sense that Subway is only catering to Muslims, and that is so for a couple of reasons. If a non Muslim wants a turkey sub, they will be served at the local franchise just as would a Muslim, just as a gentile will be served at a kosher deli. Secondly, this is a policy that is being decided at the franchisee level. If the owner of a particular franchise wants to only stock halal meat, for whatever reason (personal faith or customer preference), then I say good luck to him. I hope they make money and improve the local economy. As for Muslim areas, is it any more sinister than saying that Golder's Green is a largely Jewish area of London?

Seriously, this is the silliest example of whining I have seen in a long time. Some people are actually upset that vendors are choosing what products they want to sell. Note that they are not choosing who they want to sell to, they are simply choosing what they want to sell. And they aren't even doing it totally, just in a tiny fraction of the franchises. Nobody is being harmed by this action by the Subway stores, nobody is being discriminated against, nobody has had their rights trampled on or even slightly infringed and yet there are people here talking about a boycott. Just ridiculous.

1 May 2014 at 13:26  
Blogger Donalbain said...

There is talk about labelling meat as being halal or kosher. However, there has been a lot of pushback from Islamic and Jewish groups against the idea:

1 May 2014 at 13:31  
Blogger Donalbain said...

Also worth noting that the Subway's American division already has no problem with catering to niche religious groups:

1 May 2014 at 13:36  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Uncle Brian, the closest Happy Jack is ever likely to come to a Savoy lunch is of the sausage variety.

Speaking of which:

Hannah, Thank you for your advice. Happy Jack reports he has a sizable lunchbox and it is always well stocked.

1 May 2014 at 13:51  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Dreadnaught (13:21)—Those who are horrified that Brunei is going to introduce Islamic law are, I assume, even more horrified by the fact that Saudi Arabia and other countries already have Islamic law and think it’s the bee’s knees. I cannot believe they would limit their sense of outrage to Brunei and the Dorchester. Unless, of course, they are hypocrites.

1 May 2014 at 13:59  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 May 2014 at 14:08  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I wish our Country would stand and defend its democratic principles and put them to the fore, instead of selling out to the highest bidder or caving in to a bunch of loud-mouthed minority Islamists.

1 May 2014 at 14:10  
Blogger Donalbain said...

Which of our democratic principles needs to be defended from people selling halal meat?

1 May 2014 at 14:10  
Blogger non mouse said...

Who should try to tell Moslems what law to adopt in their own country?

Now when they try to force their law on us, in ours, that's a different matter. That's what we've resisted since the onset of Islam.

And enforcing their law by stealth - e.g. under British names (Savoy, Dorchester) - is still forcing. Just because we've made them so rich that they've bought up all our major businesses ...........

1 May 2014 at 14:11  
Blogger Albert said...


I'm not wholly disagreeing with you - perhaps you are misreading my original comment.

Where I am parting company is that it is ominous for people of one community to regard the area in which they live as belonging to their community such that they can try to limit which foods are sold there in shops which are not specifically community based (I have no worries about adding halal and kosher to the menu). The shop is not a specifically Muslim shop so it feels like the imposition of one culture onto another.

Now if the owner of the shop finds that so many of his customers are Muslims that he is not selling certain non-Muslim food, then fine. If, as a Muslim he wants his shop to stock only Muslim food, then fine again, but any suggestion that this is being imposed on the community ought to be avoided.

I think the comparison with Jewish areas is well off beam to be honest, as such distinctions with Jews do not seem to have the same connotations as with Muslims. A Jewish area is an area in which many Jews live. It's not an area in which non-Jews get hassled by the locals, such as gay men have been hassled in "Muslim areas".

But if Subway decide this is how they wish to operate, then, as I say, good for them. I defend their freedom to do so, as I defend other people's freedom not to shop there.

1 May 2014 at 14:24  
Blogger Donalbain said...

You do know that Subways are franchisee owned, so they are very likely to be specifically Muslim owned. Just as the kosher branches they have in America are likely to be owned by Jewish people.

1 May 2014 at 14:32  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ jon

You are half right. Jesus was loathe to condemn the prostitute. However the other half is that he spooked her mightily to start with by his word of knowledge right into her situation, and told her to "go and sin no more". Altogether that spells honest tough tender love, not doormatry nor wooly lack of discernment.

As for Christian food principles, His Grace stated it perfectly. We have no objection to their serving hallal meat (apart from animal cruelty concerns) but we do object to them not providing alternatives and thus helping to establish Muslim ghettoes, not because ethnic areas are awful per se, but because these areas have a reputation of being aggressively territorial. One may walk through Golders Green or china town safely, but you try sending your wife or daughter to walk the dog through a territorially held Muslim area and see what transpires.

We expect rightly to be free to do reasonable things in the land that our grandparents, great grandparents and forebears back millenia have lived in, not to be proscribed and fearful in significant areas within it.

And we expect to be able to go to supermarkets and be able to buy non-hallal meat without having to do onerous and ridiculous research. These are very minor things really, and it amazes me you see any issue whatever.

@ David. May I respectfully ask how you know the coffee tastes like cat's urine?

I agree though about the revolting taste.

I am astonished that Stephen Fry still gathers any sympathy. Talk about first world problems!! Not even that- multi-millionaire first world problems.

Some of us wouldn't mind having the sort of bank balance where we could boycott the local tea shop on a point of principle!!

1 May 2014 at 14:40  
Blogger Donalbain said...

Lucy Mullen:
What would you say to the Jewish groups who believe it is a big issue to require kosher slaughtered meat to be so labelled?

1 May 2014 at 14:48  
Blogger Timjam68 said...

Didn't KFC do this some year's ago? Chicken Cottage is definitely a muslim franchise.

1 May 2014 at 14:56  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


I never mentioned the topic of 'rights' into this conversation. I am simply pointing out that to claim to be a 'national' franchise, you should be catering for society as a whole; if not then simply brand yourself as such. Kosher & veggie outlets don't claim this mantle.I do look forward to the day of the alcohol free pub, though, which could well happen in certain places.

As for your argument of not selling pork products because of profitability, this would not in itself stop them from selling pork etc. The smart way would be simply to stock less of such food, but have it there. That way, you are still able to cater for those who do want to eat a ham or salami sandwich. A food outlet probably relies on repeat business and if you've been running one for a while, you would get an idea of who buys what and to stock what in sufficient quantities. If you get a least one customer who wants a ham sub, then that's 1 more lot of money in the till.

Turning now to your links. In respect to labeling of religiously slaughtered meat, I have no problem with that. As said before I think consumers should be able to make a choice in life. For me, I prefer to use a local Kosher butcher anyway because I prefer to support small firms than the big giants (plus the quality is better).

As for the link with regards to subway's 'kosher' food outlets in America. Good for them. I suspect that this is because America has a far larger Jewish population and is trying to compete with local Jewish food places, so it proves zip.

PS - 'If you want to buy a pork Subway sandwich, you can walk to the next one along, they seem to be everywhere these days'.

As I said above, this franchise isn't my cup of coffee. And I'm not looking for a pork subway sandwich, as pigs aren't Kosher. But I could have a bison sandwich, though.

1 May 2014 at 14:57  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ donalbain

Well cannot common sense be brought to bear. If sold in a clearly kosher shop or restaurant why would it need labelling? I am not in favour of labelling packets of nuts with "contains nuts" either !!

On the rare occasions when kosher meat is sold in supermarkets (is it often?) then it could and should be labelled, but I imagine it would need a separate fridge any way, so actually that could be labellled.

Not greatly into legislating for the sake of it; the important thing is that people should know what meat they are buying, and as much is already labelled, more info would be easy on the hallal/kosher/neither basis. Also they could make sure horsemeat doesn't get in there!!

1 May 2014 at 15:00  
Blogger Theo said...

The problem of enforcing us to eat halal meat may be more widespread and pervasive than we think. On holiday touring in Sri Lanka (a largely Buddhist country) recently I stayed in 5 different hotels. At each hotel I asked if the food was halal. All expressed some surprise that I should even ask the question, and one appeared even offended that I had done so. I survived the holiday on pork and shellfish; but I shouldn't have to! Kuoni did not mention this when I booked and later, when I asked they didn't seem to know or care that they were booking people into hotels which only sold halal food. So when we buy a holiday are we paying for halal food even when we are not visiting a Muslim country?

Do we know what we are eating in British hotels and restaurants and how many of us thin to ask whether the lamb on the menu is from New Zealand?

1 May 2014 at 15:04  
Blogger Donalbain said...

Yes, a lot of kosher slaughtered meat is sold unlabelled in supermarkets.

1 May 2014 at 15:05  
Blogger Donalbain said...

David Kavanagh:

So, good for Subway when they have some branches that cater to one particular niche, but somehow there is a problem when they cater to a different niche. Pathetic.

1 May 2014 at 15:09  
Blogger Ivan said...

The easiest way to get at Brunei is to let that small, meaningless place slip to
Malaysian control. The surrounding areas could do with the extra revenue.

Minority diets and preferences should not be catered to unless they are prepared
to pay a premium. What happens with the halal meat racket though, is that
because the Muslims are such fusspot customers, while their backroom butchers,
many of them aspiring mullahs work on the muscle angle, the ordinary man
just yields since he would rather not make a fuss about it. This is a mistake,
as they then proceed to clear up supermarket counters and the catering business.
It is always a mistake to yield to Muslim religious demands in any form as they
have no concept of reciprocity when it comes to their religion.

It may be an even greater mistake to rely on homosexuals to hold the line for
you, as their first call is always to undermine Christianity. It is ill-advised to
go out on the limb for them, they've made their bed, let them lie in it.

On the bright side of the subway, I don't think my friend Johnny is going to
complain. The Muslim behaviour is in perfect consonance with their 5%
number. They have made Nick Griffin's point about them.

1 May 2014 at 15:10  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


A figure of speech to proclaim my disgust at drinking such appalling coffee (just my personal opinion I might add).

1 May 2014 at 15:13  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ donalbain

Then we should definitely be told. One more piece of info on the label is hardly going to be onerous!! If people want to know, and they do, it is secretive and less than honest not to inform them. I rarely buy lamb these days anyway as it is just too expensive, and I know the chickens, beef and pork I buy are definitely what to me is normal. I understand that there is not nearly as much British lamb as there used to be due to EU subsidies being greater for arable, and the French will pay higher prices than we will for it, so much is exported.

Another reason to quit the EU. Lamb used to be the cheapest meat here. Now it's extraordinarily expensive.

1 May 2014 at 15:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Which of our democratic principles needs to be defended from people selling halal meat?

To protect itself [Western Culture]: from the steady drip of demands and accommodations sought by an alien culture that long term seeks to impose itself as dominant by incremental stealth upon the host.

1 May 2014 at 15:24  
Blogger Donalbain said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 May 2014 at 15:27  
Blogger Donalbain said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 May 2014 at 15:27  
Blogger Donalbain said...

So, we should quit the EU, and then lamb would be cheaper? If you say so..

1 May 2014 at 15:29  
Blogger Donalbain said...

So, in your opinion it is a democratic principle that stores should not be allowed to chose the products that they sell?

1 May 2014 at 15:30  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


I noticed you made the claim about Kosher labeling without a link this time... I wonder why? You haven't actually said what your opinion actually is, but have gone around demanding everyone else's opinion on it. So what is your opinion?

1 May 2014 at 15:37  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Donalbain

When I put "another reason" I mean "another reason", as contra-distinct from the sole reason, so your attempt at satire is a no-goer, and I am flummoxed at the motive for it.

1 May 2014 at 15:39  
Blogger Donalbain said...

I have no opinion on the matter of whether kosher or halal meat should be labelled, I simply have not investigated the issue enough to come to any conclusion. But I do think that the two should definitely treated the same by the law, and to have a different opinion on the two is dishonest. That is why I am interested in how people react to the question of kosher meat, I am interested in seeing if people are being consistent in their reasoning.

1 May 2014 at 15:43  
Blogger Donalbain said...

Sorry, I should add a couple of words to that last comment.

I have no opinion on the matter of whether kosher or halal meat should be REQUIRED to be labelled.

1 May 2014 at 15:44  
Blogger Albert said...


I think that you may be missing something of the reason people feel differently between kosher and halal. It's because the feel differently between Judaism and Islam. Jews have contributed to English culture for centuries, Islam feels new and alien. Jewish scriptures are shared with Christians, the Qur'an is not (except superficially). Jews have contributed to this country without in any way imposing any part of their faith on the country as a whole. At the level of personal equality, it is quite right that Jews and Muslims be treated equally, but it does not seem to me to entirely unreasonable, in a British context to regard their cultures differently.

1 May 2014 at 15:52  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


So, in your opinion it is a democratic principle that stores should not be allowed to chose the products that they sell?

If that is that what you have deduced from my last post, there's no point in me responding to the above.

1 May 2014 at 15:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Mike Stallard

Yes, we need to persecute some minority. Of course the forced bowing to the rants and raves of islmamic immigrants who contribute nothing but rape and murder, while we pay for their benefits because half do not work, pushing sharia law down our throat, bowing to their being "offended" by OUR culture and symbols has NOTHING to do with our wanting to 'persecute' them. We're just racist bigots who have to have somebody to target.


1 May 2014 at 16:03  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

I cede that, in my haste, I seemed to contradict myself. My mistake was to assume that the Sultan would not wish homosexuals to frequent his hotel on a matter of principle; I was wrong, of course.
The issue is that although both Christians and Muslims believe homosexual behaviour is sinful, the Christian hotel owner will forego financial gain for conscience' sake in order to keep his/her hotel free from this behaviour. The Sultan does not mind taking a homosexual's money on the one hand (in the UK)but will take his life on the other (in Brunei). The Christian will deprive the homosexual of neither money nor life and yet has had to give up his business. Meanwhile, the Muslim, who will take both money and life, given the chance, has achieved a homosexual-free hotel by default. The new hierarchy is 1 Muslims, 2 Gays, 3 Christians.

1 May 2014 at 16:38  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...



Not at all. I think that the niche market is best left for those who know the niche; subway doesn't claim to be one and therefore should focus on the broader market to which it apparently still thinks it can appeal towards. Note that I don't endorse these Kosher outlets either. As I said about butchers and this is true of coffee shops/food outlets, I prefer the smaller 'little guy' operations, not massive franchises.

I do of course believe in protection of minorities (I'm one myself), but that doesn't mean I should be putting others in a position in which they cannot eat food, that I choose not to eat myself. I think that this is a broadly tolerant position.

BTW- those Kosher outlets in the US aren't doing a roaring trade as it happens-

And here :

1 May 2014 at 16:41  
Blogger Donalbain said...

Your reaction to the existence of kosher subways was "Good for them". However, your attitude towards the equivalent halal shops is not the same. I am trying to work out why.

Nobody is being put in a position where they cannot eat food a Muslim would not eat, any more than the existnce of a kosher deli puts me in a position where I cannot eat lobster.

If your response to kosher subways is good for them, why is your response to halal ones not exactly the same? Why was your comment on this blog not limited to " good for them"?

1 May 2014 at 17:03  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I can think of nothing worse than a stale sandwich or roll from a small minded franchised Subway outlet in a grimy muslim area. Yuck!
Those 185 outlets are probably in muslim areas where any pork eating westerner would think twice about setting foot in anyway. They are not the cleanest places.

Pret a Manger offers much better quality.

1 May 2014 at 17:23  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


You clearly didn't get the sarcasm. I should have said *shrug*.

But, getting back to your argument, here is a thought for you to wriggle out of -

The subway outlets in American claiming to be Kosher (but not necessarily being run by Jews) were specifically set up as niche (this is what YOUR link said) from day ONE.

According to the article which His Grace has given us..the UK subways were set up as subways with no prefix added and no niche intended. Then all of a sudden, according to this article that has changed.

And you say no-one is being 'forced' here? What about the guy whose loyally gone to get his ham sub every day and now can't? Isn't he being forced to either go somewhere else or to eat something which he doesn't prefer. The Kosher sub would have always not served ham or shellfish. So a person wanting these would know not to go there [I think almost everyone, even if they know jack about Judaism, knows we don't eat pork and Kosher is a Jewish word].

But our man in the UK now sees he cannot go to get his cherished ham sub. And he feels forced to go somewhere else & feels he's being forced into someone else's religions dietary requirements.And then he feels resentful against... which community?

1 May 2014 at 17:23  
Blogger Donalbain said...

There is no suggestion in the article of any franchise owner switching from non halal to halal.

1 May 2014 at 17:42  
Blogger Shadrach said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 May 2014 at 17:54  
Blogger Shadrach said...

I don't eat Subway and I won't eat Subway. I only like extra, extra grilled.

If the likes of Stephen Fry and his effeminate whoopsy friends are going to boycott the Dorchester and Savoy then I am inclined to start staying there. It would be great to know that one will not be offended by there presence and they had not been doing whatever in the beds..

1 May 2014 at 17:56  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Well, Subway have taken a commercial decision. As is their right. If you wish to grow your business ever more, you cater for ever more. If you wish to contract your business, which is actually done by companies especially if they’ve overstretched themselves, you limit your choice. Of course, contraction leaves the way open for competitors to grab a share of your former market. Perhaps there is room for a new boy. “Humane Sandwich” perhaps ? “Brit Snack” ? One notices the average age of the Subway customer is probably early twenties. This group cares about animals apparently, though obviously not enough to stop eating them. But halal WILL leave a bad taste in the mouth, and the young will realise if they don’t eat the stuff, fewer animals will have to go through it.

Anyway, the point is, don’t get too hung up about Subway. Just don’t use them anymore. Plenty of traditional cafes around, and when it comes to it, a hot bacon sandwich served on a plate with a cup of tea is hard to beat, and costs less.

1 May 2014 at 17:56  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

In a similar vein of sorts, over in America, service was not so much generally withdrawn but denied on religious grounds. A bakers was commissioned by a gay couple to bake a ‘Sham Wedding Cake’, though I expect the dodgy pair just called it a Wedding Cake. The bakery, a Christian concern, refused. Litigation was threatened almost as quick as you can say “We don’t do gay cake”. Now, one has no problem at all with the baker’s stance. Whatever happened to “Well if that’s your attitude, I will take my business elsewhere !”. No point in getting your nose out of joint over it, (obviously that concern no longer applies to Mr Stephen Fry. That bird hath flown, long ago).

Not sure what the outcome was in the gay cake outrage in contravention of some imagined human right to make someone do what they don’t want to do. Or Commercial Slavery in short. Maybe the bakery did comply, rather than face financial ruin via the satanic court system. But one would have nothing at all to do with a cake forced baked under those conditions. God alone would know what the indignant bakers would have used as ingredients. Wonder if the happy homos gave thought to that.

1 May 2014 at 17:58  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Lucy, the Inspector is obliged to you.

He was wondering where all the sheep had gone to – it’s no doubt connected with the arrival of waves of destitute immigrants from the continent. Some form of swap, resulting from an unpublished Führer Directive to further undermine British morale by taking away from them a traditional red meat, and dumping lebensraum affected Poles and the like. What a double whammy !

Blighters !

1 May 2014 at 17:59  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

I say, lamb burgers, what ! How much, my good man ?

Sir, may I politely point out that if you have to ask their price, you will most likely be unable to afford them

Crikey !

1 May 2014 at 18:08  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


I took this paragraph as implying that the position at the 185 stores had changed -

"But such freedom of choice is apparently no longer available in 185 Subway outlets in 'Muslim areas' (probably Bradford, Oldham, Birmingham, Leicester, Slough and parts of London), where ham and bacon are banned and all meat is halal. Non-Muslim customers are somewhat limited in their selection of sandwich filling"

1 May 2014 at 18:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Article.: "And so, once again, we come to the place where "strong" religious demands subjugate the rights and ride roughshod over the sensitivities of those who make no religious demand."

Ain't that the truth.

1 May 2014 at 18:41  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Dreadnaught. “Johnny Rottenbugger”. Cutting, even for you...

‘Funny as fook’ as they say up where you are moored...

1 May 2014 at 18:44  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Christian Concern [in November 2010] ( reported the words of the Operation Nehemiah Halal Campaign, run by the Barnabas Fund:

There is an open campaign by Islamic food agencies to integrate halal into the mainstream market and to extend it to non-Muslims. The World Halal Forum held its annual conference in London earlier this month (November), and has identified the UK as a pilot project for halal in Europe…

The spread of halal is often part of the commitment to Islamic mission (dawa) and the Islamisation of non-Muslim societies. The imposition of sharia practices on non-Muslims may be interpreted as an act of Islamic supremacy.”

That it is a question of supremacy and economic profit and not religious compliance is shown by the fact that Islam specifically exempts its faithful from the obligation to eat halal food if none is available

Cheers. Just too tempting to resist :-)

1 May 2014 at 19:07  
Blogger Donalbain said...

That it is a question of supremacy and economic profit and not religious compliance is shown by the fact that Islam specifically exempts its faithful from the obligation to eat halal food if none is available

Judaic law also exempts Jews from the kosher laws if no kosher food is available.

1 May 2014 at 19:26  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

Mind you, anyone who eats food from Subway deserves whatever they get

1 May 2014 at 20:19  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

There’s a thing. Muslims can eat non halal meat when none is available. Presumably to be considered survival rations in enemy territory before the caliphate can be organised. Cunning Allah, he doesn’t want his rotters to starve.

Rather reminiscent of starving rats. They have been found to go through the defecate of other animals in a bid to find undigested whatever. Well, they’d be out of luck if they tried that kind of thing on the Inspector’s. Thorough job done there, I can tell you. Though there is a possibility they might get drunk on it. Never put it to the test, you know. However, if anyone has a tame rat, best if it has a curious nature, then they’re more than welcome, etc.

Cheery Pip !

1 May 2014 at 20:27  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 May 2014 at 21:37  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


I'm not sure saying 'well the Jews do it too' will get this discussion very far. A cursory glance at the two faiths will show you that there are clear differences.

In respect of Jews being able to eat non Kosher food, this pertains under the wider principle of 'Pikuach Nefesh'.

This basically means that in the exceptional (note exceptional) circumstances of saving a life, all other Mitzvot are overridden [exceptions being called 'Yehareg ve'al ya'avor '- to die rather than transgress].

In respect of Kosher food & 'Pikuach Nefesh' this applies if there are no Kosher foods available and a Jewish person will starve to death, then a Jewish person is permitted to eat non Kosher food (hence saving a life in the process) OR if a non Kosher food product is necessary to cure an illness.

1 May 2014 at 21:39  
Blogger Donalbain said...

Again, I think it is interesting to see why people react differently to Jewish establishments and Muslim establishments. The fact that Muslims can, in extremis, eat non halal food was given as evidence that Muslims are trying to establish dominance. I wonder if people would say the same thing about Jews

1 May 2014 at 22:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mike Stallard @ 0704 makes a remarkable assumption. It seems because he has family members who are Muslim and because he teaches English as a second language to Muslims, we should all accept that Islam is acceptable.

Mr Stallard has previously told us that he converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism. Presumably this decision was made after rigorous analysis of the differences between the two Christian denominations. It is to be hoped that Mr Stallard will shortly employ his forensic skills in comparing Christian morality and Islamic morality.

Where to start, Mike? You know, the usual stuff; kill the kuffar, kill the apostate, stone and amputate as required, treat women as third class citizens and the property of men.

One could go on, and on, and on.

1 May 2014 at 22:07  
Blogger Albert said...


The fact that Muslims can, in extremis, eat non halal food was given as evidence that Muslims are trying to establish dominance.

If that's a reference to Dreadnaught @1907, I think it is interesting that you have ignored his strongest evidence, which, I would have thought, establishes the difference between the Jewish and Muslim elements in this discussion. You seem somewhat to ignore the wider issues of this debate - even when they are repeatedly put to you.

1 May 2014 at 22:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Muslims can, in extremis, eat non halal food was given as evidence that Muslims are trying to establish dominance.

You don't seriously suggest that anyone posting here on the broader subject at hand is as dimwitted as you appear to be do you? Opinions are formed on composite observations that give depth and insight to matters but you seem if not deliberately obtuse to not understand the difference between that and the significant minutiae that is part of the whole.

Unlike Muslims, we never hear anything from Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or clanging,dancing Hari Krishnas, demanding, constant changes in our society to accommodate their religious obligations or preferences.

1 May 2014 at 22:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The above was to Donalbain.

1 May 2014 at 23:02  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

More on sharia law: children could get death penalty as Maldives brings back executions, according to CNN.

2 May 2014 at 01:45  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Dreadnaught, Albert and the Inspector all get it. The big issue here is that it is the nature of Islam to dominate other cultures. They have a goal to establish the rule of Allah as interpreted my Muhummad upon the whole world.

Everything depends on a critical mass of our public and rulers perceiving this and then deciding if we feel that our way of life is worth taking the necessary steps to preserve.

2 May 2014 at 06:54  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


The big issue here is that it is the nature of Islam to dominate other cultures

Do you think I don't get it? What the hell to you think I've been banging on about for years.

2 May 2014 at 08:35  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

‘If any State stops us from spreading Islam’…
Now if this man in a western suit and tie was permitted to speak as he has done here on Jordanian TV, apologists for Islam such as Donalbain would probably say he was a minority; a ‘misunderstander’ of Islam; not representative of the fluffy cuddly Muslims that live next door.
If the interviewer and co-responder were white skinned ethnic Europeans, they would be hammered by the British press and EU appartachiks as Racists. And no doubt the likes of Sub-way would still carry on facilitating the spread of Islamic influence so long as they could turn a dollar.
This guy and thousands like him are products of Universities in the ME where they have studied Islam – and this is what they turn out as glowing examples of achievement. How can anyone be in doubt that Islam is a pernicious disease of the mind brought on by political brainwashing, masquerading as just another benign theology.

2 May 2014 at 09:24  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Subway? I think they need rebranding to Submit.

2 May 2014 at 10:56  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

@ Dreadnaught at 08.35

'Do you think I don't get it?'

NO. I thnk you do get it.

That's why I wrote 'Dreadnaught...gets it'

I try to make a point of agreeing with atheists when they are right about something.

kind regards

2 May 2014 at 20:32  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Apologies - my mis-read.

3 May 2014 at 18:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The comma in the list made it a bit ambiguous when skim reading, even though it would have been "both" instead of "all" I expect.

4 May 2014 at 09:20  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 May 2014 at 21:35  

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