Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Subway Enforces Halal Food and Discriminates against Sikhs.

with 19 comments

Subway Stirs up Religious Controversy. 


Subway is now making 185 outlets sell only Halal food.

Sandwich chain Subway has defended changing the contents of some products in line with demands by Muslims for meat to comply with sharia law.

Sandwiches at 185 Subway outlets in Britain and Ireland no longer come with ham or bacon as the pig is regarded as unclean in Islam.

The pork has been replaced by turkey in a move the company hopes will avoid offending Muslim customers. Turkey is halal, or clean, to Muslims.

Subway outlets adopting the new policy will display a window sticker reading: “All meats are halah.”


There are, however, those who will not eat ritually slaughtered food.

This will hit one group directly: Sikhs.

Some Sikhs are vegetarian but those who are not have to follow the rule of not consuming Halal meat.

” Sikhs are strictly prohibited from eating meat killed in a ritualistic manner (such as halal or kosher, known as Kutha meat, or any meat where langar is served.  In some small Sikh Sects, i.e. Akhand Kirtani Jatha eating any meat is believed to be forbidden, but this is not a universally held belief.  The meat eaten by Sikhs is known as Jhatka meat.”


Subway, like many ‘multi-culturalists ‘, appears to be unaware of the complexities of different religious stands on food.

It should not have entered this divisive area in the first place. 






Written by Andrew Coates

May 1, 2014 at 11:57 am

19 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Why can’t the y simply offer a choice between halal/kosher food and non-halal/kosher food? I suspect that the bottom line plays a role here.

    The Spanish Prisoner

    May 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm

  2. The answer is boycott Subway.


    May 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm

  3. Reblogged this on oogenhand.


    May 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm

  4. Unfortunately, they are only obeying the lonly imperative that capitalism knows, the law of teh market and maximizing profits. My local ASDA has a halal butchery counter in it now, and sells Muslim paraphenalia. Won’t be long until they introduce a range of hijabs and burkas: they have already introduced the baggy chemise that the women wear. Sadly, we have to accept that ‘everything changes’ and unless you want to go around East Anglia yelling ‘Awake’, then you are going to have to accept it. What we shouldn’t accept is a watering down of socialist politics. Independent workers organizations, vigourous debate, demands for the wealth to be returned to the people from who it has been stolen. When someone supports these, their nominal nationality is unimportant, likewise if they don’t then they are a hinderence to social progress. I think we’ve got it all wrong. We shouldn’t attack Islam (after all, the existence of God can never be proved or disproved as it is a matter of faith), we should attack their political, social and economic programmes which are pro-imperialist and thoroughly reactionary.

    sue r

    May 1, 2014 at 9:04 pm

  5. […] By Andrew Coates […]

  6. Exactly Spanish, food outlets, if they wish, should offer a Halal alternative.

    But here it is all Halal.

    Andrew Coates

    May 2, 2014 at 11:58 am

  7. Unfortunately, they are only obeying the lonly imperative that capitalism knows, the law of teh market and maximizing profits. My local ASDA has a halal butchery counter in it now, and sells Muslim paraphenalia.

    Sue R: my then local Asda, on the A13, used to, in the mid 1990s, offer a (small) Koscher food selection and sold a lot of Jewish religious paraphenalia. I have no idea why. Dagenham has never had any kind of noticeable Jewish presence. I suspect that someone in the company’s HQ in middle of nowhere looked at the sales figures for such products in, say, their Muswell Hill branch, and thought, “well why haven’t the idiots down there in Essex even got one shelf of such stuff? It sells so well!” (Having worked in a bookshop chain I know how this kind of central stock-ordering nonsense ‘works’, i.e. send loads of Catholic religious childrens’ books to branches in traditionally Protestant, in the 1920s heavily communist and today 85% atheist eastern Berlin suburbs; as they sell so well in the Bavarian provinces).

    At least that when that branch (also) today offers “world” foods from Poland and the Carribean, as well as Halal products, there is clearly a customer demand for them.


    May 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm

  8. What I really object to is that religious authorities get money for authorising these blest foodstuffs.

    Andrew Coates

    May 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm

  9. Well, who else is going to do it? Who else would be ‘authorised’ – in the eyes of these religious people – to do it?

    I object to religion full stop, I’m not going to get wound up by the relatively speaking minor technicalities of religious food regulation.


    May 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

  10. Actually, there is a very large Jewish population in Ilford and all those Eastern suburbs. I agree that there is generally a centrally decided ordering policy, and it does not detract from my main point which is that shops sell what sells. I don’t know if other branches of ASDA have halal counters, I don’t think so, but I haven’t got the time to do a fact-0finding investigation. There was a report recently that showed that practically all the meat in supermarkets is halal, whether it is marked or not. The only exceptions are Marks and Spencers and Morrisons. I’m not going to get on my high horse about being forced to eat halal meat, but I would like to know what it entails apart from slitting the animals throat (sometimes with, sometimes without stunning, scholars differ on what is Islamically acceptable) but I would like to know if it means that teh blood is drained out of the carcase. Some deluded loon mumbling a prayer over a sheep doesn’t bother me, except that no doubt he charges handsomely for the privilege. Really what is happening with Halal (and kosher) slaughter is that the animals are being sacrificed, which was indeed the practice in the ancient world. Finally, does anyone know how animals are tradtionally slaughtered? I take it that their necks are not slit, is it that they have a bolt in the head?

    Sue R

    May 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

  11. “What I really object to is that religious authorities get money for authorising these blest foodstuffs.”

    Is that so? How does it work? If you know this to be true, let us know how and why.

    Personally I don’t care about the religious origins of the meat I eat, although I do worry about the way in which animals are treated from birth till death. Typical meat eater’s comment, no doubt, but it is possible to be a carnivore and something of an humanitarian, honest.


    May 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm

  12. “Specifically, the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must precede the slaughter by invoking the name of Allah, most commonly by saying “Bismillah” (“In the name of God”) and then three times “Allahu akbar” (God is the greatest). Then, the animal must be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck (while the animal is conscious), causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord. Lastly, the blood from the veins must be drained.”

    “Halal Food Authority (HFA) is an independent, voluntary, non-profit, organisation operating as a commercial wing of a registered charity. The objective of HFA is to facilitate the Muslim Ummah to be partial to genuinely manufactured halal food in compliance with HFA Halal Standards, Islamic Jurisprudence and relevant EU regulations in vogue. Simultaneously, HFA creates awareness of halal principles and axioms for halal production within food industry, consumers and various national and international forums.

    The HFA promotes animal welfare, adherence to food safety, food hygiene and quality in compliance with UK Laws and within the teachings of the Islamic jurisprudence and faith. HFA contractually works with establishments that are involved in the production and supply of Halal foods, to be able to certify all products for their halal status that is an assurance for the Muslim consumers that all the food they consume meets the axiom & standards of Halal.”


    This is a religiously authorised body.

    Andrew Coates

    May 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm

  13. No-one (in their right mind) travels from Ilford to go shopping at the very edge of Dagenham, Sue, and certainly not 15 years ago.

    Ilford has *nice* shops, big branches of Sainsbury’s, M&S with a huge food section, a (at the time) modern shopping centre etc. And there are bigger, less horrible supermarkets on nearer main roads.

    And have you never noticed the religious ‘seals of approval’ on certain foods, either from the Chief Rabbi of wherever (more prevalent in the UK until recent years), or the HFA?

    I have a very nice local Jewish bakery. I correct: I have a very nice local bakery which has a Kosher seal of approval from the local relevant Rabbi for a large number of his products, which he delivers to local synagogues, the Israeli embassy, Jewish food stores, etc. What I find interesting is that the religious regulations are signifcantly less stringent than they otherwise might be as the baker himself and his employees are not Jewish. Most of the Kosher goods are also vegan, so the baker manages to supply two – both growing in size – local niche markets at the same time.


    May 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

  14. There is a thesis or twenty thousand, to be written about the obsessions people have with diet, whether religious or otherwise.

    Andrew Coates

    May 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm

  15. Jhatka meat is meat that is killed in one strike i.e. bullet to the head, severed head etc. Animals should not feel pain, but if they do it should be minimal. Halal is the exact opposite, and the fact that the meat needs a prayer is disturbing, as sikhs we believe thats unnecessary as this does not enoble the flesh, we just believe that the animal should not suffer.

    more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jhatka

    please read the above, its very informative and can help to deviate from any misconceptions about sikhs, and also even hindus and their right to eat meat.

    Mr M Singh

    May 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

  16. Dagmar, although Dagenham may not be the place of choice of Jews, I dare say there will be a few tucked away. Anyway, I am well aware of the religious seals on varous foodstuffs, I HAVE NO OBJECTIONS TO PEOPLE FOLLOWING WHATEVER DIETARY LAWS OR REGIMES THEY WANT. I myself have some fussy eating habits, although I could never follow a religion or philosophy which forbade eating certain foods. THe objection (on my part) is a) it is more expensive and b) if the blood is drained out, is there a loss of nuritrients? There is also some evidence that the animals can smell the blood of their slaughtered fellow beasts and thus release all sorts of stress hormones into their blood and thence meat, which can effect the final human consumer.

    Sue R

    May 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm

  17. I also think it should be recognised for what it is, animal sacrifice. Fine, that’s their belief system and who am I to judge etc.

    Sue R

    May 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm


    b singh

    May 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm

  19. @ Sue R: You wanna know the worst thing? Uttering the name of Allah over the animal as it’s slaughtered isn’t even necessary. It’s the actions of the person eating the meat that matters, not those of the slaughterer, so saying Bismillah over your steak sandwich before tucking in is sufficient. I know because I once worked for a Moslem and he told me.

    Ura Butfuqa

    July 6, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: