By Jeffrey Goldberg
Recently, my arch-nemesis Pamela Geller, who gives the fight against Islamist terrorism a bad name, denounced the good people who bring us Butterball turkeys for allowing their birds to be slaughtered according to Muslim custom. These halal birds, she said, are tortured in the name of Islam:
In a little-known strike against freedom, yet again, we are being forced into consuming meat slaughtered by means of a torturous method: Islamic slaughter.
Halal slaughter involves cutting the trachea, the esophagus, and the jugular vein, and letting the blood drain out while saying “Bismillah allahu akbar” — in the name of Allah the greatest. Many people refuse to eat it on religious grounds. Many Christians, Hindus or Sikhs and Jews find it offensive to eat meat slaughtered according to Islamic ritual (although observant Jews are less likely to be exposed to such meat, because they eat kosher).
Well, Eric Kleefield picked-up on something unusual about Gellers’ description of halal slaughter (he tweeted about his discovery at @erickleefield): The method used to kill a bird according to halal requirements is also the method used to slaughter a bird according to the dictates of kashrut, or the kosher laws. Geller’s statement that “Jews are less likely to be exposed to such meat because they eat kosher” has to count as one of the most ridiculous things she has ever said. Jews who observe kashrut are eating birds whose tracheas have been cut. It’s as simple as that. Her desire to blame Islam for anything and everything she dislikes blinds her to the contradictions, fallacies and lies built into her arguments.
Unless, of course, Geller was actually making an indirect critique of kashrut. If Geller is suggesting that the kosher laws are inhumane (I know people who might beileve this is so) then she should come out and say it. If she wants to attack Judaism, then she should just do so in a direct manner.