July 17, 2012
COSTCO, the big-box retailer that is as much a fixture of American suburbia as the white-steepled church was of Puritan New England, has announced it will begin selling Muslim halal family-size entrées, or food that has been prepared according to Islamic law. This, and Costco’s other halal products, just might be the most significant overture to Islam in America yet. (And I’m not joking.) Without anyone in the mainstream taking note of it, a major retailer has begun over the last two years selling foods prepared in Islamic rituals. Saffron Road is a purveyor of halal frozen foods, including chicken nuggets and lamb vindaloo. Costco will start with its Chicken Tikka Masala. The chief executive of Saffron Road, Adnan A. Durrani, has sent a message to American Muslims:
We deeply need the support of you, your families and communities. Let’s show Costco that there’s an educated, progressive, and dedicated American Muslim community by demonstrating our buying power to Costco via purchasing Halal products in their stores.
Halal meats must come, as Wikipedia explains, from “animals … slaughtered in the name of Allah (enunciating this blessing at the point the animal yields its life is the single most important aspect of halal meat).”
What grounds do most Americans have for objecting to Costco’s venture? None.
That’s because most Americans think that because many Muslims are nice, decent and good people, Islam itself must be only nice, decent and good. They believe they would be hateful and sick to refuse to accommodate Islamic law in their own country.
This thinking is disastrously wrong.