Selling halal meat without telling customers is “creeping Islamic fundamentalism making its way into Britain by the back door”, a Muslim academic has said.
Dr Taj Hargey made the comments following revelations that supermarkets and restaurants are selling meat killed in accordance with Islamic law without informing consumers.
He said: “I want to see full transparency when I go to the supermarket”, and added that it was “essential that businesses start labelling food better and accurately”.
Speaking about the prevalence of halal meat in Britain he said “religious zealots and theological ideologues” were partly to blame.
“Halal meat should never be forced on customers without their knowing, surreptitiously and using clandestine methods”, he said, commenting: “This is covert religious extremism”.
The comments came as a Conservative MP called for legal changes to mandate clearer labelling.
Philip Davies, who tabled an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill, said: “People should be able to make an informed choice about what they are buying”.
Supermarket Morrisons also said it would “welcome” Government guidance on the issue.
In an editorial The Daily Telegraph also backed labelling, saying: “Of course supermarkets must cater for all their customers, but that should not be an excuse for failing to provide informed choice – both for those who want halal meat and those who don’t.”
Earlier this month the Daily Mail and The Sun revealed that big chains, including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and Marks and Spencer, are among those not labelling some of their halal meat.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, told The Sun: “It’s a major public scandal that people are being duped into buying halal food. Supermarkets and restaurants should declare what they’re selling.”
He also told the Daily Mail: “If Muslims want to eat halal, that’s absolutely fine. But it should be clearly labelled.
“The problem is that, as with so many other things, the sensitivity only runs one way.”