Church of England schools have been told to make sure they include non-halal meat in their menus.
Following news that some schools have been unwittingly serving only halal options to their pupils, official guidance has been issued by the Church.
And the advice comes after concerns that the use of halal meat is effectively “spreading the practice of sharia law” across Britain.
Halal meat is prepared in accordance with Islamic law by cutting an animal’s throat while a Muslim butcher recites a religious verse.
Alison Ruoff, a long-standing member of the Church of England’s General Synod said that the Church “should be really concerned about” the widespread use of halal meat without labelling.
“The Church is only just waking up to this”, she said. “We have been pathetic and mealy-mouthed”.
And she challenged the Church Commissioners, who manage the Church’s £4 billion assets, to sell its holdings in supermarkets that do not clearly label halal food.
She went on: “There is a lot of fear about upsetting Muslims but as a Christian you have to stand up for Christian values.
“Because we are unwittingly eating halal meat, we are spreading the practice of sharia law.”
The guidance follows a number of news items last autumn on the subject, when it was disclosed that a wide range of outlets were selling unlabelled halal meat.
In September, a Mail on Sunday investigation found that Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Somerfield, the Co-op, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer (M&S) were all stocking halal meat, without telling customers.
And in October, despite having categorically refuted the allegation, fast food giant McDonald’s admitted secretly selling halal meat in some of its food.
The following month, it was revealed that Islamic halal meat had been served to politicians in the House of Commons’ restaurants without their knowledge, prompting MPs to call for tougher laws on food labelling.