Last Update: 17:15
Many Greeks don’t know what “halal” means, but the production and consumption of halal meat in Greece is steadily on the rise.
The impressive increase in the number of Muslims living in Greece due to migration is accompanied by foods specially prepared for the Islamic market.
Muslims are not allowed to consume meat that has not been certified “halal.” This term describes the products produced and prepared based on traditions and rules of Islam. More specifically, it is meat, excluding pork, slaughtered according to a very specific ritual under the blessing of the Mufti.
Initially, before the slaughter, the animal is fed only vegetable food that contains no animal byproducts. Only Muslims are allowed to slaughter the animal and the Mufti makes an invocation to Allah saying the words: “Bismillah Erachman, Erachim, Allahu Akbar.”
The animal must be alive in the ritual and is to be slaughtered slowly with a very sharp knife on the neck until it loses all the blood and hung upside down. This means that animals experience a slow and painful death.
In Greece there is already a halal meat certification organization, the European Centre of Halal Certification — GR, also member of World Halal Council. It is based in the Xanthi area and is recognized by the Greek government and supervised by the Mufti office of Komotini.
Many Greeks consume halal meats unknowingly. “Pindos” poultry producers and distributors in the Xanthi area produce up to half a million chickens a week and they produce halal chickens since 2003, with many of them ending up on non-Muslim tables.