Outrage over Melbourne school opting for halal sausages in welcome-back barbecue

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Melbourne, Mar 6(ANI): The row over a welcome-back barbecue for students at a primary school in Melbourne has turned into a debate over the Islamic halal method of preparing meat.

The debate erupted after Coburg West Primary School's Parents and Friends Association (PFA) ordered halal-only sausages for last month's barbecue, which some parents thought was political correctness gone mad.

One of the parents, Diane Rees, said that she was outraged when told by the PFA that "we have to buy halal because we have some Muslim children in the school".

"I said to the principal, 'I think you're discriminating against the majority of the school and appeasing the minority by only serving halal'. It's not fair on my children that they can't eat at the school," The Herald Sun quoted Rees, as saying.

Rees said that she was not anti-Muslim, but her concern was over the way animals were killed under the halal method, which involves a knife cut to the jugular veins and carotid arteries in the neck.

"They take two long minutes to die and I think that's bloody cruel," she said.

However, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said research showed that if done properly, halal was a quick and humane slaughter of animals.

"I think they are using the issue of some halal sausages at a barbecue, for God's sake, to bring out their own xenophobic bigotry," Patel said.

"It was very thoughtful of the parents and friends association to try to cater for Muslims. I think they (the critics) need to get real and get a life on this one," he added.

School principal David Kilmartin said halal-only barbecues were not school policy and the PFA has been told to provide a choice of meat in the future.

"I don't think it was done with any malice. I'm assuming there would have been requests from Muslim families to have halal meat," Kilmartin said. (ANI)

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