Leaving Islam



 Silence of The Lambs...

By Mohd Sageer 

The mullah's long mediaeval type blood stained robe hung loose   just above his ankles.  His beehive beard  almost concealed a happy smile on his face.  The sharp knife held in his right hand shimmered in the  hot sunlight.  The young sheep (lamb) tied to a pole on the street side looked at him  as if  begging for mercy.   The man murmured something under his breath.   Next moment the razor edged blade fell on the neck of  the hapless animal  squirting  thick  blood.

This time the Mullah's uttering was loud and clear.  " Mashaaa Allah"  

It  is the coming of Ramadan. A time for fasting ( or feasting ?) .  A common sight in the Middle Eastern  Muslim countries during the holy month , the  slaughtering  of animals and fowls   such as lambs, camels, cows  and  chickens reach their highest to cater to   "iftar"  feasting.   It is estimated that the consumption of meat during the Ramadan is twice as higher among Muslims as that of  rest of  the year.

Supermarkets are flooded with eatables and consumer products.  The long queues   of Muslims in front of abattoirs and meat shops foretell the coming of a festive   and feasting season.  The day long fasting observed by majority  of the one billion Muslims around world  is  a preparation in itself  for a hefty and sumptuous meal that awaits them  at dusk. And they devour  at the delicacies until the  wee hours of pre-dawn.

Just like  the  guests who are  invited for a dinner ball  gala  skipping their usual lunch  in order to fully  enjoy a 5 course buffet  later in the evening. !! 

As many as twice  the amount of   animals are slaughtered during the holy month of  Ramadan for consumption in Muslim countries.  This obsession with meat consumption are ritualistically and religiously  followed by Muslims all over the world.  Muslim are the only population that is specifically  bestowed by God  with  feasting on delicacies even after their death,  on condition  they have observed fasting among other  many Islamic rites.

Quran says in Sura 052.022

"And We shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they shall desire"
Eating flesh calls for taking the life another creature  and it makes one wonder if these poor beasts  had the ability to talk.  Even though Jewish people  and   Christians too include  meat delicacies in  their regular dietary ,  what sets them apart from  Muslims is  their  discretion when it comes to slaughtering  animals.   And a month long festivity of meat consumption is not their prerogative.   Moreover many members  from  Jewish  and Christian communities of West  now propagate vegetarianism  more than ever.

Being  a non-vegetarian is not the question here. Almost all the human  communities on Earth are flesh eaters. It is the divine element that  Muslims hold high in slaughtering animals that is most  disturbing.   People of different faiths other than Muslims don't  attribute their palette for meat to God.  Slaughtering an animal for consumption  is part and parcel of Islamic custom authenticated by their Holy Book. 

What is the puzzle here ?   Human beings killing animals to  satiate their appetite under a profane façade is understandable.  And we must take the moral responsibility for killing a fellow creature. There is something  immoral and  unjustifiable about these mass killing for we, humans can  live in this world without  taking a bite on a piece of meat.  If a day ever comes  by a miraculous cause when someone or  something representing  all the slaughtered animals  come forward and try us    , then we secularists are in  deep trouble.

But not Muslims !  They have someone to point a finger at.  Their merciful God. !   

For  a Muslim to argue against slaughtering an animal for consumption is  blasphemy because Allah has ordered it. 
Quran says

5.3  Prohibited for you are animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of pigs, and animals dedicated to other than GOD. (Animals that die of themselves include those) strangled, struck with an object, fallen from a height, gored, attacked by a wild animal - unless you save your animal before it dies - and animals sacrificed on altars. Also prohibited is dividing the meat through a game of chance; this is an abomination. Today, the disbelievers have given up concerning (the eradication of) your religion; do not fear them and fear Me instead. Today, I have completed your religion, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed Submission as the religion for you. If one is forced by famine (to eat prohibited food), without being deliberately sinful, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful.

The above verse  sanctions  lawful slaughtering of  an animal ( except pig)  provided Allah's name is pronounced up on  it .!!   Allah has even taught  Muslims how to train hunting animals to fetch their  prey. However,  they are ordered to evoke Allah's name over the poor creature . !! 

See the versus confirming that  below.

They consult you concerning what is lawful for them; say, "Lawful for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you." You train them according to GOD's teachings. You may eat what they catch for you, and mention GOD's name thereupon. You shall observe GOD. GOD is most efficient in reckoning.

So eat of (meats) on which Allah's name hath been pronounced, if ye have faith in His signs.

But the  tragic saga of killing the silent creatures  hits  the most gruesome phase during another sacred  Muslim event .  The HAJJ !!  . A report  posted on  a web site on Hajj  pilgrimage describes the following .

In commemoration of the Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his only son to Allah, hundreds of thousands of animals are then sacrificed.

This year they estimate there will be more than 700,000
animals sacrificed in Mina alone including 700,000 sheep and 8,000 cattle and camels. The livestock comes from all over the world, including New Zealand , Australia , Somalia and Egypt .

Livestock in Mina      
Historically pilgrims carried out the sacrifices themselves with a proportion of the meat being gifted to the local poor. As the
Hajj has escalated enormous amounts of meat rotted in the sun and had to be buried in huge pits which was both wasteful and a health hazard.

The sacrifices are now carried out by the Islamic Bank in a number of slaughterhouses, some can handle 50,000
animals a day. There are more than 28,000 butchers on hand who work around the clock for three days.

The actual killing is done with a single stroke of a knife. This is the Halal method of killing
animals, which is supposed to be quick and painless.

Most pilgrims do not even see their sacrifice occur, they buy a voucher from the Islamic Bank and the sacrifice is carried out in their name. If they want to pilgrims can observe and even assist in their sacrifice though few do.

Vouchers signify one sacrificial animal
This year a sheep sacrifice cost pilgrims SAR 350 (£57). Many lined up for hours in the midday heat to purchase their offering.

Muhamed Iqbal Noor of Pakistan told Arab News, "I threw my money in with two other pilgrims, and we were able to make a sacrifice of one cow."

Some pilgrims opt to sacrifice more than one animal. Fouad Mehad
sacrificed five sheep because he likes the idea of people he has never met in places he will probably never go to enjoying his gift. The meat from the offering is packaged, frozen and shipped to various destinations inside Saudi Arabia and abroad, to feed the poor.

Since 1983, the meat of 8.8 million heads of sheep, camels and cows has been distributed among the poor in Islamic countries including Bangladesh , Sudan , Senegal and Somalia ."

Animal sacrifice for the appeasement of  an almighty God-   That is  the most deplorable act human can conduct  in today's world.  It makes me wonder why no animal rights  groups or organizations come forward  to raise their voice against this primitive  form of ritual called  Hajj that involves the killing of silent animals in hundreds of thousands  .

Reasonably thinking , a  merciful almighty God cannot condone the spilling of blood   of  a poor animal   in His name.   Nor its flesh distributed amongst the poor for his appeasement. 

In retrospect,  this whole episode   symbolically draws parallel to the mind set of Islamic fundamentalism for they are most comfortable with a sword than with an  olive branch. 

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