Netherlands: 3,400 kg of sacrifice meat donated to the poor
Muslim donated about 3,400 kilo of meat to the food bank during Eid al-Adha, reported Cordaid Wednesday. The Catholic organization collected the meet the week before together with the Samenwerkende Moslim Hulporganisaties aid organization (Cooperative Muslim Aid Organizations, SMHO).
According to Islam, Muslims should give some of the meat from the animal they slaughter to the poor. "Our operation is one of the way to share with the poor," says a Cordaid spokesperson.
The meat will be processed into Turkish sausages and given out by the food banks. A small part of the meat will be served in the social restaurants Resto Van Harte.
For the past few years, SMHO has been collecting meat for the needy during the holiday. "It's slowly penetrating among Dutch Muslims that there are also poor people in the Netherlands," says Veyiz Gungor of SMHO. "But it's a fact that in this country there are more and more people living under the poverty line. You see it in the growth of food banks and the Van Harte Restaurants."
The operation, started four years ago, appears to be a success. "More and more Muslims know to find us," says Gungor. "In the first year we brought in a thousand kilo; last year 3,000 and this year we expect 4,000".
There are special collection places, mostly Muslim butchers, where Muslims can bring their meat.
It's originally a Turkish initiative, but more and more non-Turkish Muslims participate. Gungoz: "For the most part it's Turkish-Dutch. We can communicate with them more easily via the Turkish mosques. But in the past years there are more and more Moroccans, Surinamese and Indonesian Muslims who call us to ask where they should bring the meat."
There are also Muslims in the Netherlands who exchange the animal-sacrifice for a money-sacrifice. They send the money to poor people in the lands of origin. Among Indonesian Muslims in the Netherlands, it's common, says Firdaus of the Indonesian mosque in the Hague: "The Kurban, the money that is used to buy the sheep, is collect in the mosque and sent to Indonesia, where it is distributed among the poor."
Veyiz Gungor know of this practice, but says it's theologically controversial. "Most Muslims believe that sacrificing an animal is a religious duty."
Sources: AD, RNW (Dutch)
See also: Netherlands: Muslims donate holiday meat to needy