Netherlands: Prison only serves halal food

Netherlands: Prison only serves halal food
Detainees in a number of Dutch prisons get Islamic food.  The justice ministry apparently signed contracts where the suppliers only have to deliver halal food.  Having two different menus was found to be too expensive.  This means prisoners are only served ritually slaughtered beef or mutton.
In connection to the Muslim prisoners, pork was completely removed from the menu since these animals are considered impure according to Islam.
The issue came to light in a court case by lawyer S. van Berge Henegouwe against the prison in Sittard.  His client, a prisoner, complained that he was forced to eat halal.  He sees this as an extra punishment.
The lawyer says that freedom of religion is a great good and that his client does not want to have a religion inflicted on him, and simply wants to eat meatballs.  He demands 25 euro in damages for every halal meal.
The ministry of Justice announced, after a day of intensive study, that pork will soon be served in Sittard again.

The Justice Ministry will check whether there are more prisoners who are only served halal food.  According to a spokesperson Saturday, the starting point must be that the choice of menu is not specified by religious fellow prisoners.
According to the justice ministry the menu in the prison was limited to halal food since it was more practical, and they lost sight that religious prisoners should not be deciding the menu for other prisoners.  They will investigate whether this happens in other prisons as well.  This does not mean that halal food will disappear from the menu since a prisoner has a right to be able to follow his religious prescriptions.

Sources: Telegraaf, (Dutch)

No comments: