The frontman of the Smiths, Morrissey, has attacked halal meat producers in an interview published on his website. Morrissey is already known for his controversial comments on race and animal welfare, some of which have caused him to be labelled a racist. He claims in the interview that “halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of Isis”, linking the practice to extremism, and describing it as “evil”. He also took aim at Jewish kosher food production, describing it as “very cruel” and calling for it to be banned[1].

Halal slaughter must be carried out by a Muslim with a certificate of competence from the Food Standards Agency working in an approved abattoir. Animals are killed by having their throats cut and their blood drained, and as in non-halal production, many slaughterers stun the animals before killing them[2].

Morrissey commented, “I am not saying that stunned slaughter is acceptable, because it couldn’t ever be. If you use the term ‘humane slaughter’ then you might as well talk in terms of ‘humane rape’”[3].

His criticism of the practice also included criticism of Theresa May for calling Eid al-Adha a “joyous celebration”, saying that the statement lacked compassion “as millions of animals had their throats slit to mark the occasion”. He added May is “incapable of leadership. She cannot say her own name unless it’s written down on a cue card in front of her”[4].

He also criticises UK politics as “a moral disaster on every level” and says that Brexit “did not happen”, going on to express support for the far-right part For Britain saying he supports the party because “they have the best approach to animal welfare”[5]. He accuses “the modern Loony Left” of seeming “to forget that Hitler was Left wing”[6].

The comments have received mixed reactions on social media, and have raised the questions about whether his “problematic” comments can be separated from the music for which he is so famous[7].

[1] Beaumont-Thomas, 2018.

[2] Beaumont-Thomas, 2018.

[3] Beaumont-Thomas, 2018.

[4] Beaumont- Thomas, 2018.

[5] Beaumont-Thomas, 2018.

[6] BBC News, 2018.

[7] BBC News, 2018.

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Sources

BBC News. (2018) ‘Morrissey: Is it possible to separate art from artist?’ [online] 19 April. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-43809312. [Accessed 20 April 2018].

Beaumont-Thomas, B. (2018) ‘Morrissey denounces halal meat as ‘evil’, and attacks May, Khan, Abbott and more’. [online] 17 April. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/apr/17/morrissey-denounces-halal-meat-as-evil-attacks-theresa-may-diane-abbott-sadiq-khan-isis-for-britain?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet. [Accessed 19 April 2018].