… at best. At worst, he’s deliberately misunderstanding and misrepresenting an issue, framing a genuine concern for animal welfare as “an(other) assault on religious freedom in Europe“.
Never mind that Europe is probably the freest place in the world in which to hold, practise and preach your particular brand of self delusion. Sorry, religion.
Never mind the genesis of the kosher and halal rules are, at best, confused.
Never mind the fact that there are glaring errors in the definition of “clean” and “unclean” animals (really, the hare chews the cud, does it? Morons!).
Lyons expounds here upon his opinion that the Dutch ban on kosher and halal slaughter is “[t]aking a knife to liberty and tolerance”. Because, of course, the Netherlands are well known for being a repressive, restrictive and illiberal state. Yes, that seems right …
Taking it as a given that there is a “recent intolerant trend in Europe against religious minorities”, without providing the slightest evidence for this (hint: there is none), he proceeds to rape reason with Godwin, equating the Dutch law promoting animal welfare with – wait for it – the Nazis. Observing quite accurately the fact that “the last time kosher slaughter was banned in the Netherlands was during the Nazi occupation” he proceeds immediately to call this an “embarrassing parallel for modern-day Dutch politicians”.
Well, no, it isn’t. Because, you fucking idiot, the Nazis banned kosher slaughter because it was, y’know, FUCKING JEWISH and the Dutch ban is because it’s FUCKING CRUEL! Does that distinction escape you, Lyons?
His piss-poor potshots against our oh-so-illiberal intolerance continues:
“While such restrictions are often imposed in the name of modern, liberal values, they are their very opposites. A free and open society should be able to tolerate a diversity of beliefs and practices, even when they are at odds with the views of the majority.”
Ok, almost completely right. Just remove “practices”. Believe what you will; fine. Do what you will; not fine.
I may believe that stabbing all people with brown eyes through the very centre of their foreheads with a silver plate cake slice will guarantee their eternal bliss. In no way should there be any legislation in place to prevent my so believing.
However, if I were to act upon that belief … well, you see where I’m going.
The bottom line: we are obliged to respect people’s right to hold whatever beliefs they wish (or have been inculcated to believe). We are NOT obliged to respect those beliefs themselves. And we are absolutely not obliged to accommodate practices which are in conflict with what we as a society have come to see as acceptable.
Cruel, painful, agonising slaughter of animals to comply with the archaic, barbaric strictures of an Iron Age, bucolic belief system which, even at its inception was unsophisticated, ill-informed and idiotic compared to the many far more advanced societies around it, is wrong. Simply, and utterly wrong.
The Dutch are to be applauded.
The rest of us are to be upbraided for not having done the same.
The proponents of kosher or halal slaughter are to be ignored, or mocked, or both.
And Rob Lyons is a fucking moron, who is to be ignored. And preferably never published again.