Letter to the Muslim Council of Britain

November 30th, 2019

 

Harun Khan
Muslim Council of Britain 
PO Box 57330
London, 
E1 2WJ

 

Dear Mr Khan,

I am writing to offer my sincerest and unreserved apology for comments that I made to the BBC yesterday in relation to banning Halal meat.

My comments were offensive to many Muslims and  I should have been much more careful with my words. I also understand that at a time of such heightened islamophobia and prejudice I have a particular responsibility not to make comments or do anything which might perpetuate division. I stand in solidarity with Muslims and all people who face racism, aggression, and marginalisation. 

I expressed myself clumsily and demonstrated ignorance of the issues around Halal slaughter -  and of how discussion of this subject takes place in the wider context of worrying levels of Islamophobia in our society. In particular, I failed to communicate that my opposition is not against Halal itself, but against the suffering inflicted during any slaughter of un-stunned animals. I recognise that the majority of Halal slaughter involves pre-stunning the animal.

I also wish to make clear that my comments were not reflective of Green Party policy. The Green Party is committed to protecting the rights of religious expression, including Halal slaughter. 

If you are willing, I would be very keen to meet with you to apologise in person and to become better informed about the issues that affect Muslim communities. 

With kindness and solidarity,

Jonathan Bartley

Co-Leader

Green Party of England and Wales