Jonathan Bartley - Green Party co-leader

Jewish Greens were very concerned to hear of Jonathan Bartley’s recent comments regarding the banning of Halal meat. Given the similarities in the ritual practice surrounding Halal and Kosher slaughter, we presume a call to ban Halal meat is also a call to ban Kosher meat. This is deeply worrying for our community and we stand with Greens of Colour in rejecting restrictions on religious slaughter. We join with them in asking the Green Party to issue an official apology and retraction. At this time of heightened tension for both Jewish and Muslim communites this cannot be delayed.

Any call to restrict Kosher or Halal slaughter runs counter to Green Party values and policy, with our manifesto stating that we will: ‘Defend the right of people of all faiths – to express their faith, be that in religious clothing, food or reasonable accommodation of religious observance’. Opposition to Halal or Kosher slaughter overlaps with the common far-right narrative that Jews or Muslims are especially cruel to animals, something that we hope that Jonathan Bartley would reject.

We have noted Jonathan Bartley’s apology and clarification, but are concerned that he justifies his opposition to Halal slaughter as a ‘personal view’. While we respect that there are many different views regarding the ethics of meat eating, we do not believe that scapegoating ethnic minority meat eating practices is an acceptable way to raise these questions.

As our friends from Greens of Colour state:

The environmental crisis will not be resolved by banning faith groups from religious practices. In order to achieve climate justice, marginalised groups must be at the heart of decision-making rather than being blamed and ostracised.

We stand with them in rejecting the politics of islamophobia in favour of the Green Party’s policies of a socially and environmentally just future for all.

Header image credit – BBC Screengrab