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One of the largest hospitals in Denmark has admitted to serving only halal beef — meat that is slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic guidelines — to all of its patients regardless of whether or not they are Muslim.

The revelation that Danes are being forced to eat Islamically slaughtered meat at public institutions has triggered a spirited nationwide debate about how far Denmark should go to accommodate the estimated 250,000 Muslim immigrants now living in the country.


The halal food row erupted in July when the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet reported that Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen has been secretly serving only halal-slaughtered meat for the sake of its Muslim patients, for the past ten years. The hospital serves more than 40,000 patients annually, many (if not most) of whom presumably are non-Muslim.

Halal — which in Arabic means lawful or legal — is a term designating any object or action that is permissible according to Islamic Sharia law. In the context of food, halal meat is derived from animals slaughtered by hand according to methods stipulated in Islamic religious texts.

One such halal method, called dhabihah, consists of making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck that cuts the jugular vein, leaving the animal to bleed to death. Much of the controversy involving halal stems from the fact that Sharia law bans the practice of stunning the animals before they are slaughtered. Pre-slaughter stunning renders the animals unconscious and is said to lessen their pain.

Amid a surge of public outrage over the decision to serve only halal beef, Hvidovre Hospital’s vice president, Torben Mogensen, has been unapologetic. “We have many patients from different ethnic backgrounds, which we must take into account, and it is impossible to have both the one and the other kind of beef,” he says.

“First,” Mogensen adds, “I do not think that a slaughter method as such has anything to do with faith. Second is, of course, that all chickens in Denmark are halal slaughtered, and it has to my knowledge not caused anyone to stop eating chicken.”

Mogensen also says the hospital is not trying to “push the Islamic faith down the throats of non-Muslim patients”

In a press release, Hvidovre Hospital states, “We introduced halal meat both for practical and economic reasons. It would be both more difficult and more expensive to have to make both a halal version and a non-halal version of the dishes. Then we have two production lines. It requires more people, more equipment and more money.”

The hospital advises non-Muslims to take it or leave it: “We always have alternatives to halal meat such as pork, fish or vegetarian dishes. It is a question of attitude.”

According to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, there is no comprehensive inventory of the number of hospitals in Denmark have halal meat on the menu. But officials at the University Hospital in Aarhus, the second-largest urban area in Denmark after Copenhagen, say the decision by Hvidovre Hospital to serve only halal is an example of political correctness run amok.

In an interview with the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Ole Hoffmann, the head chef of Aarhus University Hospital says: “We have never had a patient ask for halal meat, and therefore it is an issue that we have never discussed. I think it is a strange decision. If there was a desire to serve halal meat, then we would of course consider it, but we would never completely eliminate non-halal meat.”


Originally published at Gatestone Institute.


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The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.


  1. In Europe Muslims have been reluctant allies whatever they are elsewhere. Both of our “archaic” rituals and ways are under attack by atheists. agnostics. Christians and related swine.

  2. hallal and kosher is not the type of meat forbidden but the animal itself pork is no hallal to jews and muslims the cow is sacred to hindus while we sikhs take the hallal closer to jhatka where the animal is just given one stroke to die ie the head is cut off with a swift action of a kirpan people know as stunning and or farm slughters by machines like harvesting.

  3. The question is do they also bend over backwards to support their Jewish patients?  Kosher slaughter is similar to Halal although Jews would not eat Halal.  It is actually good in my opinion that the Muslims are forceful about their religion because the Jewish religion also forbids the stuning of the animal before it is slaughtered so in this case the Muslims are actually helping our cause IMO.

  4. Cowards. The Scandinavians are in terror of the Muslims. although 250,00, that is not a huge proportion of the total Danish population.

    However, the Danes do consider getting rid of circumcision – they are not afraid of having their throats cut by Jews.

    The great Danish people, with their long history of courage, have been reduced to panderers and cowards. Their explanations for what they do are merely serving to cover-up their fear and cowardice in order to stand to stand for nothing at all.

    Certainly, serve the Muslims halal meatballs, but do not make halal butchers extra rich with such ploys to make everyone else eat them too. In other countries, there are halal and kosher diets and foods for Jews and Muslims. Others eat the usual food that they buy for themselves at home.

    One can accommodate different people's needs without lying and playing games to cover-up political correctness and fear. BTW, political correctness is derived from fear, and represents a way of protecting oneself from harm (reverse.
    racism in that such people do actually fear violence – subconsciously – from the folks they purport to care about).

  5. And I notice that they never imposed kosher meat on all patients when there was a significant Jewish population in Denmark. But that's because the Jewish community did everything it could not to impose on others. That included simply not eating hospital food — having your family bring it in. Why are Muslims so in need of being catered to when other populations put up or shut up? And the burkas on the nurses in the photo is really over the top. If a Muslim patient doesn't want a normal Danish nurse to care for them, then maybe they should set up their own hospitals, where their every need could be taken care of. Don't let the minority intimidate the majority in the majority's own native land!

  6. The hospital advises non-Muslims to take it or leave it: “We always have alternatives to halal meat such as pork, fish or vegetarian dishes. It is a question of attitude.”
    In other words, the Muslims who would not eat non-halal meat ALSO have choices of fish or vegetarian dishes, or is there some requirement that Muslims MUST eat meat?
    Color me confused.

  7. You open the door for a "little compromise" and "all hell walks in". When will Countries and people realize you cannot "dance with the devil and not expect to take him home with you afterwards". Denmark has made a grave mistake – they didn't give special treatment to the Jewish diet and should not single out any other – Catholic or vegan. Shame shame.

  8. I would feed them pork meat balls with much blood still in it, they are terrorist, worship a little god over the real God of Creation, they live in the dark ages, treat women worse then cattle and need to pay the price of their folly, a joke group of cowards that they call men and the women seem to be 4th or 5th class citizens after dogs, camels, cows and others. Tell them to stick their heads back in the sand where their god and brain's are.

  9. Step number one. Next, the nurses are covered up. Why don't they just build their own hospital and leave everyone else alone. No one cared if religious Jews didn't want to eat non Kosher meat. Oh, I forgot, we don't blow things up when we get angry. Shame on you, Denmark. Where is the pride and courage you showed to the Nazis. You have fallen, and so badly.

  10. I remember those days when Catholic's were required to not eat meat on Fridays. That did not apply to anyone else so how is it now a special consideration to Muslim's to force others to adhere to their dietary dictates? Don't want to eat meatballs then stay out of my favorite Italian restaurant that makes fantastic meatballs.

  11. Has anything been mentioned about Ramadan being honored in the White House by a President of the United States. Under his watch was the approval of $87.5 billion worth of military weapons for Egypt. Many liberal progressive American Jews voted for this puzzling leader? Why? May the God of Israel forgive and protect us from all harm.

  12. That headline is totally misleading – but it sure caught my attention. Why don't they simply use kosher slaughter because Muslims are allowed to eat kosher meat. Oh….wait….that's done by the Jews. Can't have that…..

  13. Europe will soon have a very bad wake up, but then it will be too late. We have to adapt ourselves to the muslims that came to our countries. Do you think they would treat us with the same regard if we would go to their countries??? I doubt.

  14. Europe will soon have a very bad wake up, but then it will be too late. We have to adapt ourselves to the muslims that came to our countries. Do you think they would treat us with the same regard if we would go to their countries? I doubt.

  15. The military weapons for Egypt are not a bad thing. The Egyptian military has been protecting Israel…not bombing it. Egypt kept the balance of power stable in the Middle East for years. The military is against the Muslim Brotherhood…as are right minded people everwhere, I hope.

  16. RuthTawil Go to a Muslim country – they absolutely do not. Additionally OUR governments say that we should respect local cultures when we go abroad and yet make us bow down to imported foreign cultures at home.

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