Friday, October 31, 2008

Slaughtering Saddam Hussein the Halal Way

Note: Nouhoume is a Muslim butcher, and so the laws of halal are a very important part of his daily life.

Nouhoume: Madu, why did America slaughter Saddam Hussein on Tabaski?

Madu: Um… What?

N: The day that America slaughtered Saddam Hussein, it was the feast of Tabaski. That was very, very bad.

M: …First of all, Americans didn’t kill Saddam Hussein. American soldiers caught Saddam Hussein, and then they gave him to the government of Iraq. When Saddam Hussein was executed, he was executed by Iraqi people.

N: Don’t give me lies for little children – everyone knows that Iraq is America’s slave. If America tells Iraq to dance, Iraq dances. If America tells Iraq to kill Saddam Hussein, the slave does what his master says.

M: I can’t argue with that. But what is Tabaski?

N: Tabaski is a day of feasts when all Muslims cannot work. We slaughter sheep as a sacrifice to Allah, and then we eat the sheep meat that Allah does not want.

M: So why was it bad to kill Saddam Hussein on Tabaski?

N: For Malians, Tabaski is a day of feasts and celebration with your family. It is the most joyous day of the whole year. Imagine that you are Saddam Hussein and you want to be slaughtering sheep for Allah and eating sheep meat with your wives and sons and daughters – But no! You are slaughtered instead! You would be very sad.

M: Yes, but… if I were Saddam Hussein and I was going to be executed, I would probably be very sad no matter what day it was… and you might be the only person who has ever felt sorry for Saddam Hussein.

N: Also, on Tabaski you are honoring Allah, and so you must choose the best of your sheep as a sacrifice. Saddam Hussein was clearly not the best sheep of the flock, otherwise it is a dishonor to Allah.

M: When Iraq – and America – executed Saddam Hussein, I do not think that the ethics of halal butchering were taken into account.

N: Madu, America should never slaughter Saddam Hussein on Tabaski again – you explain that to the American government.

M: … The next time that America catches Saddam Hussein, I will tell the government to slaughter him after Tabaski.

N: You promise?

M: I promise.

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