Eid al-Ad ḥ a — The Islamic Holiday of Sacrifice: A Temporal Difficulty? Student editor Sheza Alqera Atiq analyzes the EU Court of Justice decision on a preliminary ruling first issued by a court in Belgium in 2017 governing the regulation of animal slaughter, of the type in which Muslims engage once a year. As a part of the religious ritual practices surrounding the Ḥajj pilgrimage and to commemorate Abraham’s sacrifice of a ram in lieu of his son, each Muslim household sacrifices an animal that they then give part of in alms. The regulation essentially barred the “temporary slaughterhouses” that Muslims set up for this purpose and which previously had been approved by the Belgian government until 2015, and required all animal slaughter to take place in approved slaughterhouses. The Atiq explains that Eid, “with its accompanying sacrificial rites,” has “raised questions as to the neutrality of Regulation 1099/2009, and whether it constitutes an infringement upon religious freedom.” On her analysis of the Advocate-General’s remarks, Atiq writes “the preliminary ruling was not neutral” as claimed. They justified the decision on grounds that “temporal difficulties,” meaning that the yearly surges in demand for animal slaughter created shortages in the capacity of existing slaughterhouses, and raised questions about who should bear the increased costs. In Atiq’s view, the distinction between ‘temporal difficulties’ and regular practices “seems to be a false dichotomy; what appears to be a temporal problem of temporary slaughterhouses for the government arising from the specific occasion of ‘īd ul-aḍḥa still remains an essential religious feature for Muslims in Belgium, and across the EU .. and disproportionately discriminates against Muslims” The Muslim communities objected, leading to the EU Court of Justice review. Atiq reviewed the arguments on both sides, with an aim of offering alternative solutions to the problem. Read the full commentary. Image credit: Arab News


CASE ::  Liga van Moskeeën en Islamitische Organisaties Provincie Antwerpen and Others, C-426/16 (Court of Justice of the European Union, 2017) This EU Court of Justice ruling, delivered by Advocate General Wahl on 30 November 2017, addresses the controversy surrounding the Eid al-Adḥā ritual sacrifice case initially brought in Belgium. The AG heard the case upon a request for a preliminary ruling from Nederlandstalige rechtbank van eerste aanleg Brussel. The decision addresses Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009’s ban on slaughter in temporary slaughterhouses, which raised questions as to the neutrality of the Regulation, and whether it infringes on Muslims’ religious freedom. Read more . Image credit: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit/Wikimedia


EU PROFILE :: The Court of Justice of the European Union The SHARIAsource Portal provides context for the status of Islamic law for every country and major region in the world, including the EU. For background on the legal and governmental structure, relevant cases, and constitutions of member nations, see the set of cases from the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as the various constitutions and laws of EU member nations, such as Belgium, where the case of Eid al- Adḥā first arose . Image credit: Wikipedia


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