Death of a thousand red tapes
Posted by aogWednesday, 25 April 2007 at 07:56 TrackBack Ping URL

I had to laugh a bit when I read this story about halal labeling in Illinois (via Jihad Watch). Creeping caliphascism meets corrupt Illinois politics —

Five years after Illinois lawmakers passed legislation making it illegal to falsely label or sell food as halal, the rules still have not gone into effect and the law is not being enforced. One reason for that is that the definition of “halal” was left vague and unenforcable but good enough to fool the law’s supporters in to thinking “something was done”. A cynic might want to encourage a massive political battle over the precise definition in order to

  • Make everyone involved look silly to the general public
  • Encourage factional fighting among the halal supporting community to distract them from other Shari’a related efforts
  • Distract the legislature from even worse activities

Every cloud has a silver lining, after all.

While there’s also been a bit of a hue and cry about this about this as unwarranted government intrusion in religious aspects. That’s certainly a possibility but that turns on the details of the law. For instance, it seems that New Jersey of all places has what seems to me to be a very proper (even from a libertarian point of view) implementation. The state government doesn’t itself judge halal or kosher, but serves as a common registration point for private organizations that do. The state simply enforces the registration of judging agencies and that if food vendor X claims that its product is certified by judging body Y, that Y did in fact certify that product. What or how Y did the certification isn’t an issue addressed by the state, it is properly left up to the consumer and his opinion of Y. I am not seeing the problem, unless the law is written badly which isn’t specific to this issue.

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