Although the requirements for ritually slaughtered halal meat seem simple enough, it appears that there are many different standards adhered to in the Muslim world. What difference does livestock diet, ownership of processing plants, and the method of slaughter have on the end product? Will there ever be a universally accepted definition of halal that consumers will be able to trust? Even better, will there be a recognized authority that can offer certificates verifying halal status? Or will we just keep taking the word of our local Muslim butcher shops?
Shahed Amanullah is editor-in-chief of altmuslim.com.