Resist this dogma

Just as no one objects to the labelling of meat slaughtered by shechitah - it is the singling out of kosher (and halal) meat which is so iniquitous - so no one can object to a genuinely independent inquiry into kosher methods of slaughter. We have nothing to fear from an objective investigation.

But it is clear from the recent words and longer track record of James Paice, the Food and Farming Minister, that the review he has promised for later this year will be no such thing. Mr Paice believes that kosher slaughter is "wholly unacceptable". It would be naïve to believe that the review will be a judicious inquiry designed to further the sum of human knowledge. Mr Paice may be sincere in his opposition or he may be pandering to the animal rights extremists. In reality, it does not matter which; the effect is the same.

The inquiry will be yet another attempt by opponents of shechitah to impose their dogmatism on two religious minorities - Jews and Muslims. And, as such, it should be resisted by all who believe in religious liberty.

Last updated: 10:16am, June 14 2012