Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Reasons for the Ban on Pork Given by a Salafist Group in Germany

I'm getting regular emails from a Salafist group and I'm being told why pork is banned for Muslims. Well, you can deal with religious prohibitions in different ways. I am open to it. Some do not eat beef, others eat no pork, I am a vegetarian, and I eat neither.
I could well live with the quote from the sixth surah of the Koran, which roughly states: "In what has been revealed to me, I find nothing that is forbidden to eat for the eater unless it is dead or leaky blood or pork [...]".

"We do not doubt for a moment that the pig is a filthy and dirty animal and that eating it is harmful to a human being. In addition, it feeds on dirt and grime, ... " the Salafists know to report. No! The pig is not a dirty animal. It separates, if you leave it alone, fecal matter and food. The wallowing in the mud or sand is for the purification of parasites and the protection against sun and heat.

"Pork is considered to be one of the types of meat that contain the most cholesterol" - so why are the other species not banned?

"The consumption of pork leads to scabies ...". Scabies is caused by the itch mite (arachnid). The pig has nothing to do with scabies.

"The biggest danger of eating pork is that pork contains tapeworms that can grow to a length of 2-3 meters." Yes, then what about the tapeworms transmitted by cattle or fish, i.e. Taenia saginata or Diphyllobothrium species? Although tapeworms are transmitted by poorly cooked or raw meat, most of the tapeworm eggs are transmitted through contaminated water or food. Biggest danger? If that was the reason, then beef and fish should be banned, too.

"These worms cause weakness and vitamin B12 deficiency, which leads to a special type of anemia, which in turn can cause nerve problems." Not the anemia but the vitamin B12 deficiency leads to nerve damage.

And then the Salafists tell us about the Bible. Cobbler stick to your trade. They want to "definitely show that pork is impure"; with Mt. 8, 28-34, the healing of two obsessed persons. The demons drove into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the slope into the lake, and the pigs perished. You could superficially read this: the demons went into the pure pigs and the obsessed pigs were killed. Legion and wild boar indicate the Roman occupying power. But that's another interpretation.

And then they argue that the prohibitions of the Torah are also valid for Christians, especially the ban on eating pork. In Acts, however, Peter is commanded by God (Acts 10: 9ff.): "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This refers to the slaughter of unclean animals.

Back to the topic. What bothers me most about the view of these Salafists? To explain God's or Allah's will with human arguments. I think that is somewhat overbearing. If you do not want to eat pork for religious reasons, please do so, but then you do not need any further arguments, because these would devaluate the original argument. In that sense, the e-mail (the reason for the ban on pork) is on the brink of blasphemy. I am not a Muslim, so I will not get a fatwa either.

Link to the original in German:


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