Contemporary and Social Issues

Hala Mbappé: Kicking Back Against Division

Qasim Choudhary, USA

 ‘Kylian Mbappé is against the extremes, the groups that divide us. We have the opportunity to choose the future of our country. We must not hide… I am in favor of ideas that unite us.’[1]

Kylian Mbappé, typically the center of attention on the pitch, is speaking about more than just football with both Euro 2024 and the elections in his native France underway.

While everyone has the right to vote for whomever they like, Mbappé has made it a point to speak out against any sort of extremes and divisiveness.  

What extremes and divisiveness is Mbappé alluding to?

There are certain policies being lobbied for in France that are likely to cause nationwide uproar and discord. One such proposal is to regulate the ritual slaughter of animals by requiring them to be stunned first, under the guise of reducing animal suffering.[2]

At first glance, this might seem like a good idea. However, upon further investigation, there is growing concern from French Jews and Muslims who feel their religious rights are being impinged upon. Muslims in particular feel targeted as the Islamic methodology of Halal slaughter is being labeled by some as an archaic and barbaric practice.[3]

Let’s try to unpack and understand the situation. 

Muslims follow dietary laws outlined in Islamic teachings, which include specific methods of animal slaughter. Islam already advocates for humane treatment of animals, ensuring that the animal experiences minimal pain. The founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa), was deeply concerned with the humane treatment of animals. Remarkably, over 1400 years ago the Holy Prophet (sa) advised Muslims to minimize harm during slaughter, teaching them not to slaughter animals in front of each other, to sever the jugular vein, and to sharpen blades to reduce suffering.[4]

While the apparent intention behind pre-stunning animals before slaughter for reduced suffering is noble, it inadvertently marginalises religious communities by disregarding their dietary laws and misrepresenting their beliefs.

Islam teaches to reduce the suffering of animals not just at the time of slaughter but even while they are alive. It is recorded that once, the Holy Prophet (sa) saw a crying camel, so he walked up to the camel and consoled it. Then the Holy Prophet (sa) asked whose camel it was, and when a young man stepped forward claiming the camel, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Don’t you fear Allah about this beast which Allah has given in your possession? It has complained to me that you keep it hungry and load it heavily which fatigues it.[5]

France is home to nearly 5.7 million Muslims, whose faith teaches them to be kind and compassionate towards animals, even when they are being slaughtered. And so, as Mbappé emphasises, we should champion ideas that unite us rather than divide us.

About the Author: Qasim Choudhary is a graduate of the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology in Canada, and serves as an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United States of America.





[4] Sunan Nasa’i, Kitab al-Dahaya

[5] Sunan Abi Da’ud, Hadith 2549