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“Cruelty of the Worst Kind”: Religious Slaughter, Xenophobia, and the German Greens

  • David Smith (a1)
Abstract

In 1995, before the Leitkultur debate about a hegemonic German culture to which immigrants might aspire, disputes over the wearing of headscarves, and September 11, a federal German court effectively banned Muslims from slaughtering animals without prior stunning. The court ruled that the practice was not required by their religion and was thus not protected by the constitution's guarantee of freedom of religious expression. In January 2002, however, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the right to freedom of religious expression and choice of occupation did in fact ensure the entitlement of Germany's Muslims, or at least those responsible for their provision with halal meat, to resume stunningless methods for such ends without the threat of legal action. Religious slaughter has been problematic throughout Germany's history and the reemergence of opposition to it late in the twentieth century was not without precedent. The issue throws up numerous areas for possible examination. But what does it have to do with the Greens and with their positions on animals and human society?

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Central European History
  • ISSN: 0008-9389
  • EISSN: 1569-1616
  • URL: /core/journals/central-european-history
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