Debate over Proposed Muslim Meat-Processing Plant

May 13, 2003

Source: Star Tribune

On May 13, 2003 the Star Tribune reported that "a proposal to build Minnesota's first Muslim meat-processing plant is drawing protest from Rice County residents who fear it could damage the environment, lower property values and increase traffic to their rural area... But those may not be the only issues that will bring opponents to a County Board meeting tonight in Faribault, according to the lawyer for Ali Giarushi, who has proposed the plant. Attorney Caren Schurhammer said she believes that one factor driving the protest is that the proposed business would be a Muslim meat-packing plant... If built, it will use the halal slaughtering process -- a religious ritual similar to the kosher process used by observant Jews... The process, which involves cutting the carotid arteries in the animal's neck, is defined as 'humane' by Minnesota law, although some in Rice County remain skeptical."