New York Halal Shops Appeal to Non-Muslim Immigrants

December 10, 2001

Source: Newsday

On December 10, 2001, Newsday reported that "in the 1970s in New York, halal butcher shops were so small in number 'you could count them on one hand,' said Louis Abdellatif Cristillo, field director of a Columbia University research project on Muslim communities in New York. But now, he said, there are at least 30 halal meat preparation businesses in the city which are keeping pace with the growth of New York's Muslim community. Where a mosque would spring up in the city, a halal shop would soon follow, he said... But meat prepared in the Muslim ritual tradition also appears to have caught on with other immigrant groups. In fact, workers at Saroop and Sons [a halal shop in New York] estimate that 75 percent of their customers, mostly Latinos, are non-Muslims.... The halal tradition involves the recitation of special prayers at the time of slaughter and is analogous to the kosher tradition. It plays an important role in the the Muslim diet, said Neguin Yavari, professor of Islam at Columbia University."