IL: MUSLIMS IN QUANDARY OVER STATE FOOD LAW
As a Muslim mom and teacher, Dilara Sayeed struggles to find the best food to nourish her family and feed their devout faith.
She wants beef and chicken that are healthy as well as halal: slaughtered and blessed according to Islamic law. Yet often she finds there are limits to the information available from the supermarket or even her neighborhood Muslim grocer. So she, like many Muslims, must trust in God that she is not being deceived.
“Sometimes I just can’t get all the answers, so I make an assumption that I’m being served in an honorable way,” said Sayeed, of Naperville. “I wish it wasn’t true, but there may be some people who are abusing that trust.”
Five years after Illinois lawmakers passed legislation making it illegal to falsely label or sell food as halal, the rules still have not gone into effect and the law is not being enforced. Because there are multiple interpretations of what constitutes halal, debates about how the law would work have proved difficult and divisive.