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Author Topic: Air Canada will not provide 100% Halal meals
miles
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posted 03 June 2005 10:30 AM      Profile for miles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is simply disgusting, disgraceful and might just violate both the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code.

The Toronto Star is reporting that Air Canada discriminates against Muslem Canadians by not providing halal meals for passengers who request them. The airline provides Halal style meals.

From the Star. I do not have an account so can not post the entire story.

quote:
The next time Imtiyaz Khatri flies Air Canada, the most he'll do is enjoy the sight and aroma of his "Muslim meal" without ever tasting it.

If he bothers to order it.

Like other devout Muslims, Khatri — a Toronto businessman and frequent flyer — doesn't consume meat unless it's from ritually slaughtered animals. But he is getting mixed messages from Air Canada on whether the airline's meals meet strict Islamic dietary requirements and are halal (Arabic for permissible).

Khatri says he called Air Canada last week and was told by a manager that its Muslim meals don't contain alcohol or pork.

But when the Toronto Star contacted the airline, a spokesperson said Muslim meals were also free of animal fat, beef and veal.

"We do offer chicken and I think the current rotation offers fish," she said.

Most Muslims consider chicken — like beef, veal and lamb — to be halal provided the meat is from ritually slaughtered animals. Fish is always halal.

But the spokesperson said Air Canada's meals are "Muslim-style," and not halal. The airline met with two community leaders — Dr. Abbas Moledina and Dr. Liyakat Takim — in 1999 to ensure meals would be "appropriate," she said.

"They were very happy with what we were able to come up with."

But Takim, now a professor at the University of Denver, says that is not so. In 1994 and 1995, as imam of the Ja'ffari Islamic Centre in Richmond Hill, Takim took the initiative to get Air Canada to offer halal meals. He worked with an airline representative, sampling various meal offerings.

But it never led to anything, Takim said. "(They) just wasted my time."



From: vaughan | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
GJJ
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posted 03 June 2005 10:40 AM      Profile for GJJ        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually I'm not sure why Air Canada would have to provide meals for any particular group - or why anyone cares. Airplane food is uniformly awful - you do much better bringing your own anyway. That aside, there are hundreds of different groups with their own eating requirements; its impossible for an airline to meet them all, and unlike the cases of hospitals and prisons and the like, there's no reason for them to do it ... passengers have other options - and anyone who can afford to fly can afford to pack a lunch that meets their dietary needs.
From: Saskatoon | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 03 June 2005 10:41 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But the spokesperson said Air Canada's meals are "Muslim-style," and not halal.

I'm no expert, but I think Air Canada is missing the point.


From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 June 2005 10:47 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Muslim-style" -- that makes me think of Kraft's description of Velveeta or CheezWhiz as "cheese food."
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johnpauljones
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posted 03 June 2005 10:50 AM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
GJJ I think you have missed the issue. The issue is not about whether or not the airline should or should not provide the meals.

The issue is about if they are going to provide the meals is almost Halal good enough.

Could you imagine a vegetarian meal with almost no meat in it or a diabetic meal with just a little bit of sugar in it?

I wonder if any of the lawyers here could comment on whether or not this contravenes any laws.


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 03 June 2005 11:04 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A question to any Muslim babblers (Mandos? or our evasive Mohamad Khan?) or any others familiar with this - isn't Kosher meat acceptable for Muslims? I know Muslims here who used to buy Kosher meat before Halal meat was widely available (it is so widely available in my neighbourhood that it is what I usually buy...). Of course there are other rules that might preclude Muslims eating the Kosher meal, although the latter would be unlikely to contain any alcohol products - there aren't too many flambéed dishes or braises slowly simmered in wine on airplanes...

"Muslim-style" ... that is like "Kosher-style" food. But which Muslim culture, and which Jewish culture for that matter? Pakistani, Moroccan or Senegalese?

Sorry, I can't help the temptation to make this into a foodie thread. The human rights issue here is the airline's prevarication.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
GJJ
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posted 03 June 2005 11:28 AM      Profile for GJJ        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by johnpauljones:
GJJ I think you have missed the issue. The issue is not about whether or not the airline should or should not provide the meals.

The issue is about if they are going to provide the meals is almost Halal good enough.

Could you imagine a vegetarian meal with almost no meat in it or a diabetic meal with just a little bit of sugar in it?

I wonder if any of the lawyers here could comment on whether or not this contravenes any laws.


Hmm, guess that whooshing that I heard was the sound of the point going way over my head. You're right, if they claim that it meets the criteria then it certainly has to meet the criteria.

In my defense, I note that it's Friday, and I'm never sharp at the end of the week ...


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 03 June 2005 12:56 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by johnpauljones:
GJJ I think you have missed the issue. The issue is not about whether or not the airline should or should not provide the meals.

The issue is about if they are going to provide the meals is almost Halal good enough.

Could you imagine a vegetarian meal with almost no meat in it or a diabetic meal with just a little bit of sugar in it?


Since they provide Kosher meals, it seems logical to me they must provide both or neither.

In my experience, there are far more Muslims who in Canada that keep their dietary laws than Jews who keep theirs (in both cases, a minority!), so there should be at least equal demand. Both groups could be accomodated with vegetarian and fish meals.

There's no such thing as "almost" Halal or Kosher. Beef not slaughtered according to the rules might as well be pork.

And by the way, diabetics can eat sugar!

[ 03 June 2005: Message edited by: RealityBites ]


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Boom Boom
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posted 03 June 2005 01:13 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree that if an airline claims its food meets certain standards, then it is obliged to live up to that standard. But it's my opinion if religious folks of any stripe want meals that meet the standards of their religion, they should bring their own food, subject to container guidelines set by the airlines themselves.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 03 June 2005 04:03 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
lagatta: Kosher is acceptable to most devoutly religious Muslims. Aside from alcohol, it's actually stricter in some ways that are a superset of halal.

As for myself, when I eat outside I ask for No Pork. A lot of Muslims who grew up or immigrated in a time when there were fewer Muslims around do this. My parents immigrated to smalltown northern Alberta originally, where neither kosher nor halal is available, and they weren't about to turn vegetarian. It was easy, there, to avoid pork though. Pork is a special shibboleth, far worse than alcohol, which is spoken of in glowing terms in Qur'an---as a heavenly delight that risks social deterioration in this life.

I do also eat flambé, sauces with wine, etc. Can't really intoxicated on it unless one eats more than what one's stomach can take, heh.


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Macabee
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posted 03 June 2005 04:18 PM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:

Since they provide Kosher meals, it seems logical to me they must provide both or neither.

In my experience, there are far more Muslims who in Canada that keep their dietary laws than Jews who keep theirs (in both cases, a minority!), so there should be at least equal demand. Both groups could be accomodated with vegetarian and fish meals.

There's no such thing as "almost" Halal or Kosher. Beef not slaughtered according to the rules might as well be pork.

And by the way, diabetics can eat sugar!

[ 03 June 2005: Message edited by: RealityBites ]



For Jews who keep kosher, they must eat strictly kosher meals prepared under Rabbinical supervision. These meals are purchased from Rabbinically supervised kosher caterers by airlines around the world. Many of my Muslim friends (as also confirmed by Mandos) accept supervised kosher meals bought by airlines. It is one of many areas of faith in which both Jews and Muslims work together.

From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Big D
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posted 04 June 2005 01:44 AM      Profile for Big D        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How do the re-hydrated omlettes fit into the whole picture?
From: Half man, Half Horse! | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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posted 04 June 2005 10:20 AM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Best to stay away from those
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Tommy_Paine
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posted 04 June 2005 10:27 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I suppose it is important in a symbolic way, but surely, fighting to get any kind of airline food can at best only render a pyrrhic victory.
From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 04 June 2005 10:42 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm a vegetarin. Ever try getting a vegetarian meal on a plane? Forget about it.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 04 June 2005 10:46 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canadian Airlines used to have an "Asian Vegetarian" meal that I actually loved. I didn't just think it was pretty good for airline food, I actually loved it. It was a tofu/asparagus/carrot stirfry with seasoned rice. It may not have been properly vegetarian (and I was only ever ovo/lacto anyway), but it was actually good. Air Canada didn't have it after they took over Canadian though.
From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
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posted 04 June 2005 10:46 AM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The phrase "airline food" is an oxymoron.
From: far, far away | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 04 June 2005 11:03 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A friend who flies Air India says that one should never ask for anything but the vegetarian meal -- that's the good one.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 04 June 2005 11:09 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Again, if the airline is offering Kosher food, then I think it is duty bound to offer Kalal food.

That way, the most devout of both religions can enjoy a proper meal together on a flight where they can comfortably discuss stopping gays from enjoying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Myself, I think it more pragmatic to demand that a parachute be included with every meal.

All that irony in defiance of gravity is surely too tempting a target for any god.

[ 04 June 2005: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
A longsuffering conservative
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posted 04 June 2005 11:28 AM      Profile for A longsuffering conservative     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I, myself, would like to know the legal status of Air Canada's food policy.

Again, I'm a thimble on this one as well. However, if memory serves, our friends at Air Canada are deliberately violating the Official Languages Act (re: service in French) and wink, wink, nod, nod, the federal government seems to be letting them get away with that.

I suppose it has to do with the principles of the balance sheet. With this in mind, I doubt that flexibility and accomodation is their long suit. Our "highly credible" Transport Minister, Jean Lapierre, should look into this.


From: The Sovereignist Dark Side | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 04 June 2005 03:00 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm the american airlines just dont provide food any longer. Just snacks (pretzels) and the opportunity to buy food which is neither kosher, halal or any other lreference (including vegan)
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Big D
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posted 05 June 2005 06:26 PM      Profile for Big D        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
I suppose it is important in a symbolic way, but surely, fighting to get any kind of airline food can at best only render a pyrrhic victory.


From: Half man, Half Horse! | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hyper
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posted 09 June 2005 12:04 AM      Profile for Hyper     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
True Kosher meals are permitted but only if there is no chance for Halal 'blessed according to Islam' meals.

The website http://www.eat-halal.com deals with major terminologies regarding the halal/haraam/kosher dilemma regarding the Muslims.

Anyhow, airline's kind of have to comply with every kind of meal service, there's a thing called people nitpicking to pick off unintentional torts. Poor Air Canada is already down under in the business department, I don't think they need to lose any more customers.

The issue is regarding why the airline can't back up past statements and why they don't fully adhere to the laws of the Halal meal.

I agree with a post from above...that air canada representative COMPLETELY missed the point.

Its muslim-style not halal...

There isn't any such thing as Muslim Style meals...no one calls Kosher meals Jewish Style meals...

But the Problem doesn't lie solely with the airline itself or the general but also with the Muslims. Muslims have until now always gone with the flow, they never stood up for any of their rights and if they did it would be shortlived.

Its the Muslims fault that the Muslim Style meal isn't as successful, because honestly those of Jewish descent tried extremely hard to get their kosher meals proper.

Sorry for any oddly biased remarks...err...I try to be as unbiased as possible.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
ceti
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posted 11 June 2005 10:25 AM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some humour: Onion: Jews, Muslims, Hindus Agree on Chicken
From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 June 2005 10:35 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah, but ceti: All three groups are about to find themselves grilled by Pamela Anderson and PETA!

Believe it or not, Pamela Anderson has a column on this a.m.'s Grope and Flail op-ed page. No foolin', and not Onion -- I couldn't believe it either, but there she is, giving us the gruesome details of how chickens are killed en masse, specifically for KFC but presumably for other mass markets.

Now, maybe observant Hindus, Muslims, and Jews can satisfy Pamela's standards, not just the killing standards but the raising standards too. We shall see.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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