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FactCheck: No, Croke Park will not be used for animal slaughter during Eid Al Adha

The claim was made by TheLiberal.ie ahead of Eid Al Adha celebrations in Croke Park this summer.

Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland!

A CLAIM MADE in an article published by TheLiberal.ie this morning has suggested that Croke Park will be used as a venue to kill animals for meat preparation as part of an Eid Al Adha festival taking place in the stadium this summer.

The article indicated that Croke Park would be used to “host a Muslim large blood sacrifice ritual” and that the “pitch of Ireland’s largest stadium will soon be saturated in the blood of terrified animals”.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Dr Umar Al-Qadri of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council and organiser of the event, said that no animals would be slaughtered within Croke Park, nor would any food be consumed as part of the festival in the venue.

“It is absolutely a lie and false. It has no truth,” Dr Al-Qadri said.

Muslims “do consume meat, we do sacrifice animals on the day of Eid”, but this would not be taking place at Croke Park, he said.

“No food and drink will be taking place in Croke Park due to social distancing,” he explained. “It is an event in which there will be prayers and speeches, and that’s about it.”

When animals are killed for events like Eid Al Adha, it is carried out in a “controlled environment” such as an abattoir or slaughterhouse. Dr Al-Qadri said this happens “in a humane way according to halal standards”. 

He outlined that the slaughter of animals for Eid Al Adha can have a charitable element, with Muslims donating the cost of an animal that is slaughtered and then given to poorer families.

Dr Al-Qadri described the claim as “very sad”, but that he believed it represented a “minority opinion” in Ireland which does not represent the mainstream.

It is unclear where TheLiberal.ie obtained the inaccurate information. The article has been widely shared on Facebook, with over 1,500 shares and 2,300 comments since its publication on Wednesday morning. 

Halal standards

In Islam, Muslims are asked to follow halal food standards, which outline which foods may and may not be consumed and under what circumstances.

Certain foods which are not considered halal, and which Muslims are guided not to consume, include pork, reptiles and insects, and alcohol.

Animals which have died in a manner other than slaughtering methods outlined in Islamic Law are seen as not halal.

The Department of Halal Certification, an organisation supervised by the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre Ireland, outlines that halal slaughter involves killing the animal with a sharp knife to the throat. 

“In general, all forms of stunning and unconsciousness of animals are disliked. However, if it is necessary to use these means to calm down or mitigate violence of animals, low voltage shock can be used on the head only for the durations and voltage as per given guidelines,” the organisation explains on its website.

The slaughter “must be done by a sane adult Muslim” and “the name of Allah must be invoked (mentioned) at the time of slaughtering”.

The organisation says that animals “should be killed in a comfortable way” and “unnecessary suffering to them must be avoided”.

Eid Al Adha at Croke Park

Eid Al Adha is an annual celebration in the Muslim calendar that takes place at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage and is known as the “Festival of Sacrifice”. Croke Park is set to host the event outdoors this year to allow community celebrations to take place in line with social distancing guidelines.

The event is to take place on 31 July or 1 August, depending on when the moon is sighted. The exact date is to be confirmed on 21 July.

500 people are expected to attend the event in Croke Park to allow for social distancing. The stadium can usually accommodate up to 82,300 people at full capacity.

GAA President John Horan said that the stadium was “delighted to welcome members of the Muslim Community to Croke Park to mark Eid Al Adha, an important date in the Muslim calendar”.

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“I believe the staging of this celebration fully supports our commitment to inclusion and a GAA welcome linked to our belief that it’s ‘Where We All Belong’,” Horan said.

According to the 2016 census, approximately 63,443 Muslims live in the Republic of Ireland.

Verdict

Eid Al Adha, known as the “Festival of Sacrifice”, is one of the most important annual events in the Muslim calendar alongside Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr. Celebrations for this year’s Eid Al Adha are scheduled to take place in Croke Park in a fortnight. TheLiberal.ie makes the claim that the event will see Croke Park “saturated in the blood of terrified animals”.

Although animal sacrifice is a traditional element of Eid Al Adha, the organiser of the event has outlined that no animals will be slaughtered in Croke Park. Additionally, no food or drink is due to be served at the event.

As a result, we rate the claim that animals will be slaughtered in Croke Park: NONSENSE. As per our verdict guide, this means: The claim is wildly inaccurate, logically impossible, and/or ridiculous.

TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here. 

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