Fact Check

Walmart Bows Down to Sharia Law?

Has Walmart agreed to start selling halal meat?

Published Nov 13, 2014

Claim:

Claim:   An Ohio Walmart store has begun selling halal meat.


TRUE:

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2014]


Is Walmart going to start selling sharia compliant meat?

 

Origins:   On 12 November 2014, Miami (Ohio) University's student newspaper, The Miami Student, published an article about a local Walmart's decision to add a halal meat section to their grocery aisles:


Upon the request of Muslim students at Miami University, Walmart recently made the decision to provide halal-certified meat at the Oxford location. Store manager Elijah Woodard made a formal announcement on Oct. 21 that the store would be accommodating these requests.

"I appreciated the students bringing this interest to our attention," Woodard said. "I am pleased to announce that we have set a halal meat section in the store."


 

Visiting assistant professor Tareq Hasan Khan and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) had petitioned all local grocers to carry Halal meat. So far, the local Walmart is the only store to have obliged to the request:


Between Khan and members of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), efforts were made to convince Walmart to provide the Halal meat. Many students reached out directly to the management at Walmart. In addition, a petition was passed around on the Internet. The petition acquired nearly 50 signatures and was directed at all Oxford grocers including MOON co-op and Kroger. Thus far, Walmart is the only provider who has responded to the requests of the Muslim students.

"For halal meat, we needed to drive from Oxford to Cincinnati, around 40 miles one way, almost every week," Khan said. "This long drive is very tiresome and takes about two hours only to go to Cincinnati and return back."


 

This case is not the first instance of a Walmart store's choosing to carry Halal meat: Similar products have been sold at dozens of Walmart stores around the U.S. since at least 2010. Still, the announcement that the Oxford location had added a halal meat section stirred up anger on social media sites:

While some people viewed Walmart's decision to sell halal meat as proof the company was "bowing down" to Sharia law, the Associated Press noted demand for halal products has been on the rise throughout the world:


The worldwide market for Islamically permitted goods, called halal, has grown to more than half a billion dollars annually. Ritually slaughtered meat is a mainstay, but the halal industry is much broader, including foods and seasoning that omit alcohol, pork products and other forbidden ingredients, along with cosmetics, finance and clothing. Corporations have been courting immigrant Muslim communities in Europe for several years. Nestle, for example, has about 20 factories in Europe with halal-certified production lines and advertises to Western Muslims through its marketing campaign called "Taste of Home." Nestle plans to increase its ethnic and halal offerings in Europe in coming years. In the United States, iconic American companies such as McDonald's (which already has a popular halal menu overseas) and Wal-Mart have entered the halal arena.

 

Although Walmart has opted to offer halal meat in their Oxford store, it appears it is making such decisions on a case-by-case basis rather than instituting a country-wide policy to that effect.

Last updated:   19 February 2015


Sources:




    Miller, Sammie.   "Walmart to sell Halal meat option."

    Miami Student.   11 November October 2014.

    Zoll, Rachel.

  "US Muslims: A New Consumer Niche."
    Business Week.   27 December 2010.


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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