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Seminar Notes Muslim Meat Market

News From : DagangHalal.com (14 Jan 2009)

The West Virginia State University Extension Service hosted seminar on raising sheep and goats for ethnic markets at The Islamic Center in South Charleston. Dozens of farmers, agriculture officials and members of the local Islamic community attended. West Virginia does not have a huge Islamic population. But the state’s Muslim residents nevertheless have a problem finding traditional foods. Supplying area Muslims with meat could become a cash cow for the state’s goat and sheep farmers, according to local agriculture officials. Imam Dr. Ehteshamul Haque of The Islamic Center said the seminar was organized to help solve the problem of supplying culturally acceptable meat products to the local Muslim community. Haque said local Muslims have trouble finding Halal meat products, which are not carried by local grocery chains. He hopes to bring local farmers and community leaders together to supply meat for local Muslim families. West Virginia has only a small percentage of Muslim residents, but those residents tend to be concentrated in the cities, said Susan Schoenian, a sheep and goat specialist for the University of Maryland. Schoenian said American Muslims tend to be younger and more affluent than other Americans. Just as Jews are supposed to eat only kosher foods, under their religion, Muslims are supposed to only eat meat slaughtered under a strict set of rituals. Such food is referred to as Halal. Haque said Charleston’s Islamic population is large enough that local Muslims have a real problem finding enough Halal meats. Reference: The Charleston Gazette January 13, 2009 By Rusty Marks http://sundaygazettemail.com/News/200901120753

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