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U.S. Jewish-Muslim delegation presses Denmark on ritual slaughter ban

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — A joint delegation of observant Muslims and Jews made the case to the Danish ambassador to the United States that his country’s ban on ritual slaughter was harmful to its reputation.

Leading the 10-person delegation to meet Peter Taksoe-Jensen on Feb. 27 were Rabbi Marc Schneier, the president for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and Dr. Sayyid Syeed, the director of the Islamic Society of North America.

“One can only wonder if the Danish government is seeking to make life so difficult for Muslims and Jews that many will decide to leave the country,” Syeed said in a statement released prior to the meeting.

Schneier told JTA after the meeting that it went well, and Taksoe-Jensen pledged to relay its message to his government.

“He was not aware of the magnitude of the damage this has caused Denmark’s reputation,” Schneier said.

Denmark’s ban on kosher and halal slaughter went into effect last week.

The ban’s proponents say that ritual slaughter, which does not allow for stunning prior to killing, is cruel.

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