HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — Residents of a Detroit-area community with a large Muslim population can sacrifice animals at home for religious reasons.
The Hamtramck City Council explicitly approved the practice, 3-2, Tuesday, another step in recognizing a cultural shift in a city whose 20th century history was shaped by Polish immigrants.
The council in December had voted to continue a ban on animal slaughter but reversed course, at least for religious reasons, after legal advice and objections from people who follow the Islamic faith, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“If somebody wants to do it, they have a right to do their practice,” Council member Mohammed Hassan said.
Muslims often slaughter animals, especially goats or sheep, during the holiday of Eid al-Adha or pay someone to do it for them. Meat is shared with family, friends and the poor.
“It’s not something new or novel,” explained Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“This is when Muslims recognize Abraham sacrificing a sheep instead of having to sacrifice his son,” Walid said, referring to the Old Testament passage.
Hamtramck residents will be required to notify the city, pay a fee and make their property available for inspection.
Hamtramck has a population 28,000. More than half of the residents are of Yemeni or Bangladeshi descent, the Free Press said.