The European Union of Jewish Students is profoundly shocked by the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of Belgium to not revoke two laws that prohibit the practice of shechita, the ritual Kosher slaughter, in Flanders and Wallonia, the largest Belgian regions.
This is an unprecedented proof of intolerance and exclusion towards the religious minorities not only in Belgium but in all of Europe. Such a ruling impacts both the Jewish and Muslim communities in Belgium and limits their possibility to be self-sufficient in the production of Kosher and Halal meat.
We deeply condemn this discriminatory choice, as it questions the legitimacy of Jewish and Muslim people as European citizens to freely live and practice their religions in their home countries. In addition, this decree is sadly in line with the decision of the European Court of Justice of December 2020, which gives EU countries the ‘authorization’ to outlaw or restrict the religious practices of the slaughter of animals, such as kosher slaughter.
Such a decision goes against the rights of religious minorities, and its effect perversely promotes intolerance in Europe. We urgently call on the European Union and its Member States to safeguard religious freedom once and for all.