The A-Pork-Alypse!?

The A-Pork-Alypse!?

Written by Theresa Corbin

Pork! Bacon! Ham! Ribs! Pickled Pigs Feet! Oh, the promiscuity of pork! It will be anything you want it to be for a price.

I wrote about the pork topic when I posted my Candy Conundrum and the delicious solution (halal peeps recipe for the peep-o-phile). But now I feel as if it is time to talk turkey. Not really. If you will allow me, I would like to explore the position pork plays in the psyche of the Muslim.

On the one hand pork is nasty:pork

1. Allah tells us not to eat the meat of swine in the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. It is unclean. Do you think a rule like this was just a suggestion? Or maybe there is a reason behind it …

2. An animal’s flesh is a composite of what it eats. Pigs eat their own feces, as well as the dead carcasses of sick animals, including their own young.

3. The Center for Disease Control states that more than 100 viruses come to the United States each year from China through pigs.

4. Many of these toxins that other animals expel through urine remain in the pigs’ system to be stored in their tissue i.e. Urine in the meat that you eat.

5. Trichinellosis or trichinosis: an infection that humans get from eating under cooked or uncooked pork that contains the larvae of the trichinella worm. This worm has been known to hatch in the brain of the consumer i.e. worms in your brain!

6. Pigs are also primary carriers of:

  • Taenia solium tapeworm
  • Hepatitis E virus (HEV)
  • PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome)
  • Nipah virus
  • Menangle virus

7. Eating pork can lead to gallstones, hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol

8. Pigs are biologically similar to humans, and their meat is said to taste similar to human flesh. (Who is tasting human flesh to know this IDK, but am worried!)

On the other hand, I think people are way too focused on pork.


piglet

1. Avoidance of pork is not a prerequisite of faith.

 

Does eating pork negate your Islam? Does it make you not a Muslim? No.

Did Allah say to believe in His oneness, the Day of Resurrection, His Prophets, the angels, and that eating pork is nasty? Then did Allah say to establish the prayer and don’t forget to not eat pork? No & No. No y No. Non et Non. La wa La.

2. Pork free is not dawah (invitation to Islam)

Many times I have overheard someone answering questions about what Islam is by saying that Muslims don’t eat pork. Well … we are also not supposed to eat cats or cockroaches, but I don’t think it is an appropriate topic for an introduction to what Islam is.

3. Pork prohibition does not a Muslim make.

This is kind of like the inverse operation of number one above … maybe, if I knew what an inverse operation is (j/j i do).

Pork free is not a part of belief, nor is it the only directive in Islam. Why are we so hyper focused on such a small detail? While many Muslims will go around drinking and hooking up, they still revile the idea that somewhere … out there … a pig exists!

Sure your belief is what makes you Muslim, and action are also important. But following the no pork edict is not the only action that makes you a Muslim. If you aren’t eating pork and also not praying I have a sneaking suspicion that the later action negates the former.

If your entire religious identity revolves around the avoidance of one type of meat, I recommend therapy. And can I also recommend a rigorous reading routine that includes more that the regular no pork propaganda?

4. The pigs mere existence is not haram. 

Shocking! Scandalous! And he is naked like that infernal sponge named Bob!

People are so ridiculous about the avoidance of pork that they act like even the existence of a pig is haram (unlawful). While I was teaching a second grade class at an Islamic school, I hung up a poster that trailed around the room.

The poster was the typical a-z learning tool that included examples of what things start with each letter. It just so happened that the poster I purchased for the classroom portrayed a pig as something that starts with the letter “p”. Which is true and can be useful in learning that “P” sounds like “pah” in “pig”.

The kids and some of the parents flipped out. Pigs are haram!!!!, they proclaimed as if I were unaware.

In no way was I advocating that they should eat the pig in the poster. He didn’t even look that appetizing, but still there was much ado about nothing. I didn’t take the P for Pig down and we stared at his forbidden flesh all year. (The kids also threw a fit about my left-handedness. Such is the heavy handed way of those who know little but have great zeal.)

What do you think?

Is there some kind of conspiracy theory that pigs and their meat will cause some cataclysmic event? Did I miss that on Fox news? It is possible considering all the diseases that pigs carry and spread to us. But is it necessary to act this way when all your kid wants is a piglet stuffed animal from the Winnie the Pooh franchise? 

 

Are we just biding our time until there is an A-pork-alypse? Or are many Muslims just heavy handed with zeal. Considerate comments welcome.

Sources:

http://www.draxe.com/why-you-should-avoid-pork/

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (2010)

http://www.turntoislam.com/threads/what-are-the-reasons-as-to-why-eating-pork-is-bad-for-our-health.78754/

Science Direct (1999)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (2007)

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22 thoughts on “The A-Pork-Alypse!?

  1. Salam Corbin, what a great little article, Pigs are a creation of Allah, they have a purpose (earths vacuum cleaner?) and they have just as much right to exist as cats, dogs and horses, none of whom we consume. My kids enjoyed watching Peppa Pig when they were little, about jumping in muddy puddles and all, and they have expressed no desire to eat pork in their life, in fact they are naturally grossed out by it when I point it out in the supermarket deli (having said that when you’re not big meat eaters a lot of raw meat looks unappealing anyway). Thanks for the a refreshing voice of reason on pork tales.

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    1. Walaikum Asalam, I totally agree. Pigs have their place in the world. And as I am sure most people know, a vacuum cleaner is a vital resource! 🙂 But I am not sure about horses. I think we CAN eat them, but we usually don’t. Am I making that up? IDK. It is refreshing to hear from a parent who is not freaked out by a pig personality on TV. I am not familiar with Peppa, but I am sure she teaches vital lessons and is a great resource.

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  2. Its worth emphasising that the sole reason Muslims don’t eat pork is because Allah commanded us in the Quran not eat pork, without further explanation. We hear & we obey.

    A lot of non Muslims eat pork their entire life with no known adverse health effects. I know a lot of old people in their 80’s and 90’s who have eaten pork for nearly a century.

    So even if science were to find, or have found, some actual health benefits of pork, the Muslim stance would remain – we still would not eat pork – because we have been commanded not to eat it. And Allah knows best.

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    1. It is worth emphasizing. And was my reason for putting it as no. 1 for reasons pork is nasty. But since this blog is not just for Muslims, I felt like it couldn’t hurt to list the secular reasons why pork is nasty. So, tell me, why do you think some Muslims overreact about pigs and pork?

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      1. I think it stems from improper understanding of this impure animal. Allah has outlawed the flesh of the animal to be consumed, and anything that directly or indirectly facilitates towards the consumption ie selling, farming etc. So, maybe because of that, Muslims have such a strong sense of detest and “fear” for the hog. Perhaps they do not want to fall into being an enabler towards pork consumption. On the other hand, the animal itself is a creation of Allah and as Muslims we must believe that it has its own purpose on this earth. And not be over zealous in swinophobia. I allow my daughter to appreciate this creature by watching Miss Piggy, listening to the Three Little Piggy rhymes and watching documentary about animals in general which includes hogs. It is haram to eat this dirty animal, but it is not haram to know that it exists.

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      2. A lot of folks go way beyond fear of enabling. And I find that weird. Swinophobia! great word. I wish I had thought of that.
        I used to love miss piggy and all her assertiveness! She was the foil to my incredibly shy younger self. You know someone said something interesting on facebook about the post. It is haram to eat bears just like it is to eat pigs, but we still buy our children snuggly teddy bears and have no problem using him to teach children not to start forest fires. I think people just need some perspective on the issue which is partly why I brought it up. The other part is because I am really looking for a swinophobia to explain it to me, to use your genius word. Thanks for reading and not being a swinophobe

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  3. What about the example of Muslim Jack ?
    Jack: “I NEVER eat pork when I am at my “girlfriends” for wine and dope.

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  4. Swinophobia is an actual word hehe, I just wrote it without thinking then decided to Google it up and voila the word does exist. Unfortunately, some of my family members are zealots when it comes to pigs, even dogs. In fact, I was shopping some clothes with my sister today and saw a cute tshirt with a picture of a puppy. I said I’ll get this for my daughter, n my sister immediately said No! To avoid a squabble over some islamic rulings, I went for a tshirt with a rabbit portrait. Shish! If you’re going to avoid dog pictures, then avoid pictures altogether then talk to me about Islam.

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  5. Theresa, I hv read a lot deeper into this swinophobio issue and I am inclined to change my mind on several aspects. Pigs and dogs are not only forbidden from being eaten but the difference between other non halal meat like cats, horses, etc and pigs are that pigs and dogs are najis or impure creatures (not cursed or anything, just impure) meaning when we come in contact with them, we have to cleanse the part involved. So the point is, pigs are impure unlike cats or horses. Blood, excrement are impure too and would you put up a picture of a poop caricature just for the fun of it? Nevertheless, recognizing that pigs are God’s creation and believing that they do serve a great purpose on this earth is an Islamic obligation. And ‘P’ is for Pig, Paper, Plastic, Panda, Pony ….

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    1. Yes, it is true, as I understand it, the pigs as well as dogs are unclean in a way that a lot of other animals are not. Because of the diseases they spread through bodily fluid. So, don’t keep them as house pets… But saying that a pig or a dog is comparable to poop is a stretch. And tasweer is a whole other topic. To be cruel to an animal or even phobic of a picture of that animal is, at least to me, absurd. And way too heavy handed. We can pet and give water to a pig or dog, even if they lick us, a simple wash will remove the najis. “P” indeed begins many words, but to take down a learning tool because a pig happens to be used as an example is an extreme to which I am not willing to go.

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  6. A pig is just another one of Allahs creatures. Pigs are brilliant creatures, in the wild they clear the forests of the debris, they are the ultimate recyclers. Teach ur kids about pigs amongst all the other animals, and how Allah has made everything on the earth with a purpose, and the purpose of pigs is not for food, it’s for waste disposal. Just like dogs are working animals, and have been put on the earth to help in farming, hunting and protection, they shouldnt be kept in a house, they should be outside running around. Its important to teach our children the facts. Teach ur kids to only fear Allah, not pigs and dogs.

    Sorry for HOGging your comment space but I just had to make my conclusion about pigs and dogs.

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  7. Is this “swinophobia” not further prove of the intolerance of Islam and, by extension, Muslims? America and the West are NOT muslim-dominated lands so pork meat is readily available everywhere including at almighty, all-comers Walmart. In Germany that Muslims are salivating and risking their lives to go reside in, pork is a national delicacy even as so many towns and cities and villages are named for pigs. In Germany names beginning thus: SCHWEIN… refers to pig because “schwein” is the German word for Swine/Pig. So, are Germans expected to suddenly change the names of towns, villages, cities etc. that have the schwein root word just make muslim immigrants feel at home and welcomed? Complaining about eating or not eating pork in America in Europe is akin to a non-Muslim complaining there are no alcohol in supermarkets in Saudi Arabia or other Muslim-dominated society. It is such mindset of some Muslims that makes non-Muslims suspicious and wary of Islam and Muslims in the West. Israel, a country dominated by Judaism, pork is forbidden for religious reasons but accommodation is given to non-Jews who eat pork thus one finds several piggeries in Israel not for Jews but for Gentiles (non-Jews). Islam and Muslims should start accommodating differences and diversity in all its facets.That’s the unwritten social code for a 21st century world.

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    1. I think you will find the same accommodations for non-Muslims buying and consuming pork and even alcohol are made in some Muslim majority countries. As you said the mindset of SOME Muslim … This is key here and this is exactly what I am criticizing. It has little to do with Islam itself. I am not in the business of excusing bad or rude behavior from Muslims. Quite the opposite. I am in the business of criticizing it and pointing people to the reality of what Islam says. Some Muslim, not all and not even the majority, go to extremes, just like some Jews and Christians and human beings in general have a tendency to do. Ironically, there are Islamic source texts that literally and clearly tell Muslim NOT to go to extremes in their religion or in any matter. Islam is the middle path, the path to good manners in all matters and toward all fellow human beings. If this is not what we are seeing from the Muslim (and a lot of times we are not), then they are not on the path of Islam.

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  8. Yes, it is true, as I understand it, the pigs as well as dogs are unclean in a way that a lot of other animals are not. Because of the diseases they spread through bodily fluid. So, don’t keep them as house pets… But saying that a pig or a dog is comparable to poop is a stretch. And tasweer is a whole other topic. To be cruel to an animal or even phobic of a picture of that animal is, at least to me, absurd.

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