“only Monotheists May be Entrusted With Slaughter”

David M. Freidenreich

in Foreigners and Their Food

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780520253216
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950276 | DOI:
“only Monotheists May be Entrusted With Slaughter”

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Shi'is face an uphill battle in their efforts to justify prohibitions against nearly all foodstuffs associated with all non-Muslims. The Qur'an, after all, distinguishes People of the Book from idolaters, declaring that “the food of those who were given the Book is permitted to you.” This chapter examines the manner in which Shi'i authorities reconcile their positions with those expressed in the Qur'an. The examination provides the opportunity to reflect on the use of scripture within Jewish and Christian discourse about foreign food restrictions as well. Neither the Hebrew Bible nor the New Testament provides evident support for many of the statements articulated by later interpreters of these works. The chapter's final section analyzes Sunni and Shi'i discourse regarding cheese, a borderline case that reveals the affinities between Islamic authorities at loggerheads with one another.

Keywords: Shi'is; Sunnis; food restrictions; Qur'an; Jewish discourse; Christian discourse; foreign food; cheese

Chapter.  9122 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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