What war in Islam made pork banned

Islam: Because religion forbids it

Vienna. As omnivores, humans consume plant and animal products. His choice of food is acquired socio-culturally and is not, as in animals, controlled by instinct. Foods forbidden by religion are mostly associated with feelings of disgust. The best-known food taboo is the ban on pork consumption by Jews and Muslims.

"It is a purely religious ban, not an economic one. Our dietary rules have been in place for 3325 years," emphasizes Chief Rabbi Paul Chaim Eisenberg from the Israelite Religious Community. Of the animals, Jews are only allowed to eat cloven-hoofed animals and ruminants - i.e. cattle, sheep, goats, deer, deer, buffalo, but also - theoretically - giraffes. They are considered kosher and are allowed. "You can only eat non-kosher meat such as pork when your life is in danger, for example in prison or in a concentration camp," explains Eisenberg.

Pork is considered unclean. "You are not allowed to eat of the meat of these animals and you are not allowed to touch their carrion," says the fifth book of Moses. The popular American anthropologist Marvin Harris (1927-2001) attributes such religiously based food taboos to economic and ecological constraints. He has examined the food repertoires of different peoples and found that the pork ban existed before it was recorded as a religious ban in the Torah. The pork ban was initially a reaction to living conditions.

Archaeological finds show that pigs used to be kept and eaten in the Middle East region - where Judaism and Islam have their roots. During the Neolithic (6000 to 4000 BC) there were enough forests where pigs could find food. As the population grew, forests were cut down to gain arable land. The pig became a pet, but it could neither be milked nor used as a draft animal. From the cost-benefit point of view, keeping it uneconomical and subsequently banned.

The Viennese political scientist Michael Ley advocates a different thesis. In polytheism, people and animals like pigs were still sacrificed to the gods. "The pig was a sacrificial animal." The one-god belief overcame sacrifice: "When Judaism emerged as the first monotheistic religion, a ban on sacrifice was pronounced. Jews were no longer allowed to eat pork, it became a taboo."

"In principle everything is allowed that is not explicitly forbidden," explains Orhan Elmaz about eating in Islam. Elmaz is an Islamic scholar at the Institute for Oriental Studies at the University of Vienna. The ban on pork can be found four times in the Koran. The most detailed food taboo can be found in sura 5, verse 3: "You are forbidden to eat meat from dead animals, blood, pork and meat over which (during slaughter) a being other than Allah has been invoked." The Koran also describes pork as "unclean" (Sura 6, verse 145).

According to Elmaz, the hadiths - the traditions of the actions of the Prophet Mohammed - also forbid the consumption of other animals such as the house selenium. Fish are generally allowed. "Bloodless" animals living on land, i.e. invertebrates such as spiders, are also prohibited, although locusts are permitted according to the Hadith. Even predators that kill their prey with their teeth or claws should not be consumed. However, there are differences between the law schools, for example in the assessment of marine animals.

One command, many reasons

Muslims are also allowed to eat pork if their lives are at risk. "The formula that God would forgive the consumption of what is forbidden in an emergency can be found in three of the four places in the Koran in which pork is forbidden," says Elmaz.

The explanation that the pig is an unclean omnivore, the meat of which can cause trichinosis, is also known in the Islamic context. The interpretations of the pork taboo could vary from people to people. "A Tunisian told me that only part of the pig is not pure. Since you don't know which part it is, you don't eat the whole pig to be on the safe side," says Ines Dallaji, research assistant at the Institute for Oriental Studies. She also heard from Muslims that, unlike other types of meat, pork spoils quickly. Since there were no refrigerators at the time, the type of food ban was chosen to protect people's health.

For non-Muslims, the cause of the animal's "uncleanness" remains a mystery, since a chicken that is also an omnivore might be as "unclean" as a pig. The Chechen Sultan Baibatirov knows another reason for this: "The pig is an unclean animal because its meat is bad for your health." Baibatirov. If you cook some types of meat, a foam forms on the surface of the water, which tastes bad and is removed, since these are the poisons of the meat. Only in pigs does this foam not exist, the poisons remain in the meat and are consumed by humans. Furthermore, pork carries many diseases.

Nutritionists don't quite share this opinion. "It has not been proven that the consumption of pork is harmful to health. Only excessive consumption is harmful, in other words: more than once a week because of the high fat content," reports Karin Gatternig from the Institute for Nutritional Medicine in Vienna.