Taking a stroll through the Brixton Market the other day, a close Jewish friend asked me what halal means. Knowing enough to assume it was Arabic, I explained in shorthand that it was the Muslim equivalent for ‘kosher’.
The question didn’t surprise me. My friend is an American in their early thirties, and like most adults in the US, was never required to learn any thing about Islam until 9/11, and even then, only in relation to the war.
With so much halal-referencing signage in London, irrespective of what one’s cultural or religious orientation might be, it’s impossible to avoid the Islamic aspects one encounters in everyday life here.
Eating lunch around the corner from this butcher shop today, a colleague gave me a fantastic overview of the Jews and Arabs that migrated to Jamaica during the 20th century, and helped build the island’s music industry.