Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 14:38 UK

Coventry farmer defends bacon substitute for Muslims

By Philip Churm
BBC Asian Network

Halal in Arabic
Muslim scholar Maulana Naveed Ashrafi expressed concern over the product

A Coventry farmer has insisted he is reacting to demand from traders in trying to give Muslims a taste of pork by producing bacon-style rashers from halal-slaughtered turkeys.

Rod Adlington's attempts to imitate the meat, which Muslims cannot eat because of their religion, has seen a Muslim scholar voice concerns that it could lead to people eating real bacon from pork.

The turkey farmer told BBC Asian Network he was reacting to requests from convenience stores he supplies to and said they wanted a "really good turkey bacon".

"We kept being asked for it and so we decided to produce it," he added.

It could well lead towards going towards the real thing
Muslim scholar Maulana Naveed Ashrafi

"There's a want for the product for the halal market, for the pork-free market and for the slimming market."

Muslims can eat other types of meat apart from pork as long as it is halal, which means it is blessed as it is killed.

Maulana Naveed Ashrafi, a Muslim scholar from Blackburn, said he was concerned as to where eating the turkey bacon rashers could lead to for other Muslims.

"It can ultimately lead to people who only eat halal food ending up eating the real bacon - bacon from pork," he said.

"The Islamic opinion on this subject would be to avoid eating such foods which have a remote resemblance (to pork) because it could well lead towards eating the real thing."

However, Dr Haifaa Jawed lectures in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham, said she did not believe there was a problem in eating bacon-style turkey rashers.

"The aim of the prohibition in Islam is not to eat non-halal meat or bacon," she said.

"If there is no bacon in that form of food or, if the meat is Islamically slaughtered, it should be ok."

You can hear more on this story on the BBC's Asian Network Reports radio show or via the BBC iPlayer.

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