Majority-Muslim Michigan City Legalizes Animal Sacrifice for Religious Purposes

January 12, 2023

The city council of Hamtramck, Mich., a city outside Detroit, voted Tuesday to legalize animal sacrifices for the purpose of religious rituals following pressure from Muslim residents.

"If somebody wants to do it, they have a right to do their practice," Councilman Mohammed Hassan (D.) said at the council meeting, the Detroit Free Press reported. Hamtramck's all-Muslim city council voted 3-2 in favor of the amendment, which will allow residents to slaughter animals on residential property for religious purposes.

At the meeting, some residents of Hamtramck, whose population is majority Muslim, applauded the council's decision. Some Muslims perform ritual sacrifices of animals including goats, sheep, and cows.

While animal rights advocates opposed the legalization of animal sacrifice, proponents of the move downplayed concerns about the negative effects of animal slaughters in Hamtramck and insisted it was necessary to protect the city from lawsuits alleging religious discrimination.

"Do we want to risk the city getting sued?" Councilwoman Amanda Jaczkowski (D.) said at the meeting.

Residents at the Tuesday meeting also objected to the flying of an LGBTQ pride flag on city property, calling it offensive to their religion.