Halal meat is now available in Notre Dame student dining halls, thanks to a cooperative effort between Notre Dame dining staff, Muslim undergraduate students, and Notre Dame International.
“This is a diversity win,” said Rosemary Max, NDI’s director of international programs. “In this gesture of welcome to undergraduates of all faiths, Notre Dame has likewise extended hospitality to Muslim graduate students and faculty.”
Hind Ourahou, a sophomore from Morocco majoring in management entrepreneurship and industrial design, was one of three students who joined Max during summer 2014 to ask chef Donald Miller and dietitian Jocelyn Antonelli to consider providing halal meat. According to Max, everyone involved approached the situation with great openness and flexibility and emerged with a mutually agreeable solution.
Ourahou was pleasantly surprised when the chef soon sourced halal food and committed to offering it twice a day, every day. “I went into the meeting thinking of a small-scale solution,” Ourahou said, “but the chef had a bigger plan for us.” She acknowledged that Muslim students are a small minority on campus, but that “Now more of us are looking forward to going to the dining halls—not just because our food is available, but also because the meat came with a feeling of recognition.”
“Halal,” which means “allowed” in Arabic, is governed by the principle of mercy toward animals killed for meat and is often misunderstood by non-Muslims. According to Ourahou, halal generally means that a human must sacrifice the animal in the name of God, and without the use of machines. Also, the meat cannot be pork or most carnivorous animals.
Ourahou commented in closing, “I hope this will encourage more Muslims to choose Notre Dame.”