Business caters to Muslim immigrants seeking to fulfill ritual animal sacrifices

The Washington Post’s On Faith Blog, By Kevin Sieff, August 18

In a barn in Mount Airy, Ali Manguera pinned a 69-pound goat to the concrete floor, pointed the animal’s head toward Mecca — some 7,000 miles east of this rural Maryland farm — and slit its throat in a single, expert motion.

Manguera knows this process well. Following a centuries-old tradition, he has been slaughtering his own animals for Muslim holidays since his childhood in Somalia.

But like thousands of Muslim immigrants in the Washington area, Manguera has been forced to adapt old practices to a new land — a country where state and federal regulations, as well as cultural barriers, complicate the booming business of ritual animal sacrifice and slaughter.

As Ramadan approached last week, Muslim immigrants preparing for their pre-holiday feast sacrificed goats in halal slaughterhouses — those that conform to Islamic law — family farms and their garages.

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