US evangelist Pat Robertson: Halal meat funds terrorism, low-carb diets 'violate' God's principles and give you the clinkers
'You build up the clinkers. You get swollen joints, you get gout'
Pat Robertson, the well-known American TV evangelist, has hit out at halal food and the fad for low-carb diets.
He might not be the first person to criticise high protein diets, which have long been a subject of debate among dieticians, but he may be one of the first to try to criticise them for “violating” God’s principles.
“What happens is you build up the clinkers. You get swollen joints, you get gout.
"You get all kinds of problems, where you ache like crazy,” Robertson told The 700 Club programme on CBN - a network that he owns.
“Everybody thought Atkins was wonderful and they’ve got all these scientific tests, but... The carbs are the fire that burn everything completely.
"Sooner or later, it violates the principles that God set down.”
Robertson, a former hopeful for the Republican party’s Presidential candidate, also answered a viewer's question about buying halal meat.
“I’m seeing the ‘halal brand’ appear more and more on American products,” the viewer said. “What gives?”
Robertson said: "The halal concept is you face the animal towards Mecca then you slit his throat. So far, no problems, like kosher – that’s OK.
“(But) our research shows and our team has discovered that a portion of all profits from these halal butcheries is going to the Muslim Brotherhood, so it’s not a question of religion, it’s a question of where does the money go.”
“If you buy halal food you’re sending money to the Brotherhood, and the Brotherhood in turn supports Hamas and, you know, Islamic jihadism."
In the past, Robertson has claimed that some gay men in San Francisco wear rings so that they can deliberately infect others when shaking hands and that that family members should pray over Goodwill sweaters to eradicate stray demons.
So perhaps even his most devoted followers might want to take his diet advice with a pinch of bread flour.
Halal 'funds terrorism'
Although halal is most often used in connection with meat, the word simply means "lawful" and refers to any object, not just food, or action or behaviour that is deemed permissible under Islamic law.
For meat to be considered halal the animal must be alive and healthy before it is killed, crucially with a single cut across the jugular. All the blood must be drained from the body, and the slaughterer must recite a special Islamic prayer as the animal is killed.
Around 4 per cent of the UK's population is Muslim, yet halal produce comprises more than 15 per cent of all meat sold in the UK, according to Saqib Mohammed, the chief executive of the Halal Food Authority, one of the two main organisations that regulate Britain's halal food industry.
"Some is exported but the rest is being consumed by non-Muslims," he said, adding: "Educated non-Muslims are convinced that halal meat is more hygienic."
Restaurant chains that are changing their menus include Pizza Express, which uses only halal chicken. One in five branches of Nando's serves halal-certified chicken, and KFC is running a halal trial in about 100 of its outlets.