Last week, the Orange County D.A.'s office announced that it had obtained a $527,000 settlement against Anaheim Super King Market, at 10500 Magnolia Ave., after investigators determined that the market was incorrectly advertising and selling generic meat and mixed meats as halal.
Located just a few blocks from where I was living, I had shopped at Super King several times, but I had never bought meat there. Their meat counter more closely resembled a Mexican meat counter, and I generally do not trust carnecerias for cleanliness and quality. The immediate neighborhood was mostly Mexican anyway, and there appeared to a lot of catering to that ethnic segment of the realm as well...
I much preferred to buy my beef, chicken and occasional lamb at a specialised Halal butcher located a neighborhood over, in the center of the Little Gaza district. The place was clean and looked it, the meat fine quality, and Mohamed was always happy to see me. You'll pay a little more for halal, but it's worth it.
And that is what was different about Super King: the prices were not proper Halal prices. It still costs more than the standard meats, but not as much as I was expecting. My assumption was that the meat was maybe not as fresh or something like that, which kept the pricing a little below scale. It never occurred to me that this merchant would be dastardly enough to screw his Muslim base. (the merchant, I was told long ago, was an Armenian ethnic, not a Muslim, and had long ties to the hood through other Middle Eastern grocery markets.)
Calling meat halal indicates that it was slaughtered in a specific way, in accordance with Islamic Law.
"I'm shocked by it. My whole family is very disappointed," said Sam Chouche, 23, of Anaheim who shopped at the store. "It specifies in the Quran that you must eat meat in a certain way, that you shouldn't eat meat killed inhumanely. It's our faith."
It's not wise to piss off your Muslim base. I recon Super King will be out of business before long, and rightfully so.
"We just cannot believe this," said Shakeel Ahmed of Anaheim. "It's very disgusting, and all (of my) family is very upset – so upset that we throw up and cry."
This is a typical Muslim response when they've discovered they have unknowingly eaten something unclean. I know Muslims who are so emotionally conditioned that they become physically sickened at the thought, and are prone to uncontrollable vomiting. I've seen this myself.
The settlement money doesn't go to individual victims, because it would be too difficult to determine who exactly was victimized, a D.A.'s spokeswoman has said. Instead, the money goes into a fund to help prosecute fraud cases.
I am damn glad that they popped this asshole of a merchant, but I disagree with the D.A. here. We may not know the names of every individual victim in this case, but we don't need to because this is not merely a crime against individuals, but an assault upon an entire ethnic community. And a pleasantly valuable community at that, one that has kept a entire business district of the county humming along nicely with few crime and social issues.
We don't need their names because we already know where they hang out: at any one of half a dozen mosques in the area. I think justice would be better served if that $527,000 were divided up among them, right there, where they worship and pray.