A non-Muslim woman asked this question:
I have been married to a somewhat practising Muslim for 8 years. Is there a good reason why he cannot eat any form of pork barring religious reasons? Is there a logical, scientific reaoson why he cant?
Muslim community suffers from extreme aversion against pigs. This came due to religious indoctrination, where Islam prohibited eating pig meat and declared it impure (Quran 6:145).
Islamic preachers make different claims as to why Islam prohibited it, like:
- They claim that Islam prohibits it while pig meat is harmful to humans and causes diseases.
- They also claim spiritual reasons for it, like many male pigs have sex with one female pig.
But the reality is:
- Not only pigs eat dirty things, but the same is true about chickens as well. Yes, chickens also eat various insects, including small snakes, lizards, worms, and other reptiles, but they still stay Halal for Muslims. It destroys the excuse of Islamic preachers about eating dirty things.
- And not only male pigs have sex with one female pig, but the same is true for chickens as well. There are several YouTube videos where dozens of male chickens (roosters) had sex with one female chicken (hen). But still the meat of chicken stays Halal for Muslims. It destroys the spiritual excuse, which is made by Islamic preachers.
- Islamic preachers object that pigs live in muck and sometimes eat their own feces. However, this is only true for pigs raised in farms. Wild pigs do not live in muck and do not eat their own faeces. Similarly, chickens also eat their own feces (source), and cows that live in cowsheds practically live in their own feces. Cows also eat their placenta after giving birth. Furthermore, there are goats that drink their own urine (source), yet they are still considered halal in Islam.
- It is objected that pork contains bacteria, but the same is true for chicken meat, which also contains harmful bacteria. Therefore, both types of meat must be cooked before consumption. Since no bacteria can survive heat, cooked pork meat is just as safe as chicken or beef.
From a historical perspective, Islamic law on pork consumption likely came from Judaism:
A similar story is found in a non-Muslim source, namely the fifth-century ecclesiastical history by Sozomen, which claims that the Ishmaelites, descendants of Abraham and Hagar and possibly found further to the north, assumed the name of Saracens pretending to descend from Sara, the wife of Abraham. Like the Jews, this group practised circumcision and refrained from the use of pork.
Reference: Page 178 - Pre-Islamic Arabia Societies, Politics, Cults and Identities during Late Antiquity - Valentina A. Grasso - Cambridge University Press (2023)
Muhammad copied this ruling from Judaism. And some evidence suggests that Jews declared it impermissible while their enemies (Philistines) used to eat pig meat mainly, and it was due to tribal politics.
We strongly suggest all readers to please watch this video, which is incredibly informative about the evolutionary practices of raising pigs to religious taboos, right from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age.
If you have children with your Muslim husband, then don't let him indoctrinate them:
Despite leaving Islam and becoming ex-Muslims for several years, we still struggled with consuming pork products because of the ingrained teachings from our childhood. Similarly, although we had abandoned Islam, we found ourselves retaining a deep-seated aversion towards homosexual individuals. Through extensive study and exposure to scientific research, we eventually came to recognize that homosexuality is a natural aspect of human diversity. However, it took a long time and concerted effort to overcome the lingering prejudice instilled in us since childhood.
Our advice to you is to protect your children from such insidious indoctrination.
Not all Muslims are bad. If they respect you and your choices, then there is no harm in marrying them. But don't compromise on humanity and human values for the sake of such a relationship.
Pork is not the worst part:
The prohibition of pork, alcohol, and all meat that wasn't prepared the Halal way, also plays the role of limiting events where Muslims can interact and share with non-Muslims.
It acts as a one-way social barrier. Muslim events can easily receive outsiders, in a context where non-Islamic cultural influences are not a threat, but food restriction will limit the events where a Muslim is in an outsider event, where he would be more exposed to non-Islamic cultural influences.
The Jews likely did this for the same reason. They chose to circumcise their young, avoid pork, eat Kosher meat, and do other things to set them apart from non-Jews. In turn, this isolated them and severely limited their interaction with people outside.
One could say that the prohibition of fornication also acts as a social barrier. It ensures people don’t run off and have sex with people outside of their group, thus keeping the structure going. So, they prohibit fornication for the sole purpose of ensuring that people “have sex with the right people”. This is also a probable reason why cousin marriage is/was so popular within the two groups of people (cousin marriage was likely practised a lot in the Jewish community historically as well).