ALBERTA – Muslim Students at the University of Calgary are demanding more halal food outlets in the campus to accommodate their growing numbers in the Canadian University.
“What we’re doing is that we’re currently just to find a new halal vendor that we can have,” Zainab Malik, an arts faculty representative on the University of Calgary Students’ Union, told CBC News on Wednesday, January 30.
With only one halal restaurant in the campus, Malik and her colleagues have been working hard to establish more Muslim-friendly food outlets on campus.
A recent survey by Malik, the fourth year student, has found that hundreds of students are suffering from the lack of halal food products in the University of Calgary.
“So you can kind of tell that this is really something that is an issue at University of Calgary and we should definitely try looking into it and try to resolve it,” Malik said.
Aiming to end student’s suffering, Malik has been coordinating with the University’s food services to provide halal options at the dining centre adjacent to student’s residents.
The arts faculty representative hopes to offer more halal options for Muslim students within the next two months.
“What we decided to do is we would choose one of the coffee shops that also sells food and instead of just selling regular food,” Malik said.
“We’ll sell halal food which definitely will bring a lot more business in I believe,” she added.
Established in 1966 as a public research university in Alberta’s Calgary, the University of Calgary includes 14 faculties with more than 85 research institutes and centers.
The concept of halal, meaning permissible in Arabic, has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.
Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.
Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.