Insight on appropriate food gifts/gestures to muslim neighbors
During this terribly uneasy time I know that I, and countless others, have been looking for ways to express our support and concern for our muslim friends and neighbors. Being somewhat unfamiliar with their faith traditions, I want to avoid anything inappropriate or offensive. Can anyone share any thoughts on what sorts of gestures might be appropriate? I know that many of us turn to our kitchens as a way to promote healing when nothing else seems to work, and that impulse to feed and nuture is very strong right now. Any and all input is apreciated!!
Peace to you all!
I salute you for your neighborly friendliness and concern.
Assume that your Muslim neighbors eat only Halal food unless you know otherwise. That would mean that you shouldn't cook anything for them, as your kitchen is presumably Haram (i.e. even if you got Halal meat, you'd be using the same pots and pans you used to cook and serve Haram meat - which doesn't have to be pork, but can be any type of meat that wasn't properly slaughtered, under the supervision of an imam or rabbi [most Muslims accept that Kosher food is Halal], and certified). What you could do is look for some fine packaged goods that are marked Kosher or Halal, or/and give them some nice fruit. Alternatively, you might go to a Halal or Kosher establishment and buy some sweets or something else. Not to ignore what might be obvious to you: Under no circumstances should you give observant Muslims any form of alcoholic beverage, as alcohol is strictly Haram.
While we're on the topic of Halal, here's a note I rec'd recently about about various seafood.
From: "Rasheed Ahmed"
Re: dietary rules
Hi Ms Wong
There is difference of opinion among our religious scholars, some considered them Halal(permisible), some considred not Halal or discourage.
It all depend upon seafood body structure, for example frog are not allowd. Shrimp and lobster some say ok but other discourage. The bottom
line is not all sea foods allowed for Muslims. But Fish is always allow. Dolfin is not allowed
I'm sorry that I can't really help you in regards to Muslim traditions (altough I'm pretty sure that sending a roasted pig would be inappropriate) but I just wanted to comment that even a simple "How are you doing" and a smile is really welcome. The day after the disaster when I asked the counter guy at my corner deli how he was doing he said he was fine, then said thank you for asking in a voice that indicated he was tremendously grateful that anyone was caring how he was doing. So go out and smile.