Halal is a set of Islamic laws regulating the handling and consumption of food. Several aspects of the law are similar to tenets found in Jewish kosher laws, including the types of meat which are forbidden and the need for animals to be slaughtered in a particular way.
Products prepared by federally inspected meat packing plants identified with labels bearing references to "Halal" (or "Zabiah Halal") must be handled according to Islamic law and under Islamic authority.
There are several animals whose meat cannot be Halal, including all pork products, shellfish, canines, felines, birds of prey, human meat, and any carrion meat.
In order to meet Halal requirements, a suitable animal must have its throat cut with a knife and all of its blood drained, while the slaughterman invokes the Muslim prayer "Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim" (an Arabic phrase for "By the name of God, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful").
Under halal, any meat dedicated to gods other than Allah is not allowed to be consumed.
Alcohol is completely forbidden in any form. Muslims may not use any alcohol-based perfumes or personal hygiene products such as antiperspirants. Most Muslims, however, do not regard alcohol-based medical products as forbidden.
Some foods are not forbidden, but are considered disliked (makruh). These include garlic and onions, due to the odor left in the mouth. However, many Muslims in places such as Egypt, even the more conservative ones, ignore this teaching, as garlic and onions are staples of the typical Middle Eastern diet.
Halal has come under criticism due to the cruel methods of slaughter involved in preparation of the animal for food consumption, and for its supporters trying to impose halal-certified food products on non-Islamic populations who have no desire to use such items due to their being offered in sacrifice to an idol (namely Allah), which is forbidden in Judaism, as well as due to certifiers having connections to Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and due to the use of halal as a backdoor means of introducing sharia law.