The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.


The BBC reported last month that a Halal industrial park has been proposed for south Wales .  The industrial park would be for Islamic goods and produce, and could mean about 3,000 jobs.

The proposed £150m Super Halal Industrial Park (SHIP) was revealed at an Islamic finance summit in London .  The National Assembly of Wales government said they were "tentative proposals" and it would work closely with the firm, Halal Industries.

Mahesh Jayanarayan, chairman of Halal Industries, said Wales was chosen as the project's site for its meat industries and affordable land prices.  He was raising funds for the venture in the capital markets, through government grants, and by finding partners like supermarket chains and multinational food manufacturers to "cement the deal".

The project could launch in three to five years in the Rhondda Valley and would provide services like storage freezers, a product packing centre, and raw material storage for manufacturers for food production. Meat selection and processing as well as research and development would also be offered.

Mr Jayanarayan told the Reuters Islamic Banking and Finance Summit that Europe has no Halal industrial parks, despite being home to millions of Muslims.

The industrial park could create up to 3,000 jobs and would make the UK a landmark Halal centre for the region, Mr Jayanarayan told the finance summit.

"If you look at some figures, the halal sector in the UK is worth between £2bn to £4bn, the majority of that is imported.  You have 2.5 billion people on the planet eating halal food, directly or indirectly," he told the summit.

"You have to start somewhere. Most of the industrial park developers in this country will see the opportunity in this sector, and they themselves with start to develop," he said.

But then businessman admitted: "We would prefer to go to places like Bosnia , where there's a large Muslim population and economically deprived areas where we could seek EU grants."

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesperson said: "We are aware the company has expressed an interest in investing in Wales and have met with them to hear their proposals.

"However, these are clearly tentative proposals at their very early stages of development.  As ever, the assembly government will work closely with any company that wishes to invest in Wales ," added the spokesperson.

Halal is an Arabic term meaning "permissible" and while it is often associated with meat, it refers to anything that is allowed in the Islamic faith.  It is the opposite of 'Haram', 'not lawful'.

  If food were to be prepared by a non-Muslim it would become Haram.  Therefore, although the Halal Industrial Park promises 3,000 jobs, these are 3,000 jobs for Muslims, not for the whole community in the Rhondda .

Close on the heels of the Halal Industrial Park , or even as part of it, would be a towering mosque for the 3,000 employees to attend.  What is being proposed is a cultural take-over of the Rhondda Valley .

PRAY: That Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will state that it will refuse to allow the Halal Park to be situated in the County Borough.  Pray that the Welsh Assembly will not be taken in by the promise of 3,000 jobs and will realise these are not jobs for the majority Christian unemployed of South Wales , but jobs for Muslims only.  Let Mr Jayanarayan go to Bosnia instead.

WRITE: Cllr Russell Roberts, Leader, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, The Pavilions, Cambrian Park , Clydach Vale, TONYPANDY, CF40 2XX .  Email or Phone 01433 424065

Write also to: First Minister Carwyn Jones, National Assembly of Wales, Ty Hywel, CARDIFF, CF99 1NA .  Email or phone 01656 664320.

If you live in Rhondda Cynon Taf, write to your local councillor.  If you live in Wales, write to your local Assembly Member and MP as well.