Pork and leaving Islam

September 14, 2006 at 3:28 am (Christianity, Islam, Personal)

Do you know how to tell if someone has truly left Islam? Determine: does he/she eat pork?

One of the most amusing aspects of Muslims’ behavior is considering all the many sinful activities they will engage in (sinful according to Islam), Muslims will never eat pork. Oh, they’ll drink and defraud people and take interest and not pray and not fast, and so on, but they will faithfully obey Islam’s prohibition on eating pork.

October 1998 was the first time I had pork. I was at a lunch with a group from church (LDS will understand: it was for YSA/LDSSA group between sessions of General Conference) and they had pizza with sausage and pepperoni (among other things). This was before my baptism, and some only later realized that I was not used to eating pork. But I dug in anyway! There was no turning back after that.

Now? I love pork. Because it tastes good and because a part of me considers eating it an act of rebellion, reconfirming my departure from Islam about a decade ago. (I left Islam and only a few years after that converted to Christianity.)

Update: I had originally written: “I left Islam and only a few years after that converted to Islam.” What I meant was that a few years later I had converted to Christianity. Thanks to Dex for pointing out this egregious error. This is what happens when I write when I should be asleep.



  1. Dex said,

    “Bacon tastes good. Pork chops taste good…” – Vincent Vega

  2. Dex said,

    I’m confused – you left Islam then you converted to Islam?

  3. Muslihoon said,

    Thanks for pointing that out, Dex. Should be fixed now.

  4. MikeT said,

    I normally read your blog primarily through a RSS reader, but was surprised when you said LDS. You’re a Mormon? I’m something akin to a Presbyterian myself, but I am curious what portions of Mormonism you embrace since, given my (admittedly limited) experience with the LDS, Mormons subscribe to some rather strange beliefs.

  5. Frank J. said,

    People always joke about covering things in bacon to discourage Islamic terrorists, but I guess I didn’t understand that pork really was that big an issue. What makes eating pork worse than breaking the other rules?

    My parents had Muslim tenants once, and they were careful to keep our dog away from them since they couldn’t pray if they touched the dog that day. I thought eating pork would be something similar to that.

  6. hcq said,

    The reason may lie in the incredible persistence of food taboos. The idea that certain foods are “nasty” is so culturally ingrained they become part of an individual’s psychology.

    Swine are a remarkable gift of the Creator. Virtually every part of them (“but the squeal,” as the saying goes) is useful in some way. They’re inexpensive to raise, don’t require herding or pasturing, foodwise can fend for themselves if necessary, and are somewhat more resistant to predators than, say, sheep or goats. Although we’re avid pig-eaters, we also have two Vietnamese potbellied pigs as pets – think “minature elephants.” They are affectionate and extremely clean (unlike sheep, no vermin, and unlike goats they and their poop barely smell). They are amazingly (sometimes maddeningly) intelligent. They also looooove barbecue (hey, it’s nobody *they* know.), so I guess all those creepy smiling-pig barbecue signs are accurate.

    Anyhow, I’d think the Levitical prohibition against pig-stuff really requires a certain amount of self-denial. It’s a perpetual reminder that one is indeed set aside. As another commenter noted, if it were convenient (or good for your health), such a prohibition would have little impact.

    The demons-into-the-swine story is interesting. The herd couldn’t have belonged to a Hebrew, and pigs weren’t typically kept in herds. I can only guess that they were wild – which meant that unlike with cows or goats or sheep or chickens, no owner would’ve suffered a loss as a result of Jesus’s actions.

  7. new american thinker said,

    That is ridiculous. No one needs to test other person whether really that person left his/her religion or not. If someone says he/she left Islam that is more than enough to believe the he/she did. It takes a tremendous amount of mental streangth to renounce anyone’s lifelong faith. We should respect people and their choice of faith rather than testing them because faith is a personal matter and it’s in one’s heart, there is actually no real way to test it nor there is a need to test it.

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