Oxford University Halal

Oxford University College offers students a Halal menu option but it includes… red wine

One student said she was ‘sadly not surprised’ at the mistake

A college at The University of Oxford is being slammed for including a Halal menu option in its dining hall for students that includes red wine.

St Antony’s College is Oxford’s most international college, but on its Monday lunch menu for students, The Tab can confirm it served “Halal minted lamb pasty with a red wine jus-lie.”

The menu was posted by Shireen Azam, a PhD student at The University of Oxford who said the blunder is an example of an “Oxford college trying diversity”.

Halal is Arabic for permissible. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Qur’an. But, of course, alcohol is also forbidden in the Qur’an. Muslim students would therefore not be able to eat the Halal option on the menu as it includes a red wine sauce.

Also featured on the menu are “spring rolls with satay choe main” which includes a spelling mistake of chow mein.

St Antony’s College is a graduate-only college with over 500 students from over 70 countries, which makes it Oxford’s most international college.

The menu option has therefore caused a lot of backlash online. One person said: “If you are going to put halal meat as an offering to Muslims you should at minimum know not to mix alcohol on it.” Another described it as “embarrassing” and said: “I don’t know if I should cry or laugh.”

But Oxford student, Olga Mun, said she was “sadly not surprised” at the mistake.

In a response to the menu post, Aaron Jakes a professor at the University of Chicago and former Oxford student, said a similar thing occurred whilst he was at Oxford. He said: “My second year in the MPhil, the chef at St. Antony’s served bacon-wrapped chicken at the high table for Saudi dignitaries attending the annual ‘Abd al-Aziz bin Sa’ud Memorial Lecture’.”

St Antony’s dining hall (Via YouTube)

In St Antony’s College’s equality, diversity and inclusion statement, the college said it is “Committed to equality and diversity, in both law and spirit. We embrace the contribution of every member of our institution and celebrate cultural diversity in the College. The diversity of our global community of students and staff is one of our greatest assets.”

The Tab has contacted The University of Oxford and St Antony’s College for comment. 

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Featured image via X and Canva.