May 3, 2016
Muslim Athlete Inspires Team to Eat Halal

Enes Kanter, reserve center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, follows Muslim dietary laws by eating halal food. He has now inspired his teammates to do the same.

According to The Wall Street Journal, after the Thunder executives traded for Kanter last year, they were faced with the task of accommodating him, such as by providing him his own prayer room in the team arena, and serving him food from animals raised and slaughtered according to halal standards. Before long, though, Thunder center Steven Adams asked Kanter to share his dinner, and as the other players followed suit, the team began searching for restaurants that could feed the entire team.

“It’s like a mini-party,” Thunder medical director Donnie Strack said. “Everyone wants to steal Enes’s food.”

Shahed Amanullah, who started the website Zabihah in order to provide information about eating halal in the U.S., said it has become easier to eat Halal food. When he first started Zabihah in 1998, the website had 200 restaurants listed in the database, but now, it has more than 8,000.

“People in the halal space have improved and embraced every aspect of that tradition,” Amanullah said. “America has done for this cuisine what it did for Chinese and Italian food.”

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