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Opinion: Halal label shows the hypocrisy of Arab and Muslim countries

29/7/11 www.azzaman.com

By Fatih Abdulsalam

Goods and shops carrying the halal label are mushrooming in the West and have already turned into a multi-billion trade.

Millions of Muslims in the United Kingdom and elsewhere would only do business with shops offering goods carrying the halal label – the food on display, particularly meat, is prepared in accordance with the Muslim Sharia or permitted by Muslim clergy.


The halal business is not restricted to Western countries. Most food items shipped to Arab and Muslim states by the industrialized world today will have to carry the halal label to be purchased.


Statistics show that the halal business is worth more than $60 billion a year.


The insistence on halal food sends the world the message that Muslims are faithful to their religion.


But one cannot understand why Muslims insist on halal food at a time the dinners and eaters will indulge in many other forbidden things.


Doing nothing to rid your own country of foreign occupation is as forbidden as eating non-halal food if not more.


Oppressing the citizens of your country is a more heinous crime than eating non-halal food.


Denying your countrymen the basic freedoms and human rights is worse than going to a restaurant and having a dish of non-halal.


Embezzling your country’s wealth, skimming and sponging the public coffers to build personal wealth and paying and receiving bribes fall into the category of gravest crimes in Islam.


But still many would do all these things and only abstain from non-halal food.


Western businessmen are clever. They have seized on the opportunity. Adding a halal label to your product does not need the issuing of a new patent.


Today, there are nearly 1.8 billion halal consumers. Too many to ignore.


The phenomenon has prompted the Saudi authorities to convene a conference on the issue.


No authority or governance has the potential to monitor that the food consumed by 1.8 billion people is produced in accordance with the Muslim Sharia.


Arab and Muslim states are among the biggest food importers in the world. One cannot see how a conference can tackle the matter.

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