A Sri Lankan Muslim’s Perspective of the Halaal Issue
Posted on December 16th, 2012

Bisthan Batcha

A Vital Need of the Muslim Community : Prior to the introduction of the Halaal Certification System by the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema (ACJU), most  Sri Lankan Muslims were in the habit of buying their requirements of Beef, Chicken and Mutton from Muslim-owned Shops assuming that the meat products available in such shops had been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic Rules and were therefore “‘Halaal”‘.  The key word here is “‘assuming”‘, because there was no way of verifying that this obligation was actually adhered to by the Owners of these Meat Shops.  Thus, the subsequent introduction of Halaal Certificates by the ACJU was a tremendous relief and a boon to Sri Lankan Muslims in this regard as they could now consume products purchased from halaal-certified sales outlets without any qualms. If there was a concomitant increase in the unit price of halaal-certified Meat Products, clearly the Sri Lankan Muslims (despite the fact that they have no choice in the matter)  felt that having halaal-certified Meat was well worth the higher price paid for. They recognized the fact that establishing and constantly monitoring the systems put in place by the ACJU  to ensure that the halaal requirements are always adhered to and met by the certified Organizations  would quite naturally entail a cost. After all, there is no such thing as a free cup of tea, is there ?

A Choice for Non-Muslims : However, as far as the Non-Muslim Meat-Consuming Sri Lankans were concerned, the introduction of halaal-certification provided them with a choice in this regard. They could either purchase the supposedly lower-priced “‘non-halaal”‘ Meat or the allegedly higher-priced “‘halaal-certified”‘ Meat. Unfortunately, there is no documented evidence to confirm the pre-conceived notion that obtaining Halaal Certification resulted in significant increases in the selling prices of meat products or for that matter increases considerably the cost of a Family”‘s Monthly Shopping Basket. Critics of the halaal system resort to quoting anecdotal evidence and basic Pricing Theory for this purpose. Such persons  cannot make the case that they are compelled to buy their requirements from “‘higher-priced”‘ Halaal Certified Shops. They can always opt not to buy a halaal product, since such a decision does not have life-threatening consequences.

A New Path to Prosperity : While it is only to be expected that all Muslim-owned Business Establishments will ensure that their Organizations are halaal-compliant, the question arises as to what could have induced Non-Muslim Business Establishments to follow suit. After all, these Non-Muslim Businesses were not compelled by law to do so. Their decision to obtain halaal-certification would have been purely voluntary.  Is it possible that these Non-Muslim Businesses were simply motivated by the enhanced market prospects that possessing such certification would bring them ?  Not only would the local market open up further but more importantly the lucrative export markets (especially in the Muslim-majority Countries) would be more easily accessible to such Businesses.  Would it be wrong then to conclude that the decision of all Non-Muslim Companies to obtain Halaal certification was prompted by their Greed for Profits “- and definitely not by any desire to be of service to the Muslim Public ?

Resolving Perceived Issues :  If a person, group of persons or an Organization has serious reservations about the Halaal Certification System and it”‘s perceived adverse effects on Sri Lankan Society, there are two ways in which they could resolve this issue to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.

Firstly, convince all Non-Muslim Businesses, specifically Sinhala Buddhist Owned Businesses to cancel their Halaal certificates immediately. These Businesses must be made to understand that their considerable loss in local and export income is well worth the effort to prevent the spread of “‘Halaal-Fever”‘ in Sri Lanka.

Secondly launch a mass campaign aimed at educating the General Non-Muslim Public about the extensive financial savings that will accrue to them if they switch from consuming Halaal Products to Non-Halaal products.

Even if the efforts of such persons are successful, Halaal Certification will always be required by Muslim-owned Businesses and the ACJU can continue to provide the necessary support in this regard. The income currently earned by the ACJU (which some Critics have erroneously described as being “‘disproportionately high”‘ and used it to discredit further the Halaal Certification Programme) will drop drastically and Sri Lankan Muslims will be compelled by circumstances to make their purchases of food products only from Muslim Shops.

Contextual Environment : The events that led up to the successful termination of all terrorist activities in May 2009 revealed in no uncertain terms the fact that Sri Lanka had at long last a tough President who was ready, willing and able to make the necessary decisions that are in the best interest of the Country “- and to stand by such decisions unwaveringly. His vision for the Country was best described by the announcement he made after the annihilation of the terrorists to the effect that “‘There are no longer Majority and Minority Communities in Sri Lanka”‘.  After May 2009, the President has had to face immense pressure both locally and internationally as various accusations were hurled at Sri Lanka regarding it”‘s alleged human rights violations. Sri Lanka is still not out of the woods in this regard and as the CEO of Sri Lanka, our President has to use all resources available at his disposal to defend our Motherland from such attacks.

At a point in time, when all Sri Lankans who love their Motherland should be rallying round the National Flag, forging unity and providing strength to our President to overcome  the international and local forces which are trying to destroy our Country, it is extremely sad and shocking that a group of Sinhalese “‘Patriots”‘ have decided to launch an anti-Muslim campaign in our Motherland, thereby weakening considerably the hand of President Mahinda Rajapakse who has over the years established excellent rapport with the Leaders of many Muslim Countries.

Unanswered Questions for Sri Lankans : Why is this anti-Muslim crusade being conducted with such venom now ? Are certain foreign Countries with known anti-Muslim sentiments using these  gullible “‘Patriots”‘ to fulfill their own agendas ? Are some foreign and local elements, who do not wish to see a prosperous Sri Lanka with it”‘s citizens living in relative harmony, adding fuel to this fire in a desperate bid to derail the development programmes of the Government ? Don”‘t these Sinhala Extremists realize that their words and deeds only serve to strengthen the hands of Muslim Extremists in Sri Lanka ? Don”‘t these Sinhala Patriots believe that President Rajapakse deserves a chance to implement his Vision for our Motherland if only because he got rid of the cancer of Terrorism that bled our Motherland for 30 years ?

13 Responses to “A Sri Lankan Muslim’s Perspective of the Halaal Issue”

  1. HussainFahmy Says:

    A true Patriot of Sri Lanka would take every measure to provide solutions to issues the communities may face at any juncture rather than sowing the seeds of disunity.

    We Hope Sri Lanka learns a lesson and makes every effort to builds its future on the foundations of:-

    (A) MULTI-CULTURE (B) MULTI-LINGUAL (C) MULTI-FAITH (D) EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES TO ALL CITIZENS (E) RESPECT ALL COMMUNITIES, THEIR HONOUR AND PROPERTY RIGHTS. (F) NO COMMUNITY CLAIMS SUPREMACY OVER THE OTHER OR MANIPULATES ELECTION OUTCOME (G) STRICTLY MERIT BASED GOVERNANCE (H) ALLEGIANCE TO ONE COUNTRY, ONE NATION. (I) MAKE A DIPLOMATIC EFFORT TO CONVINCE THE NEIGHBOUR TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION AND RELIEVE THEIR CONCERNS AND ASSURE THEM OF A FAIR TREATMENT TO ALL COMMUNITIES.

  2. Muhandiram Says:

    Excellent.keep itup.
    we never ever spread racism,violence etc in our motherland……..as sick people do.we eat meet but not carcass.

  3. Voice123 Says:

    Instead of getting bogged down in conspiracy theories and the like, Ive got a simple question for the proponents of halal/kosher and I ask it on behalf of the innocent animals. (Anyway kosher doesnt happen in Sri Lanka so lets consider halal for a moment).

    Is it possible to have halal killings without inflicting unnecessary pain and trauma on the animal at its time of death? Isnt slitting its throat while it is still conscious and letting it bleed to death with no compassion or assistance? Isnt that torture?

    Is this simple question going to get a straightforward answer without religious paraphanelia? Bear in mind, the victims are animals, not particular ethic or religious groups. Anyone is capable of doing these things.

  4. nuanho Says:

    First of all the halaal method of slaughter is very cruel. It prolongs the death of the animal and increases its suffering. Muslims claim it is “humane” but anyone who has seen the halaal method of slaughter in practice will know that it is an absolutely horrible was of slaughtering animals. If anyone doubts the brutality of this method just have a look at all the “sacrifice videos” that various Muslims have uploaded onto youtube. Further this violence against animals is exposed to young Muslim children and they are taught that it is a religious necessity.

    Secondly more than 93% of Sri Lankans are non-Muslims. They should have the right to have non-halaal foods. Muslims may not eat pork but others do. However, Muslims insist on forcing their dietary requirements on everyone else despite being a small minority in the country. For example, pizza hut does not serve any bacon on their pizzas because of Muslim objections. So here we can see that non-Muslims have their choices limited because of a minority Muslim population. Is this fair? Do Muslims stop serving beef because Hindus do not eat beef?

    Threats have been made against several Sri Lankan food outlets that have not kowtowed to Muslim demands for halaal certificaiton. For example Perera and Sons have come under both verbal and online attack by Sri Lankan Muslim groups for not having their food certified by the ACJU. Some Muslims have even commenced online campaigns advocating a boycott. This is unjustifiable and rubs non-Muslims the wrong way. In any non-Muslim country it is the non-halaal foods that should be the norm. If Muslims want halaal food they are certainly entitled to it but not at the expense of everyone else.

  5. Leela Says:

    HussainFahmy,
    You have listed a clear list of foundations for a true Sri Lanka Patriot. Though such writing is very good I do not see how even an ordinary Muslim can practice it leave out an ardent Muslims like you. Why?

    ‘The Koran’ ask Muslim rulers to charge extra tax on non-Muslims and demand Muslims not to let any non-Muslims near Kaaba. That act alone undermine your foundation of “MULTI-FAITH” Mr Fahamy. Koran verses says that the God offer handsome reward for those who fight in the cause of God whether he is killed or triumphs. And these are only very minor extractions. Imagine if I write here very violent verses of the Koran; Fahamy would say I am quoting out of context. Nevertheless ‘Ardent Muslims’ recite such verses five times a day and ordinary Muslims listen to such verses on Fridays.

    I agree that Muslims cannot impose any of those Koran verses on non-Muslims here for they are not the majority. But see what is happening in Muslim majority Pakistan. They kill fellow Muslims for not sticking to the Koran verses properly. Do Saudis “RESPECT ALL COMMUNITIES” there? Do Malaysians follow “STRICTLY MERIT BASED GOVERNANCE” there? Does Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt observe “MAKE A DIPLOMATIC EFFORT TO CONVINCE THE NEIGHBOUR TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION AND RELIEVE THEIR CONCERNS AND ASSURE THEM OF A FAIR TREATMENT TO ALL COMMUNITIE” there? Tell us Mr Fahamy which Muslim majority country observe “MULTI-FAITH”?

    Where on earth Muslim majority countries spread egalitarian qualities?
    Leela

  6. Ettha Says:

    In Middle East, where there is atleast 30% non-moslems, people cannot even eat during the day of Ramadan. They have to hid and eat to fight hunger ( a basic human right)
    How dare Mr Fahmy ask for (A) MULTI-CULTURE (B) MULTI-LINGUAL (C) MULTI-FAITH (D) EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES TO ALL CITIZENS (E) RESPECT ALL COMMUNITIES ?

  7. Voice123 Says:

    There is no need to torture animals even for food. May the eaters of such tainted meat get indigestion. Allah didnt decree halal, Satan did but pretended to be Allah. Satanic practice of Halal must be STAMPED out in Muslim countries also. Praise the true Allah not the deceiver!

  8. nuanho Says:

    Another view: “I think democratic states have passed laws to prevent animal cruelty and I don’t think religions should be able to get around those laws just cause they want to, or else what is the point of having these laws at all. So from my point of view I would like to see all ritual slaughter that causes any additional suffering to the animal stopped whether its Muslim, Jewish or any other belief set ancient or brand new. The law is the law and Muslims when doing taquiyya always tell us that they have to respect the law of the land they live in while breaking them, changing them and making constant demands on them every day. Now how about proving it and dropping the halal slaughter in favour of democratically legislated humane slaughter of food animals.’”

  9. nuanho Says:

    Another view: “I think democratic states have passed laws to prevent animal cruelty and I don’t think religions should be able to get around those laws just cause they want to, or else what is the point of having these laws at all. So from my point of view I would like to see all ritual slaughter that causes any additional suffering to the animal stopped whether its Muslim, Jewish or any other belief set ancient or brand new. The law is the law and Muslims when doing taquiyya always tell us that they have to respect the law of the land they live in while breaking them, changing them and making constant demands on them every day. Now how about proving it and dropping the halal slaughter in favour of democratically legislated humane slaughter of food animals.’”

  10. Voice123 Says:

    Recently there was a Muslim person that claimed that Jihad means “internal struggle” to be a better person – not making war – even though the Q’ran says clearly to “lie in wait and trap and fight the infidels.” So in a similar way, Allah being all-compassionate could not have meant the animal’s throat to be slit for it to bleed to death before it can be eaten. Surely only Satan would advocate such cruelty? Surely Allah would have meant if you must eat meat, minimise the suffering on his creation. The life force doesnt solely reside in the blood, Surely this is only symbolic, just like the war Jihad interpretation – not meant to be taken literally. What do the Muslim brothers say about this interpretation? What do the Sufis say?

  11. Priyanjith Says:

    As a non muslim i canot accept HALLAL due to few resons

    1.Sri Lanka is a Budhist Majority country.our religon is based on non violance. Budhisam gives protection to even non voiced animal too.i assume complete beheading within seconds will give minimum paian to who animal brought for meat.However,the way muslims are slaughtering animal are vey very unaccepable for specially for Budhsts.

    funny thing is a minority has introduced a way of slaughtering animal for the their requiement,meanwhile majorities ‘ one of main aspiration has cmpletly violated.(non violance way)

    Its like this ,any one who charged for murder will be hang or get deth sentence under current law.meanwhile ,muslims wold say look ,accoding to our religon he must be either stoned or beheded in publicly.if we allow it then we have to see killing charged people by stoning or beheading in public place.just imajine if there is such situation?

    as a budhists we dont like to see killing animal under such cruel way.mainly why animal has to beare pain untill his blood drained and become unconsious.

    Also just quesion yourself,are other religons demanding right to eat pork in muslim countries.Are they collecting such tax from muslims.?

    So this is very unfair religous practise to non muslims.in this way we need to open supermarkets,food factories accoding to race.like wise one day muslims will demand halal supermarkets (no infidels come),halal Bus,Halal libraries,halal air ports what is this????????????????? This of couse doesnt matter within 100% muslim countries.

    2 nd reson is we bother about the money flow in to Jammithu Ulama Organisation.we dont no for what purposes they use this money.becouse all over the world almost all the terrorists are muslims.Every muslim countries are unrest except oil reach quater.there are some cases revealed that islamic terrorist organisation has funded by called halal fund collectors.The firest reson is hamful for animals but not humans.but 2 nd reson what i pointed out as harmful for non-muslims (infidels)

    just look at the world there is no single Budhist terrorist orbanisation in the word.no budhists kill each other.even do not kill other religous people(burma has diff story).World hindus too same ,they dont kill each other.in the western countries Budhists and Hindus are living very peace fully with those nation.no sep 11 or embacy bomb or kidnaping reported from Indians,Sri LANKANS,Thais,chinese,korean & japanese people.

    but western countries such as USA,UK,EUROPE,AUST,NZ are very keen at muslims.even indian top actor sharuk khan cant easily come to UAS due to the behaviour of muslims.Also there are no any christian terrorist organisation in the world.also they too dont kill each other like muslims.

    look at the some of the muslims countries like Afganistan,Pakistan,Siriya.Iraq,yeman,Libiya people kill each other most are 100% muslim countries.look at somalia,etiyopia,Mali are failed states.similarly minority christian & Budhist canot live peacefully in countries lik Bangladesh,Indonesia,Malysia,Kenya,Nigeria,Sudan,Egypt & lebonan.Percetage of minority is decreasing gradually making those countries too 100%.while muslim % in non muslim countries is rising rapidly due to the freedom and hospitality they get.

    Eventhough here we have given muslims to full freedom to worship their religon,no muslim countries allows to practise budhisam except Oman.but all most all the christian countries are allow budhist to practise its religon.then only the world will become paradise.But muslims want to have 100 % muslim word.My friends thats the end of the world.we know one thing clearly,even muslims can live pecefully under any other majority religion.Muslims will lost their fredom and become violoent state if any country become 100% muslim.

    otherthan those muslim has unfair sharing relating to LAND,Business.Also muslims do not give their womens or mens to other ethnic groups ,but muslims steel specially womens from other ethnic group.

    Also i dont like to talk about share law.

    So those are the resons whay majority of the non muslims stand against Halal.sorry for the any inconvenient

    Thank You

  12. Sly2ashy Says:

    Priyanjith – You need to understand that halal is not forced upon non-muslims, it is purely a business decision that an organisation has to make to expand their market locally and internationally. Its a norm all over the world including all the western counties you have mentioned. You always have a choice of not consuming halal like the muslims have a choice of not consuming pork or non-halal food. I don’t see what the problem here is other than just over complicating the whole scenario.

    Most of the arguments/opinions you have mentioned above are pre-conceptions and racially motivated. Why would you want to take examples of counties such as Pakistan/KSA. We Srilankans have our own country and we can take examples from counties that multiculturalism works. Also remember Sri Lanka is a secular country and hence all religions have the right to practice their beliefs as long as they are in accordance with the counties law.

    Honestly some of the comments you have made are baseless and just disgusting. I pray to God that it’s just a tiny little minority that has this mentality. I see myself first as a Srilankan and then comes everything else. In a time that we need to bridge the gap, sadly people with such mentality only hinders the process of building peaceful nation where our kids could lead a more peaceful life unlike previous generations. Try respecting your fellow Srilankans and then you will attain inner peace wich in turn will help us to build a better Lanka.

  13. Religionsucks Says:

    When someone becomes religious, they do weird stuff because the religion itself makes the believer a creepy freak. Let me show you. Some religions don’t eat beef but anything else. Because the animal giving beef is their god’s vehicle. Some religions hate pork and kill other animals and think that bleeding someone to death is approved by god. They spend a lot of effort to kill animals in the way god has told. Some religions ask not to eat any meat for some reason, and ask people to eat low nutrition vegetables. Some religions can feed 5000 people with 2 fish, but they don’t do that for children dying in hunger in Africa and India. Also there are religions where people cut their own bodies and let themselves bleed to show that they are good boys to their god, because god loves to see bloody boys. When you look at the above conversations, it looks to me that just being religious is more than enough for people to lose their humanity, intellect, and rationality. Then they are driven to useless crap conversations such as the Halal controversy, and start dishing each other. I can’t control this shit thinking, as long as people are religious.Therefore, I love comfortably with my small community of non-religious friends and colleagues who never ever talk about these shit. What we do is how to eradicate hunger, suffering and pain of poor children and families? how to invent drugs for terrible diseases? How to invent new technologies. etc. You guys still live in stone age and you have no brains. So keep on throwing shit at each other until you realize your religion sucks. If you need a simpler comfortable life, get rid of your religion and become a simple person. I can help you to quit that habit.

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