How halal is the Halal Certificate
Posted on March 28th, 2013

Shenali Waduge

The world is often shaken by issues that serve to test the reactions of people. The halal certificate appears to be one such issue. Lessons to be taken are many, first and foremost of which is that on either side of any debate there are the mischief makers dousing flames for their profit. The victory comes in the realization of this and next to undo the damage and to ensure that such does not arise in future.

Muslims have lived in Sri Lanka for 1000 years or so. There was no halal requirement ever since and Muslims had been following their religious beliefs without hurting the majority or other minorities ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” everyone lived and ate together in friendship. But, a handful of rigid Muslims have broken or are attempting to severe these long lasting ties by forcing upon a religious based tax system that is segregating Muslims away from their non-Muslim friends. Do Muslims want this to happen? Each time these halal certifying promoters push Sharia-related strict halal rules they are forcing the Muslims to move away from their non-Muslim friends. We do not want to see this happen and we appeal to the Muslims to not allow this to happen. Are Muslims being mind-manipulated because they must submit to the word of Allah?

Segregations are causing a lot of tension in Australia, Germany, France, Holland and UK where the natives and others are questioning the new attitudes Muslims are practicing one of which is halal certification.

People and politicians need to realize that Sri Lanka has a long Buddhist cultural history offered to the Buddha 9 times. Objections by Buddhists who constitute the clear majority of Sri Lanka and Constitutionally given foremost place cannot be termed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-extremistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. It is a good time for politicians not to dabble with the issue as they had with the Tamil issue and clearly convey to all that new religious practices cannot be entertained or made legal through the State. There is no argument of Muslims practicing their faith as they had. Using the issue to demand and obtain an additional pie on the basis of projecting a picture of victim is what Tamil politicians have got used to doing. We do not want to see a similar future scenario.

Politicians are voted into power to ensure all communities continue to live in harmony. Politicians are not voted to barter the space of the Buddhists. It is the majority that ends up sacrificing their lives when a national calamity arises as seen by the large numbers of armed forces who laid down their lives to save the nation. The gratitude for that cannot be forgotten.

Muslims in Sri Lanka have on their own chosen and purchased their meat for centuries. The issue arose in the manner halal certification was stealthily incorporated through the commercial sector leaving companies little or no choice but to obtain the certificate at a price on the grounds that Muslims insisted on it. Companies have not cared to look at why foods should be packed and produced dictated by a religion when 91% of the population does not belong to that religion. It is with time that people began to realize that a logo related to a minority religion was appearing on every time they purchased even toothpicks and paintbrushes ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” something the people had never seen before. The question on everyoneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s minds naturally was if Muslims had eaten without a certificate why was there a sudden need for a certificate for the same foods? Would paying for a certificate guarantee whether food etc was really halal?

The key question was – were the Muslim people concerned about how Halal the food they ate was or were they simply happy to see a Halal Certificate that could not guarantee halal in real terms?

When non-Muslims present facts that slowly sharia practices are being introduced into non-Muslim society through a new food tax system of halal certification on products and services requiring Muslim employment along the entire supply chain, it is brushed aside as nonsense without providing an answer.

The key halal sectors in the halal supply chain are agriculture, manufacturing, all services, tourism and finance. The requirement under sharia is that the entire chain is handled by Muslims. This makes any to wonder whether the certificate is a bogus way of charging non-Muslims while ensuring every company follows Muslim criteria on everything consumed by humans (perishables/non-perishables).

Halal food was what Muslims were eating all this while ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Muslims nations imported the same food for centuries so who and what brought about a halal certificate and why and in what ways were they planning to bring further rigidities upon the Muslim community that has thus far been living amicably with the rest.

Today, we are told that everything for Muslim consumption has to be halal certified. Not many Muslims can give valid reasons for why halal certificates should be on paintbrushes or toothpicks! Or why haram items can be consumed in a situation they feel they have no choice. This runs contrary to the Pentecostal faith who even if faced with death they do not take medicine. Blood is haram for Muslims but not many can explain why there is no requirement for taking blood from non-Muslims.

Halal certificate means that the entire supply chain must pass through only Muslims to be really halal. But what if that Muslim smokes, takes alcohol or indulges in haram? We believe that when Muslims say halal ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” they do not want half-way halal if so a problem arises when non-Muslim come in contact and raises some key questions with regard to how valid, credible and practical halal certification is in a country that has over 91% non-Muslims in a land where slaughter of animals is abhorred and the cow is also considered a sacred animal.

Halal slaughter

Ritually slaughtered meat equates to mean allowing the blood of the animal to drain until its death. Muslims are aware of how Buddhists and Hindus regard animals as having rights and feeling pain and must also be aware of how their sensitivities get affected in seeing such animal slaughter take place. Many Muslims may not be aware that prior to 1815 cattle slaughter was prohibited and throughout the reign of the Sinhala Buddhist kings killing of animals was banned. Which would have meant that even Muslims would not have eaten meat prior to 1505 and until 1815.

If for 1000 of years halal certificate was never demanded by the Muslims why is it a religious requirement now?

  • If halal slaughter is to be done by only Muslims for the meat to be declared halal, is there a halal supervisor present throughout the halal slaughter process vouching for the slaughter according to halal?
  • The Muslim slaughtering the animal has to be of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-saneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ mind ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” who is to vouch for this. Is the medical certificate issued by a non-Muslim valid?

This raises a fundamental question on rights of religious practice but also defines the need for people to realize that oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s belief must be practiced without hindrance to others. Therefore, it is when religious practices become a hindrance to others that these freedoms are questioned and issues arise.

The recent halal certification issue has enabled a lot of us to read and find out about halal and this has raised many questions that we pose for answer. How serious are Muslims about halal in terms of spices/condiments/contamination etc with haram or non-halal?

  • How halal is halal food? Muslims generate a lot of business for restaurants and hotels in Colombo and main cities throughout Sri Lanka. Kitchen utensils and surfaces of food prepared in these kitchens are likely to touch haram foods like pork etc ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” will washing suffice or what if chefs do not even wash these. Water too can be contaminated with haram items and there is no way a halal certificate can be given for water. On what grounds do Muslims eat out simply because there is a certificate that says the meat is halal or even that the spices/ingredients are also halal certified? What if the condiments does have a halal certificate but were packed by a non-Muslim who had touched pork? In Muslim nations the dangers of contamination is perhaps non-existent but in non-Muslim countries is halal certificate really practical?
  • While all plants are halal, anything that is tainted with what is haram (fats/oil/food enhancers etc) does not allow Muslims to partake of the food. How can Muslims then eat at fast food outlets who for purposes of drawing customers put up a halal certificate for their meats but would use numerous haram food enhancers
  • If their recipes are patented no one has any right to demand disclosure of whatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s inside the food they make?
  • For premises, facilities and machinery to operate to strict halal guidelines it means the entire business and activity must be Muslim-run. Do Muslims even realize this logic?
  • The worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s most famous soft drinks ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” coke/pepsi have a percentage of alcohol but both drinks are freely available in all Muslim nations. Did the Prophet not say that what intoxicates in large quantities is also forbidden in small quantities?
  • What if the machines used in their factories are used for all types of food. Will these not be unfit for Muslim consumption. How many Muslims have seriously looked at these and are willing to go all the way with these practices. For its really a question of practicing all the requirements under halal certification rules or continuing as people had all these years. Half-way halal practices is unfair and portrays hypocrisy.

The halal certificate:

  • Was the non-profit private company issuing the certificate not doing a haram thing by knowingly giving out certificates at a price for food items for so many years? If the board of this company was so into halal why would they commit such a haram thing knowingly? If objections to halal logos by people did not arise would this company not continue to indulge in this haram practice with Muslims thinking they were doing all Muslims a great service?
  • As for the companies agreeable to accepting the halal certificate a question is posed for them. Would they allow any private company to enter their premises and actually see what goes inside what they prepare, how they pack foods and their secret recipes?
  • It is interesting to know how far companies have actually allowed this halal certifying company to observe their entire production supply chain of entire ingredients. What if some of these were patented items would this not pose a threat that their secret formulas can be hijacked and duplicated and sold under a different name?
  • Did not companies ask how this halal certification body could give a certificate especially when there is a question of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-contaminationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ with haram items? Is there a lab that actually tests these items one by one and do companies allow these items to be taken out of their premises? If there is no lab and ingredients are not allowed to be taken out ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” can halal certifiers simply look at a condiment are declare it halal and not haram?
  • It is interesting to know why private companies have not thought that this is an intrusion on the company to have a religious based external person employed in their company purely to check how they run their business! Did these companies not even consider why one minority religion should decide the eating pattern of the entire nation? Would companies overlook moral dimensions simply for profit?
  • How many private companies are actually prepared to officially write to these halal certifying body to inform their new products and new promotions ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” which means to say that these companies were indirectly being dictated by an external private company!
  • How many companies were also willing to commit to change vehicles/transport/delivery of food etc if the halal certifying officer claimed that their transport logistics did not meet the halal standard? Which translates to mean were companies seriously willing to bear the cost of separate transport for halal and non-halal food? Then what about halal and non-halal foods displayed together, how would this meet the halal standards?
  • There are also the question of figures of deities in the premises of these companies which are asked to be kept hidden from public view. How can a figure of Buddha, Jesus, Lord Ganesh disrespect Muslims when the company may be owned by such a person? Is this not iconoclasm? Even printed or published materials/posters that offend Muslims are not to be allowed too at times there is also demands to wear proper attire. But how would all these criteria really affect halal or haram status of food?
  • How many non-Muslim companies are aware or cared to look into what halal certification actually encompasses? Simply because they are told that Muslims wont buy their goods if HALAL logo does not exist and fears of such has prompted them to take the halal certificate cannot hide some basic facts.
  • Halal logo is based on Islamic religious belief. This means that the entire production process which includes processing, packaging, labeling, storage and transportation must be handled by MUSLIMS. How will a certificate remove this important criteria if the chain is handled by non-Muslims? Will the certificate not be a cosmetic cover up of the truth but worth it in view of its commercial gain for Muslims?

The dangers flagged was in realizing that once trade/finance became monopolized virtually legally under the banner of halal ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” halal infrastructure, farming, food processing, halal medicine, halal cosmetics, leather, apparel industry, catering, restaurants, education and training, halal publishing etc it would end up a multi-billion dollar global industry giving profits ONLY to Muslims.

The Muslims must realize that there was basis for the fear amongst the larger populace though for they it was just a matter of buying meat that was halal. People using the halal were fishing for bigger fish.

Non-Muslim politicians and companies in particular as well as non-Muslim consumers are made to believe the dietary benefits of food not having pigs-fat is what should prompt them to also accept halal. Why is it that milk powder which has components of pigs-fat has not being made haram thus far? Why do people drink Coke/Pepsi that also has components of alcohol?

It is in reviewing these questions and seeing the practicalities associated with halal certificate that makes people to question the purpose of a logo and a certificate when the Muslim himself has decided what was halal or not for centuries. That practice should not change but the halal certificate/logo should and once that is permanently removed people can continue to live as they have.




6 Responses to “How halal is the Halal Certificate”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    shenali thanks for being proactive on this issue, although your efforts to convince our vote seeking nincompoops who wants to be in power forever, will have no effect as much as the case with 13A. in fact what has happened to silence the majority and fool them, is they have just removed the logo but issuing of this hypocritical filthy certificate of wahaabis is being practiced.
    sharia law, wahaabism, gonibilla dress will be a thing of the past if bbs gets hold of power in the country, and we need to give 100% support for this organisation both moral and financial to fight relentlessly the terrorist tiger sympathisers, wahhabis and anglo saxon ungulates and lastly these pathetic muderous english speaking colombons who have been conditioned by western crap and values which they worship – we expats have practical experince of this crap which are all on paper only and not practiced – a deception by expecially anglo axon ungulate who should be skinned. they show the world one thing and do exactly the opposite and fool the world and does a single anglo saxon ungulate criticise their race? not a single converted english speaking buddhist will ever criticise their race for the attrocities committed by these bastards – no absolutely not. they stay quiet.
    sorry for diverting but these are the very bastards who are at the core of every problem on this planet. i know i have been very harsh but someone has to do it.

  2. Nanda Says:

    “does a single anglo saxon ungulate criticise their race? not a single converted english speaking buddhist will ever criticise their race for the attrocities committed by these bastards – no absolutely not”
    very true.

  3. Senevirath Says:

    Ahammed hasan from Beruwala has raped a 11 month old 29th divaina 2013…-

    was it h a l a l . He was just sent to jail. by kalutara magistrate. WHY NOT PUNISH THEM ACCORDING TO THEIR SACRED MUSLIM SHARIYA LAW……….? MUSLIMS DO U LIKE IT?

    A muslim from pepiliyana has taken a 15 year —- HARAM—–NON HALAL—— sinhala girl to have sex..


  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    At the core of these halal, shariya agenda is muslims want to make Sri Lanka an islamic country. Wherever they went in the world, they OUTBRED, OUTNUMBERED, OVERWHLEMED THE NATIVES, AND ONCE THE NUMBERS WERE HIGH ENOUGH THEY HAD TO CONVERT OR BE KILLED. Simple as that. No bombs, quitely done. With these increased numbers they secured ministerial, deputy ministerial etc. etc. and the menace will spread throughout the country rapidly. We should stop beating about the bush. The real issue is their multiplying like rabbits. GOVERNMENT SHOULD BRING IN NEW LAWS TO STOP THIS BREEDING. STOP FREE EDUCATION, STOP FREE MEDICINE AFTER 2 CHILDREN. Most Sinhalese couples working and have no time to bring up large families, whereas muslim women staying at home giving birth year after year to swell the numbers. Now they have enough numbers, put enough mosques in every street corner in the country to make their presence, intimidate non-believers, they have powerful ministers in the government to blackmail, so they pushing their islamisation agenda further. It is abundantly clear why they can’t eat what we all ate for all this time. When 2% no complaints. No muslim died as a result of eating what we all ate. But when 10% it is all different. Halal, shariya, nijab, hijab, etc. etc. a must while a Buddha statue is not allowed to past the airport desk in an islamic country. Kill all non-believers. If you practising this absurdity how on earth can they live in non-believers’ country. But still live in their country. The hypocracy goes on. Sinhalese and Tamils had had enough of this menace. Muslims have done irreparable damage to race relations in the Island. Traitors like ashroff, hakeems, sally, bada uddin, fowzie etc etc are responsible for the universal hatred they are facing today. It is not just in Sri Lanka, it is the world over. Google search will enlighten any doubters about the ‘love for them’ the length and breadth of this planet. These people should practise a real, true religion and see how their lives will be happier. EVEN THE ANIMALS WILL BE HAPPIER. Give up this absurdity and convert to a real, true religion. If this so called god had an iota of common sense he would have chosen a man with a bit of intellect, not an illiterate, warlord and child abuser. This doesn’t make any sense to any human being with an iota of common sense!

  5. Sunil R Says:

    Shenali Waduge jumps in and writes long treatises without knowing the subject in hand. It does seem that in her case just like the members of the BBS, her heart rules the head at all times. It is important that prolific writers such as Shenali should do sufficient research and collect factual information from independent sources before venturing into tirades such as this.

    Product certificates are issued for various parameters by both Government and private organisations both locally and internationally. There are certain procedures followed for the issuance of such certificates. These include lab reports, monitoring of procedures, factory conditions and environmental issues. Such processes cost money and these certificates have to be paid for. SLSI issues various quality certificates including the SLSI mark and the charges are not cheap and are based on the turnover of the businesses. Similarly private organisations such as SGS also certify products. The ISO certification is done by various organisations which are properly accredited to international organisations.

    Certifications are voluntarily obtained by businesses in order to enhance the marketability of their products. These certificates open up sectors of the markets which are otherwise inaccessible to these businesses. The Halal certificate is one such certificate voluntarily obtained by businesses in order to penetrate markets worldwide. The businesses that obtained these certificates and used it to good effect are mostly owned by Sinhala Buddhists. Removing of the Halal Certificate would have far reaching effects on these businesses and their employees most of whom are also Sinhala Buddhist. Fortunately the current arrangement is that the certificate will be made available to these companies and the negative impact of the BBS campaign has been removed as far as the export industry is concerned. We must thank the good sense of the Chamber of Commerce in intervening at the appropriate time.

    Subject to correction, it is my understanding that the Sri Lankan Muslims are not deeply affected by the removal of the certificate. According to my Muslim friends, they feel somewhat inconvenienced in some insignificant areas and they say that they can live with it. Of course, having the logo on the products they buy gave them confidence which they will now not have. They would probably avoid these products in the future. More than this inconvenience, the feeling that we now have a segment of the Buddhist Clergy and people like Shenali fuelling an ethnic conflict seems to be the biggest worry of the Muslims. They are convinced that the Halal issue was only a pretext by these monks to start a campaign against the Muslims.

    It would be good if people like Shenali starts to rethink some of their ideas in the larger interest of the country and condemn the actions of the BBS monks whose actions and behaviour are undermining the foundations of the Buddhist philosophy and setting a bad example to the future generation of this country.

  6. dingiri bandara Says:

    I have said this before. All Buddhists Sinhalese need to refrain from consuming meat,especially beef. This in addition to affecting, economically, those who are involved in this trade, will also curtail cattle rustling(said to be done by Sinhalese gangs). The poor Sinhalese who sell their animals for slaughter, sometimes for economic reasons should be helped financially. BBS and other Buddhists organizations need to set up a fund for this. The local Buddhist temples also need to get involved.As I have said before I will contribute in whatever way I can.

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