Do we have the right to choose the food we eat? Are we willing to bankroll terror activism in our country? The decision of Uttar Pradesh government to ban the production, storage, distribution and sale of all halal-certified products in the state should force all of us to ponder upon these questions.
In our country, pharmaceutical company Himalaya can proudly announce that all its products comply with Islamic law (Shariah) and are free of any ingredient forbidden under Islamic law. But when a Jain bakery owner posts an ad about his Jain bakery saying ‘all items at his bakery were pure vegetarian, made only by Jains and not Muslims,’ he gets arrested.
Don’t we need to ask – how was his ad different from a Muslim-only label that comes automatically with a halal certification?
Sometime ago an activist, RV Babu, was arrested for posting a video on social media with the title “Shops which give only Halal food have to be boycotted”. The ground for his appeal was that the halal system is discriminatory. On the one hand, the likes of RV Babu get arrested for opposing an unjust, rigged and discriminatory system. And on the other, you can safely promote halal-only (i.e. Sharia-based) food in a secular India.
UTTAR PRADESH GOVT’S DECISION
The Uttar Pradesh government on November 18 imposed an immediate ban on halal-certified food products across the state. The ban covers the production, storage, distribution and sale of all halal-certified food products except those meant for export.
This order came a day after an FIR was lodged at Lucknow’s Hazratganj police station in which the complainant accused “some companies” of “certifying products as halal in order to increase their sale among a community,” and thus “toying with the public’s faith”. The FIR named a company, three organisations and “other unidentified manufacturing companies and their owners, people part of anti-national conspiracy and people funding terror outfits”.
The UP government in its order said halal certificates for vegetarian products like oil, soap, toothpaste, and honey, where no such certification is necessary, suggest a deliberate criminal conspiracy targeting a specific community and its products. The ban is in the interest of public health and to prevent confusion.
Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration Commissioner Anita Singh stated in the order: “Under section 30 (2) (d) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and powers under the section 30 (2) (a) of the Act, with an eye on people’s health, it is ordered that within the borders of Uttar Pradesh, a ban is immediately imposed on production, storage, distribution and sale of Halal certified food products. This is except (for) products for export.”
“Halal certification of food products is a parallel system which creates confusion regarding the quality of food items and is completely against the basic intention of the said Act and is not tenable under Section 89 of the said Act,” the UP Government order said.
The action came as the government said it recently received information that indicated that products such as dairy items, sugar, bakery products, peppermint oil, salty ready-to-eat beverages, and edible oils are being labelled with halal certification.
“Unrestrained propaganda is being disseminated within a particular section of society to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate,” the statement said. This harms the business interests of other communities, it added.
The government contends that the labeling of certain products with a halal certificate lacks legal basis, as there are no provisions for such marking in government rules related to drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics.
The move aims to curb the exploitation of religious sentiments for financial gain, fostering social animosity, and violating public trust.
Speaking on this issue, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said food certification should be done only by governmental agencies, and not by non-governmental organisations. “Food quality and food testing are essentially a government job. Government should do it. We have our Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI),” she said, adding it is the government agencies that should ascertain whether there are chemical additives, artificial or harmful colours and so on. “They (government bodies) will have to be the authority to certify which is quality food for people to consume. Non-Governmental Organisations doing it is not right,” she said.\
WHAT IS HALAL?
Halal, an Arabic word, means lawful or permissible. When applied to food, it means food that is in conformity with the appropriate Islamic injunctions, such as the Islamic mode of ritual slaughtering (dhabihah) and avoiding food that is haram, such as pork and alcohol.
Preparing of halal food requires that animals must be slaughtered in the name of Allah and the person who is doing it must be well versed in Islamic way of slaughtering animals.
So, in that sense it clearly restricts people of other faith to have stakes in the manufacturing process, which therefore directly stands in violation of fundamental rights like right to equality, right to equal opportunity and right against religious discrimination as guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
The full process — from slaughtering to packaging to stamping to sealing to storing to transportation — has to be carried out by and under the supervision of Muslims only, in a slaughter house that doesn’t handle any food that is considered haram (prohibited) in Islam.
Under halal, the animal is butchered by making a fatal incision across the throat that cuts the jugular veins but not the spinal cord resulting in the animal’s slow, extremely painful and conscious death. The animal being slaughtered should face in Kabba’s direction while the butcher chants “Allah is the only God”. It is mandatory that the entire procedure from procurement to slaughtering to delivery must be performed by Muslims ONLY.
The slaughter house itself is required to be certified as halal by Muslims and is subjected to regular audits by Muslim-only inspectors.
SHARIA-COMPLIANT FOOD FORCED ON NON-MUSLIMS
Vegetarians think that Halal-Certification (HC) is for non-vegetarian industry only. The fact is: HC is deemed necessary for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, restaurants, pharma, hospital, tourism and cosmetic companies in accordance to Sharia Law. And, the Certification Firm (CF) must consist of 100 per cent Muslims ONLY.
THE HALAL CONSPIRACY
- Non-Muslims are compelled to consume halal products violating their personal freedom
- Only Muslims are employed, resulting in minority community taking over businesses
- Oblivious Hindus being increasingly brought under the authority of Sharia law
- Traders are forced to cough up money to get products Halal certified from dubious certification boards
- Halal certification fee is funneled to support terrorism and expansion of Islam in India and abroad
- Halal economy is the world’s fastest growing economy, and threatens Bharat’s economy
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Do not buy or sell any Halal certified products
- Stop patronising establishments that sell Halal meat
- Do not seek Halal certification for your products
- Use your social media influence to create awareness about dangers of Halal jihad
- Protest against eateries that offer only Halal meat or Halal food items
- Demand investigation whether funds collected to issue Halal certificates are being utilised to support terrorism
- Send letters to Minister of Commerce & Industry, the PMO and the district authorities demanding a ban on halal products
- Use the Prevention of Cruelty Act, 1960, to make efforts to ban the halal slaughter to ensure humane treatment to animals
These CFs charge annual certification fee from all those companies who need HC for Bharat or for Gulf countries, be it Haldiram, Dabur, ITC etc. Two largest CFs in Bharat are: Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Halal India. How is the money used? These firms openly ‘invest’ in fighting cases in favour of Muslims accused in terror conspiracies and murders, and to oppose Hindu causes and national laws.
You see, you are literally forced to eat halal food — a food that systematically excludes non-Muslims from virtually every step of the service chain, goes against customer’s choice, promotes Islamic fundamentalism and reportedly finances terrorism. RR Singh, the Jhatka Certification Authority chief, terms it as “economic jihad” that arises out of our dhimmitude.
In a nutshell, if you’re a non-Muslim, you do not have a choice in choosing your food. A Muslim is well within his right to decline a temple prasad, but a Hindu is forced to virtually accept only halal food, which is nothing but an offering to the Islamic God.
All non-Muslims are forced to eat halal meat, as there in no option of jhatka meat at Air-India, Mcdonald, KFC, Bigbasket etc. They all sell only halal. Due to this forced monopoly of halal industry, lakhs of Dalit businessman have lost their businesses to Muslims.
It is a clearly a denial of equal opportunity to non-Muslims, especially Dalits.
Here we need to expose the hypocrisy of companies such as McDonald and KFC – they sell either 100 per cent “Non-Halal” or both i.e. halal and non-halal in the USA, Canada and Europe. But in Bharat, we have no such choice despite the fact that 85 per cent population is non-Muslim.
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SC, ST & SIKH communities
Traditional Hindu butcher communities like Khatik and Valmiki belong to the Scheduled Caste communities. Similarly, many Scheduled Tribes have traditionally slaughtered animals. Halal meat is discrimination against these SC as well as ST communities.
The Sikh Rahit Maryada forbids hair-cutting, adultery, the use of intoxicants, and the consumption of kutha meat (halal meat). This issue is so sacred that during the British Raj, jhatka meat (wherein the animal is slaughtered in one swift blow) was not allowed in jails, and Sikh detainees during the Akali movement and beyond had to resort to violence and agitations to secure this right. One of the terms of settlement between the Akalis and the Muslim Unionist government in Punjab in 1942 was that jhatka meat be continued by Sikhs.
ISSUE OF ANIMAL CRUELTY
Another problematic part of halal module is that in the food (meat) manufacturing sector, it promotes animal cruelty by inflicting unnecessary pain on animals. The Islamic way of slaughtering animals requires that the animal must bleed to death by leaving its spinal cord intact during the process of slaughtering so that the maximum amount of blood drains out of its body. Animals killed by way of halal cannot be stunned before their throat, windpipe and the blood vessels around the neck are slit, which means that they thrash and gasp for their last breath, struggling to stand while the blood drains from their necks.
Such cruel practices are outlawed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and yet we allow this practice to thrive.
HALAL BUSINESS = ECONOMIC JIHAD
The money from halal certification fees is used for zakat (charity). Zakat is only done for Muslims. Muslims are not encouraged to assist non-Muslims. Some portion also goes for terror funding and jihad since it is also considered a ‘holy cause’. Therefore, in a sense, non-Muslims are not only paying the tax for which they get ZERO benefit, eating food that may go against their own faith system, contributing to the unemployment of their own brethren – in addition they are paying for their own demise, virtually paying an assassin to kill oneself.
The halal module no longer remains a simple business module rather it is loaded with the burden of religious commandment. The halal business model is virtually generating an inescapable trap of a monopolised market structure where decision-making authority remains subservient to Islamic religious commandments.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Halal Trust
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind was founded in 1919 and is one of the most influential, largest and oldest Islamic organisations in Bharat. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Halal Trust is one of the halal certifying agencies.
On its website, JUH has listed various terrorism cases where it is fighting on behalf of the accused Muslims. These include:
- German Bakery bomb blast case (Mirza Himayat Baig v/s State of Maharashtra)
- Lashkar Connection (Abdul Rahman V/s State SLP)
- ISIS conspiracy case Kochi (State of Kerala v/s Arshi Qureshi & others)
- ISIS conspiracy case Mumbai (Arshi Qurashi & others v/s State of Maharashtra)
- ISIS conspiracy case (State of Rajasthan v/s Sirajuddin)
- 26/11 Mumbai attack case (Syed Zabiuddin v/s State of Maharashtra)
- Chinnaswamy Stadium Bomb Blast Case (State V/s Qatil Siddiqui and others)
- Jungli Maharaj Road Pune Bomb blast case (A.T.S. v/s Asad Khan & others)
- Indian Mujahideen Case (Maharashtra VS Afzal Usmani & others)
- Zaveri Bazar Serial Blast (State v/s Azaz Shaikh and others)
- SIMI conspiracy case (Madhya Pradesh) State V/S Irfan Muchale & others)
- Jama Masjid Blast Case (Delhi State V/s Qateel Siddqui Others)
- Indian Mujahideen conspiracy case (State vs. Yasin Bhatkal & others)
- Ahmedabad Serial Blast Case 2008 (State V/s Jahid & Others)
This module is prone to promote Islamic fundamentalism. The halal business network is basically meant to serve the interests of Muslims all across the globe – in particular the interests of Gulf nations who are the biggest financers and promoters of this business module.
The whole process of Halal-certification discriminates against non-Muslims by excluding them. After all, the rules are simple:
1. Muslims must eat halal food only.
2. Halal food is that which, from sourcing to transportation, has been handled in a halal-only facility by Muslims only.
3. Halal facility must be entirely separate from non-halal one.
4. Companies that need halal certification are forced to employ a certain percentage of Muslims and ensure that none of the ‘other’ staff members bring non-halal foods or beverages onto the production floor.
The halal rules not just exclude non-Muslims from the entire chain of production, it also excludes what it considers as haram food from its menu, thus obviating the customer’s preference for eatables like ham and beacon that contains pork. Halal rules have ensured that virtually all of us are eating halal food whenever we enter a McDonald’s or KFC or buy a Cadbury Dairy Milk, and so on. All airlines and many of the government canteens serve halal food only! Not just eatables, we are also forced to use halal certified drugs, make-ups, etc.
Most of the world’s food and beverages companies are silently partaking in this Muslim appeasement. Consider a Nestlé advertisement of 2010 that showed a Muslim woman enjoying a KitKat chocolate with the heading “Bringing Peace of Mind around the World.” It further stated that “Halal” benefits everyone and that the company promotes “Halal” standards to both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers and that its Halal products are available in more than fifty countries around the world.
Today the global halal industry is estimated to be around USD 2.3 trillion, and is growing at an estimated annual rate of 20 per cent – thus making it one of the fastest growing consumer segments of the world.
VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 19
It’s not just the manufacturing of halal food that is problematic but the manner in which it is served to consumers (especially non-Muslims) in Bharat stands in clear violation of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. The said Article demands that before a person is subjected to do anything there must be an informed consent. Information gathered through the RTI initiatives of Sarayu Trust clearly suggests that before serving halal food to the consumers, food joints/canteens owned by government and non-government authorities do not bother to mention that the food being served is halal or non-halal. Majority of people in Bharat are subjected to eating halal food without even getting informed about the true nature of food items, neither in the food menu nor otherwise. So, the aspect of informed consent is completely lacking on that count – a clear violation of law.
Recently, an RTI query revealed that Air India – a Government of India entity – served only halal meat to its passengers. This created an uproar. Till date, Air India has given no clarification on this issue.
Silence of the Majority
The Hindus who say they do not have an issue with halal are too naïve and unaware of a deeper malaise. The conversion-based ideologies, as against the inward-looking Dharmic religions, will stop at nothing but to force their will on all others. This is in addition to a more direct strategy, that is, conversion. This is the reason you are forced to listen to ‘Allah is the greatest and the only true version of god’ at least 5 times a day daily. And this is the reason that you are forced to only eat the offering to Allah in the form of halal food. Did you say ‘choice’? — NO! You do not have a choice; all you have is a lack of options.
This is what Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of the best-seller The Black Swan, calls the “dictatorship of the minority.” Taleb demonstrates how a small group of intransigent people can impose its will on the majority. Say, if Hindus are comfortable with either food (halal or non-halal) but Muslims are stubborn on only eating halal food, all Hindus will eventually be forced to eat only halal food.
Today, Muslims are out-stubborning Hindus (and Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) in a secular India by forcing them to eat only halal food. They are out-stubborning the system by forcing eateries and food companies to serve only halal food. The author Taleb narrates his personal story of being at a large dinner party that served all kinds of food — vegetarian, non-vegetarian, kosher, etc. No one minded what the other was eating. “However,” in the words of the author, “Had my neighbour been a Sunni Salafi, he would have required the entire room to be eating halal. Perhaps the entire building. Perhaps the entire town. Hopefully the entire country. Ideally, the entire planet.”
The silence of non-Muslims is nothing short of dhimmitude, which forces them to pay for a purely Islamic ritual, a part of which, as evidence shows, also goes into financing violence and terrorism against non-Muslims.
(With inputs from Agrah Pandit)