Friday, March 1, 2013

The whole sordid issue has just got completely out of hand

We don’t seem to know how to organize a kitefest if we had one! This whole unnecessary campaign against ‘halal’ and by extension against the Muslim community, is another example of our supposedly civilized people not knowing how to live and behave peaceably whilst solving a simple issue without much bad blood flowing in trying to fix the mole hill.

After all in the end it is the Sri Lankan economy that suffers and the trouble makers cannot care a toss about it. In terms of economic repercussions, no matter what anyone says, the exporting community, wish to have a recognizable ‘halal’ certified tag on their packaging for exports to certain countries as preferred by the selling agents in those countries. In their own economic interests it is better for them to get the certification from a local body, rather than have to pay top dollar to get overseas certifying companies to come to SL to give their certification!

So in the fall out these companies are suffering in silence, and they have nothing to do with the local debate, only a way to sell our products overseas. So both parties to the dispute are held to blame, for not being able to resolve it before it got to this nasty stage, where NONE wishes to certify halal anymore!

The economic activity of Companies in Sri Lanka are held to ransom by a debate amongst two foolish, stubborn groups who could have resolved this issue long before it came to this point. After all how did we survive before certification?

It is clear to the Muslim community that in their zest for halalization, the ACJU went overboard not being sensitive to the local host community and their religious practices to not see the impending cataclysm. It is just called insensitivity and stupidity. The Muslim community is too smart to make a deliberate policy to impose their certificate on the General community. Where they fell short was give the incorrect impression to their community to demand 'halal' certification when they perform certain activities, like eating out and engaging in practices that require their religious requirement to be squared up.

With the capitulation of the ACJU, and the Govt. saying that they do not wish to get tainted by certifying it boils down to the basic principles of giving an honest listing of the ingredients that have gone into the production of the item, and let the Muslims, through centuries of practice in knowing how to adhere to their religion, making the personal decisions on their practices, and not make it a national event!

Take a time out, let sizzling attitudes simmer, and re-start on a note of reason, requesting that the Muslim population just be aware of the responsibilities to the community at large and find an internal solution rather than impose the unneeded dictats from above. 

As for the halal certificate, let the exporters who want it find the most practical method for giving them the necessary guidance in practice to conform to the regulations of the importing country, Just like when one exports goods to Japan, one must have a fumigation certificate that conforms to certain standards, otherwise the products could be rejected at the port of entry. This is similar and we should permit the companies to give the stamp of certification.

It is also wrong for the banning of the 'halal' on a package, as it may have been printed for the export products that form 95% of the Company's business and the balance 5% is sold in the local market.

With the cost of printing and packaging for a small amount being very high it is cheaper to take some from the main production run for the local market. Otherwise the price of the product WITHOUT the 'halal' designation which will be done for a small market, will be much higher, running counter to the BBS claim that products cost more due to the 'halal' certification and logo.

I trust people will look at this contrary opinion and determine what they feel as the best alternative to project and put forward in this debate.

1 comment:

  1. have a look at McDonald's see

    And this was my (unpublished) comment to  Kasun Adikaris Groundviews viewpoint.

    (It takes time to do a real referenced response)

    That is really false (< a href="">Kasun Adikaris article

    ). Its hard enough to find a Kosher restaurant (unless in a Jewish Neighborhood) let alone a Halal Restaurant. All the big steakhouse's are not Kosher even if they owned by Jews (e.g. Smith and Wollensky, Peter Luger, Mortons Steak House).  Even Katz a famous Jewish Deli is not kosher.

    The small delis and bodegas owned by Arabs (mainly Yemenese), Bangaladeshis and Pakistanis all have pork sausage and egg sandwiches. 

    If a restaurant has beef products and milk products (Butter and cheese) it cant be Kosher. The Hebrew word for permitted kosher food is Halakha. No s...t sherlock

    Grocery Stores and Supermarkets in the US:  You would be hard pressed to find Kosher or Halal items.  Typically if available will be in separate section and price is generally higher for the same product.

    Regards McDonalds being Halal in the US. You must be living in La La land if you think McDonalds in the US becomes halal. It would be boycotted immediately. Yes some McDonald's in other countries are halal.  i.e. In the Muslim majority countries (mid-east, Malaysia Indonesia) and India and Sri Lanka (see

    On the other hand preceding all this Halal nonsense in Jan last year (2012) there was a campaign (Facebook, SMS Blogs) to get Muslims to boycott Perera and Sons one of the largest Restaurant and Catering chains in Sri Lanka.

    Apparently The campaign is still continuing. There is a daily/weekly forwarding of shops/brands to boycott because either they have refused a halal certificate or do not have one.

    Obviously Anver would never make reference to Halal boycotts by Muslims in is Sinhala blog