Saturday, October 29, 2016

Minister: Halal recognition NOT compulsory

Bernama - Pretzel Dog fiasco reveals a worrying scenario (relevant extracts only):

Just days ago Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki in reacting to the arm-twisting methods by Jakim to force popular pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s to rename its Pretzel Dog to Pretzel Sausage said halal recognition was not compulsory.

So why then did Jakim force Auntie Anne’s to drop the word ‘dog’ and opt for ‘sausage’?

What was the politics behind Jakim’s latest bigotry, which at best has left the department licking its wounds after a botched attempt at bullying a food provider into falling prey to its hard line agenda. [...]

Is it ethical of Jakim, especially in the absence of a law that makes it mandatory for eateries to pursue the halal status, to forcibly issue an ultimatum or quid pro quo of sorts to Auntie Anne’s – rename Pretzel Dog and ‘earn’ the halal status?

It is befuddling that despite the halal recognition not being compulsory, eateries that choose not to comply continue to face harassment and penalty by Jakim and other religious agencies. [...]

Auntie Anne’s quality assurance and halal executive Farhatul Kamilah Mohamed Sazali had in a Facebook posting shared her dilemma, saying the popular pretzel chain had submitted several options and was awaiting decision from Jakim’s panel.

“The ‘pretzel dog’ name has to be changed to a more appropriate name.

“Once we obtain the decision from Jakim’s panel, we will change our entire menu board before proceeding with a new application.”

Farhatul’s attempt to apply for the halal certification for all the 45 Auntie Anne’s outlets under one application was also rejected by Jakim which demanded that she make separate applications for each outlet.

Jakim’s hard line beliefs troubling

By flexing its religious muscles, a dogmatic Jakim continues to challenge the intelligence of Muslims, whom it unwittingly is portraying as “illiterate” when it comes to making the “right” food choices.

Why did Jakim create such hardships for Auntie Anne’s when in fact the halal certification is not even mandatory? Was the department pushing its luck by forcing the food chain to give in to its right wing beliefs?

Jakim it seems has become a victim of its own relentless show of authority. Its latest abuse of power vis-a-vis the Pretzel Dog incident leaves a troubling trail, of the department’s refusal to act by the book.

While the arm-twisting act by Jakim left Auntie Anne’s in a quandary, many Malaysians were simply aghast at the former’s audacity to use religion to score a point.

The furore finally bit the dust when Minister in Charge of Islamic Affairs Jamil Khir Baharom said that a food’s name was never the main issue as there is plenty of food with weird names in Malaysia.

“Pretzel Dog won’t be banned. I also eat that. I want to stress that it never occurred to Jakim to ban a food that is already popular with that particular name.

“What’s important is that the contents and ingredients of the dish, not the name.

But as the halal status is not obligatory, will Jakim continue to hound and have a bone to pick with eateries that choose not to apply for the halal or ‘permissible’ certification?

Now, Jais of Selangor has accused Ninja Joe for breaking halal laws in its P Ramly pork burger.

The Malay Mail Online reported (extracts only):

Fastfood chain company Ninja Joe violated a law on halal food when it named one of its pork burgers “P. Ramly”, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) has said.

The agency’s communications officer Nurhamizah Othman said Jais had the authority to conduct inspection on companies or any business premises deemed to have violated Section 4(1) of the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011 — even if they belonged to non-Muslims.

Section 4(1) of the Order states that no food or product shall be deemed halal or usable or consumable by followers of Islam unless they have been authorised by the relevant agencies; and if it has been marked with the halal logo.

“The premise owner was found guilty of violating Section 4(1) of the Act because they offered to supply food that can mislead, create misrepresentation or falsely give the impression that the food was halal or can be consumed by a Muslim,” she told Malay Mail Online.

Can Jais fine or charge Ninja Joe, considering the following facts:

(1) Ninja did NOT claim it serves halal food

(2) Legally speaking, is the name 'Ramly' trade registered for halal use only?

(3) Ninja Joe has clearly advises/advertises its burger as having pork

(4) Obviously Ninja Joe is NOT selling its food to Muslism so how can Jais says “The premise owner was found guilty of violating Section 4(1) of the Act because they offered to supply food that can mislead, create misrepresentation or falsely give the impression that the food was halal or can be consumed by a Muslim”

In fact we should be asking Muslims what are they doing in Ninja Joe?

(5) What authority has Jais or any other Islamic agency over a non Muslim eatery which does NOT claim to be halal?

(6) Is Jais ignoring the words of Deputy Minister Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki that halal recognition was not compulsory.

(6) Is Jais saying Muslims in Selangor are so stupid they can be easily confused into believing pork is halal?


  1. nampaknya nama2 tumbuhan ini pun wajib ditukar;



    Wakakakaka... has this zombie terlampau suddenly has a brain transplant???