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Welcome to part two of the Vanity Certification series! Today we are discussing the Islamic certification called "halal", which means "permissible" in Arabic. Halal is to Muslims what kosher is to Jews.
Again we have the dilemma of the vast majority of the food catering to a tiny minority. Muslims only make up about 2% of the US population, yet halal is growing in popularity. It is astounding how religious certifications are treated as the new trend.
Halal certification is much the same as kosher in that both cater to religious dietary rules. From US Halal Chamber of Commerce:
Why? Because Allah said so. That explains it all now doesn't it?
A description of the benefits of halal certification is vague, redundant, and seemingly not all that beneficial:
This, like the supposed benefits of kosher, is circular logic. They don’t tell us what their processes are to determine quality, cleanliness, etc. They also don’t seem to be picky about dairy, meat, and “neutral”. The descriptions on the certifying agencies’ websites are incredibly vague but do like to talk up their internal processes.
What meat is considered halal? Quran 5:3-4 answers that question.
I’m amused by the squeamishness of some of the terms included in the list of terminology:
Of course no one wants to eat icky pus, vomit, excrement, etc., of any kind. But again, the US has tolerances of these contaminants in meat, and there is no guarantee that halal slaughterhouses even hold to FDA standards. Kuffar are not allowed to work in halal slaughterhouses, which is religious discrimination.
Certification costs money though. We all pay for those costs when we purchase products stamped halal. Where do these funds go? Rumors abound that the money goes to fund terrorism, but I’ll leave it up to you readers if you’d like to research that or not. I’ve not seen evidence either way, just claims usually by people who have an agenda to push. I did share some later for entertainment purposes, if nothing else.
Halal slaughter is the same filthy and brutal process as kosher slaughter, except that Islamic prayers must be said during the process. The “logic” is that since the animal isn’t stunned, it will somehow hear these prayers while blood and stomach contents are gushing from its throat. Because all animals can speak human while dying a viciously painful death, right? Speaking in tongues, halal style?
Does anyone really think that an animal dying in excruciating pain cares about the imaginary friends of humans?
I must say I’m disgusted by the dhimmitude displayed by cooking show hosts who pretend they know something about “halal” by equating it with kindness to animals. Let me make this perfectly clear: there is nothing kind about ritual slaughter as we saw with kosher slaughter, and here is a video specifically about halal:
***WARNING: MORE GRAPHIC ANIMAL ABUSE ***
No matter how many times I’ve tried, I can’t make it past 23 seconds.
This video claims that halal food is such a big business because of "flavor" and "humane treatment of animals". This is ridiculous because the products used would be of the same if not better quality without halal certification. What, does the presenter think that the non-halal cumin would ruin the flavor of the product?
Muslims claim that they treat animals better during the animals' lives than non-Muslims. They don't mention their vicious slaughterhouse procedures, conveniently. As far as their claim goes, there is no evidence that Muslims are nicer to animals than kuffar. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary, however, as we can see in these horrific examples here, here and here. How does this blatant abuse while the animal is still alive help the quality of the meat? It won't, as we know that live animals can be bruised. And it's cruel beyond belief.
Cosmetics companies have jumped on the halal bandwagon, treating this “certification” as some great new fad. This is utterly absurd. “Natural” cosmetics aren’t natural because no one is born with a painted and decorated face. Besides, how can something become halal when an imam who won’t wear makeup says some magic words over them? Cosmetics aren’t tolerated in all Islamic circles, and were banned temporarily in Iran in 1979 after the revolution. How are cosmetics determined to be halal anyway? Does anyone know of any references to cosmetics in the Quran or hadith that would specify which kinds of cosmetics would be considered halal and which kinds wouldn’t?
Now for the biggest halal joke ever: WATER. Yep, plain old ordinary drinking water. Just read the link. The sarcastic comments are hilarious and too numerous to screenshot. On that note, let's refer back to the secular issue of cross-contamination degrading the quality of the product and diminishing the possibility of sales. Is that not common sense? What about chemicals used in the containers? Were they ever mentioned in the Quran as halal or haram? Why would a Japanese company care about halal certification anyway? I'm pretty sure that a Muslim on a long flight would want safe drinking water, even if it's safe without the halal stamp and prayers to the Muslim sky fairy.
Oops, my bad. THIS is the biggest halal joke ever: someone thinks that cheesecake doesn't count as dairy.
P.S. Bugs are apparently halal.
What you’re not told about halal
Halal isn’t even necessary for Muslims. Quran 5:5 states that what is good for “the people of the book” meaning Jews and Christians, is good for them as well. If the food is questionable to Muslims, they can say “bismallah” and wave away any bad juju that the food may contain. Some imams discredit that idea but others don’t.
(Rant alert: I find it disturbing that women as sex objects are thrown into this verse, in a surah (chapter) called “The Table Spread”. Was surah 4, “The Women”, not specific enough about women as sex objects and mere property? And what’s this about all who aren’t interested in Islam being “losers”? Oh, right. It’s the usual, intolerant and insecure threat of hell followers of the Abrahamic faiths use against all non-believers. *Yawn* carry on.)
Alcohol will never be halal, nor will products containing alcohol be. This includes flavorings with alcohol as a base. Cheers!
Here’s an *oops!*
On a more serious note…
Halal certification is so upsetting to some that there are organizations set up to protest this “invasion”, as they see it. Boycott Halal goes into detail about animal welfare, consumer rights, ethical business practices, interfaith conflicts, and tips to avoid halal products.
Bare Naked Islam has done some homework on this as well, exposing Campbell’s, Cadbury, Subway, and Whole Foods among others, trying to pander to a tiny minority. They even mention the use of the funds but that’s not the focus of this article. It’s scam enough to have to pay extra to cater to the discriminatory imaginary friends of minorities.
Why is there none of this protest about most products being kosher? Oh sorry, it's anti-semitic to even think such a thing. This question actually got me banned from one of the many halal critic groups on Facebook. Oops!
This controversial New York company gets special mention here. Founder/owner Hamdi Ulukaya is a wealthy Kurdish businessman from Turkey with supposed ties to the also controversial Clinton Global Initiative. Chobani has apparently spent millions lobbying for monopolies for school lunches, promoting refugee resettlement programs which could be good or bad or bad in this way or bad in this way or skewed, GMOs or no, quality control problems, inflammatory marketing practices, etc.
Chobani claims on their website and over Twitter to not be halal, but is mentioned as halal on notable halal sites and trackers. Note that some of their products made the haram list, at least as of 2012, due to alcohol-based flavorings.
Laughably Chobani tried an anti-science approach to labeling their products, conveniently forgetting about the science behind the creation and packaging of said products. This, fortunately for us in need of humor, did not go unnoticed in the Twitterverse. It also got them sued for misrepresenting sugar.
Chobani got spanked for misrepresenting its products in the UK, implying that production takes place in Greece.
Chobani had to ask for legal protection in 2016 when it attacked other brands of yogurt as "chlorinated" and "insecticide".
It seems that Chobani can't decide to be halal in Australia or not. This is an old post but worth mentioning as it seems Chobani wants to provide halal for Muslims but tell non-Muslims they aren't halal.
A big plus for Mr. Ulukaya: he did stand up to the state of Idaho, protesting the "ag gag" law which prevented secret recordings of animal abuse being made to expose companies. This ag gag proposal was made into law anyway but was later overturned.
Another plus is a pro-LGBT ad featuring a lesbian couple in bed. Personally I have no problem with viewing humans as humans. I have to admit I giggle at the thought of homophobes getting all squeamish by obsessing over what other people do with their own naughty bits.
Who pays for the cost of halal certification? Presumably all consumers. Like for kosher, I assume that Muslims have no problem passing the costs of halal certification on to non-Muslims. Maybe they see it as a form of jizya, a tax on non-Muslims to remind them of their second-class status.
It’s a wrap!
This concludes part two of Vanity Certifications. Last up is a summary and a special surprise!