Ever growing net of Halal certified goods from Meat to cosmetics and it’s crippling impact on Hindu businesses in India is alarming. Let’s look at the Halal Economy, its origin, impact and why its time to ban this practice for equal economic opportunity to all.
While the Islamic text does not have any instructions or guidance on Halal Economics, it does allude to ‘what is halal’ and ‘what is haram’. The word Halal is also mentioned in the Hadiths (considered as the direct and indirect teachings of prophet Muhammad). These include the sin incurred on consuming food that is haram and the punishment that one has to undergo for it. These form the basis for Halal economy as well as the guidance by Islamic scholars to Muslims world over on this subject.
Halal Economy – gaining a stronghold over world economy
The Halal Industry governs all aspects from the farm to the consumer, which includes the production and distribution lines. As the halal economy taking shape, a greater emphasis was placed on growing the Islamic economic sector by utilising this Halal Economy.
In the words of Rafe Haneef, CEO of HSBC Amanah Malaysia – “If we are going to move towards a Halal economy, we have to take a holistic approach; the whole cycle, the whole chain has to be Halal from the production to the financing.” What this translates into is utilising the profits from the halal products to fund more production and distribution of other halal products, as well as providing financial assistance to the halal economy.
All this happens exclusively through the Islamic Banking and Finance system. With this, a complete control is gained over the entire chain from production to consumer, world over. There is sufficient evidence that this works, one among them being the astronomical increase in the market share!
Ever Increasing Ambit of ‘Halal’ products
The idea of halal economy has grown from its somewhat humble beginnings pertaining to only meat. This has pushed the need to tweak rules to suit different needs. So depending on the prevalent conditions, something that may have been considered as haram a few years ago has become halal now.
A parallel can be drawn from another Islamic practice – the call to prayer or Azaan. Azaan is considered a sacred call to the faithful and the use of loudspeakers to sound the azaan was considered as haram. But with the realisation that the loudspeaker can be a powerful tool in the spread of Islam, not only was it accepted, it became indispensable.
Widening scope of the halal Economy!
a. Meat to Vegetarian products : Even the famed all vegetarian Haldiram’s namkeens (snacks) are now halal certified. Dry fruits, sweets, chocolates are also included.
b. Foodstuff to Cosmetics : Grains, oil, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, kajal (eye liners), nail polish, lipstick and other cosmetics are now under the ambit of ‘Halal’ certification.
c. Medicines : Unani, Ayurvedic medicines, honey are now halal certified.
d. Multinational food chains : McDonald’s burgers, Domino’s pizza, food available in almost all airports is now Halal certified.
e. Halal apartment complexes : Kochi (Kerala) is now home to the country’s first halal certified apartment complex built as per sharia regulations. The complex has separate swimming pools for men and women, separate prayer halls, washrooms that face away from Mecca, clocks that alert you to namaz timings, facility to broadcast the namaz into every house among other ‘modern’ amenities.
f. Halal hospitals : Global Health City (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) is a halal certified hospital. They claim to meet international standards of hygiene and dietary regulations as per the tenets of Islam. This halal certification helps the hospital cater to the demands of patients from over 50 Islamic countries and gives hospital tourism a boost.
g. Halal dating websites : There are numerous websites for singles to meet up and befriend each other. Now there are halal certified dating websites that do this in a sharia compliant way, ‘Mingle’ being one among them.
How Halal Economy Puts Non Muslims at Disadvantage
The halal economy tries to impose a wholly Islamic system in the production-to-consumer chain, but it is not easy to compete with the existing giants in the industry. For example it would take an inordinate amount of time and energy to produce and market halal products that would meet or surpass the existing products by leading brands like Haldiram’s, Bikano, Vadilal Ice creams or Daawat Basmati. It is also not possible for these companies to employ only Muslim employees when operating in non Islamic countries.
Halal Certification Fee or Zizya Tax
So they have been given some special ‘concessions’. They are ‘allowed’ to pay a hefty fee to obtain a (renewable) halal certification. This fee is used to strengthen the Islamic finance system. Earlier, non Muslim subjects under Islamic rule were forced to pay a ‘protective’ Jizya tax (to be exempt from conversion). Similarly companies today are being ‘asked’ to pay up large sums of money as ‘halal certification fees’ if they want their products to be certified for use by Muslims.
Given above factors it’s imperative that relevant governments at provincial and federal level implement laws to abandon this practice to provide fair playing level field to operate and compete all business without any special allowance to a specific community, faith or race. This is not only applicable to Indian laws but also apply to Canadian context and is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom in the form of Right to Equality
Source Link: Hindu Jagruiti
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