A bakery in Kerala, called ‘Mody’, was allegedly forced to remove the ‘Halal’ sticker notifying the availability of Halal food following opposition by Hindu Aikya Vedi activists. The organisation’s Parakkadavu unit president Arun Aravind and secretary Dhanesh Prabhakaran sent a notice to the bakery on the 28th of December saying that halal is discriminatory and amounted to discrimination in the name of food, which is “criminal”.
“The sticker notifying ‘halal’ should be removed within 7 days of the receipt of the notice and such discriminatory descriptions should henceforth be avoided from your future advertisements, failing which the Hindu Aikya Vedi will be forced to boycott the shop and launch protests,” the notice is reported to have said.
As per reports, the matter began after Aravind and a few others visited the bakery for food and insisted on non-halal food. However, they were informed that only halal food was served. “The panchayat does not have enough members of the community to warrant publicising of ‘halal’ food. Those who need it will ask and there is no need for such a notification,” he said.
The notice went viral on social media following which the police stepped in and arrested Aravind and three others. A case has been registered against the four and according to Times Now, they have been released on bail.
Christian groups in Kerala call for boycott of Halal meat
Ahead of Christmas, Christians in Kerala called for boycott of halal meat. Kochi based Christian group Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) urged Christians not to buy Halal food anymore. Hindu groups also extended their support for the call to boycott stating that they are forced to sell Halal meat in the state.
The Indian Union Muslim League had termed the campaign against Halal meat as a controversy to target Muslims. The CASA had announced that Christians would hold protests few days before Christmas. For the protest, they were planning to pool in money for buying and cutting the animals in non-halal manner to oppose halal meat.
What is Halal meat?
Halal can only be performed by a Muslim man. Thus, non-Muslims are automatically denied employment at a Halal firm. There are certain other conditions that must be fulfilled that makes it quite clear that it is intrinsically an Islamic practice.
Guidelines are available at the official website of a certification authority of Halal in India which makes it clear that non-Muslim employees cannot be employed in any part of the slaughtering process. The guidelines of the certification authority of Halal in India expressly mention that people employed to carry out the process of Halal must be Muslims. The guidelines clearly mention that animals slaughtered by a non-Muslim will not be Halal.
Apart from halal meat, halal certification is also available for other products.