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Is BJP planning to ban Halal meat in India? Here is how the media is spreading fake news

Contrary to what the media organisations and social media would have us believe, the bill floated in the Karnataka Assembly is for the ban on halal certification by any organisation except the state government/centre-linked organisations and not on halal meat.

While there is little doubt about Halal being a religiously discriminatory practice and its imposition on non-Muslims patently unconscionable, several media organisations have recently published reports claiming that the BJP government in Karnataka is all set to ban halal meat in the state.

Times of India published an article claiming that the BJP government in Karnataka is planning to place a bill that would prohibit halal meat in the state.

Source: Times of India

Zee News also published an article that read, “Karnataka: CM Basvaraj Bommai set to ban HALAL meat, plans to introduce bill in assembly soon”.

Halal ban
Source: Zee News

Hindi news organisation Amar Ujala also published an article with the headline insinuating that the Karnataka government is mulling banning halal meat in the state.

Halal ban
Source: Amar Ujala

Before long, several blog websites and social media users started spreading the claims and stoking fears among Muslims that the Karnataka government is moving towards imposing a ban on the consumption of halal meat within its geographical jurisdiction.

Many others, including Saba Naqvi, shared the article published in the Times of India. Naqvi posted a picture of the article from the Times of India and commented that it should make international news if it’s for real.

Halal ban
Source: Twitter

And soon thereafter, many across the world, especially the Muslim countries in the Middle East, took cognisance of the reports published in Indian dailies and expressed their concern over the purported ban on halal meat in Karnataka.

Source: Twitter

Is BJP imposing a ban on halal meat?

Contrary to what the media organisations would have us believe, the bill floated in the Karnataka Assembly is for the ban on halal certification by any organisation except the state government/centre-linked organisations and not on halal meat. The written by N Ravikumar to the governor urges the prohibition of certification issuance by anyone other than the state/centre affiliated body. Interestingly, the letter didn’t even have the word “halal” in it, as pointed out by Twitter user @thehawkeyex. In addition to this, the minister also added that such a move may bring a windfall of Rs 5,000 crores to the state exchequer.

Bill aimed at banning halal certification by unauthorised organisations and not halal meat

Recently, Karnataka Legislative Council Member N Ravikumar sought permission to introduce a private bill during the upcoming winter session of the assembly seeking a ban on Halal certification issued by several Muslim organisations. Notably, Halal certification is not limited to meat products but has expanded its reach to vegetarian food products, cosmetics, medicines, and construction businesses.

Ravikumar is the state general secretary of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In a statement on December 14, he said that several organisations charge money for issuing the certification without any authorisation. Notably, the word Halal is Arabic, which translates to “permissible”. It is in contrast to Haram, which translates to “forbidden”. Any food or product is Halal only if it is prepared as per Islamic law.

Ravikumar added, “The Halal certification, which was earlier restricted to meat, has now been extended to various products like cosmetic goods, and food items, among other things.” Furthermore, he questioned, “The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the government agency which gives the certification. But who permitted these Muslim organisations to certify halal products? They are not a certified authority to do this. They charge lakhs of rupees to give halal certification. Where does this money go?”

He added that the private bill he plans to introduce in the legislature would seek amendments to the Food and Safety Standards Act 2006. Ravikumar said it would help the government to take action against the illegal certification.

India has no legal body to give Halal certification like Arab countries. The certification in India is obtained on a voluntary basis by the businesses. Several private bodies are comprised of Muslim clerics, religious groups and others who provide such certifications.

Longstanding demands against Halal certification

Notably, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has been raising voices against Halal certification for a long time. They recently announced that the organisation would restart a state-wide campaign against the certification. On Tuesday, the members of HJS reportedly met several leaders of the BJP and submitted a memorandum seeking a law to ban the certification. The leaders who HJS approached included National Secretary of BJP CT Ravi and State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar.

Mohan Gowda, the spokesperson of HJS, said in a statement, “In the name of halal certification and religion, there is a huge conspiracy and mafia to sell halal products across India. Muslim organisations are collecting crores of rupees using halal certification, and the money is being used for anti-national activities.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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