23 May 2012
Much is made out of this requirement [to slaughter animals in a particular, Islamic manner, as against, say, 'jhatka', the way Sikhs slaughter them].
Muslim meat / chicken importers around the world insist on a 'Halal Certificate' along with the export documentation. [I understand that 'halal' certified meat sells a couple of dollars dearer in the US]
Here is an anecdote. Years ago I happened to take charge of the forex department of the bank I was working for, at Delhi. And to my horror I discovered that all our meat exporters would submit a set of papers at the eleventh hour while another set was given well in advance, and would always be at hand, aplenty, for the bank staff to use as and when needed. Amongst them was a bunch of 'Halal Certificates' signed and stamped in blank by a certain Quazi saheb!
On inquiries I learnt that halal certification had emerged as a lucrative, low-investment, high yield, captive industry! Many banks and institutions were routinely dealing in this, in such a cavalier fashion. The irony is that even the importer was fully aware of this malpractice and was more than willing to look the other way.
It was left just to the gullible, believing customer to be duped. Again and again.
By the way while some Muslims are still rigid about visiting only such non-veg restaurants as loudly proclaim their halal commitment, most everyday Muslims have acquiesced into eating what is available next door.
Just for a survey, please put in here, an honest figure of percentage of your friends you believe do so.
"You absolutely echo my sentiments, Mr Ghulam Faruki. A Muslim gentleman I know, as an adolescent, watched his aunt slaughter a hen. For 12 years he could not eat chicken until he got married and was persuaded to do so by his bride."
Zaid Kamal I concede that you may not find something agreeable. I presented a reality, and did not argue its desirability or otherwise.
But I sincerely invite you to ponder the suggestion of Mr Ghulam Faruki below and come up with your thoughts.
...There is also the nagging question of how it makes us feel about ourselves, what effect it has on those who observe the act.."
I think Mr Ghulam Faruki has summed up the dilemma very effectively above.
Moreover, personally I believe that on a societal level it DOES matter how others perceive us, specially if they happen to have a valid point of view. After all, the society will treat us in the light of the collective perception we have allowed others to form of us.
Which is why not only good actions, but also good selling, are necessary."