Thursday, February 14, 2013

My thoughts on Halal Issue

Some people might think, I am crazy or may be some might disagree with my opinion, But I would like to share what I feel.

Halal Certificate is a validation done by ACJU to check is there any way that the food or the product has HARAM assortments (HARAM means strictly prohibited in Islam such as Lard, alcohol or any other related byproducts) and cleanliness. YES it is true this is only for Muslims but not for any other religion and also it is a valid point because of this 8% population why everyone else has to pay for this.

First of all, obtaining the Halal certificate is a voluntary initiation. If the company wants to get it, ACJU processes the application and follows the procedure. A monitory value is incurred in this process and it depends on the size of the business. For a small business and if that business has 1-5 products they only have to pay 500-700 per month (It means on average, (500+700)/2*12 = 7200 per annum). If it is a large multinational company and having more than 100 products to certify the amount is fixed.

All the promotions, leaflets and other campaigns are specially done to educate the Muslims and definitely rest has the total freedom to neither reject nor ignore these. Obviously if the companies do not want to obtain this certificate definitely the business will not report losses since the Muslim population is just approximately 8% of the total population.

Some people might think this amount might be a huge cost and can affect the profitability but for this the best example I can provide is, a Halal certified small businesses’ product and an established non-Halal multinational’s product’s pricing structure is similar. There is no significant variation on the product pricing and it is a very simple economic theory where the price increases the demand decreases. Therefore, if someone is arguing a business is reporting loss because of this Halal Certificate definitely the company’s management will think twice than the customer to remove the certificate or exit the business.

We all are the children of Mother Sri Lanka and I wonder why all of a sudden these conflicts arises and the ACJU certify these products since 1924 as an independent, non-political, non-governmental national religious institution in Sri Lanka and ACJU was incorporated by an Act of Parliament No. 51 of 2000, with a membership of over 3,000 Ulama.

Anyone can reject Halal products and they have total rights to do it since it’s not a must to consume Halal products for non-Muslims. But as Muslims we do not request alcohol, drugs or any other illegal products to certify. End of the day I wish Sri Lanka always to be a peaceful country with religious harmony.

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- Sharmila :)

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