Friday, August 6, 2010



Halal should be promoted as an all encompassing way of life that is being underlined by some wonderful Islamic values, said Shahed Amanullah, founder of US-based and websites.

To win over non-Muslim consumers, Halal should not only be used to refer to a given product but as a link that can bring together Muslims and non-Muslims by showcasing Islam for its beauty.

“I think that Halal will mean whatever we make it to mean. And the way I envision Halal is that it is a vehicle for a wide variety of Islamic values; not just the way you slaughter meat,” he said.
“It’s a great vehicle to introduce some wonderful things about our religion that have universal appeal. If we can introduce those into Halal, and a non-Muslim consumer can look at it and say, ‘wow, I didn’t know that Muslims cared about that, I didn’t know they cared about the treatment of animals, I didn’t know they cared about environmental concerns’.
“It will really play with their perceptions of Islam and Muslims,” he added.
Muslims living in predominantly non-Muslim countries especially in the West, were hyper-sensitive to the availability of Halal food since it was not as readily accessible to them.
However, with the prevalent sentiment surrounding Muslims and Islam around the world, the term Halal is now being associated with two other words that have negative connoctations to them – Jihad and Shariah.
“These words have been taken from very noble meanings to almost becoming dirty words, evoking hate, violence and hostility, and I don’t want to see that happen to Halal,” said Shahed.
He said the only way to prevent this was by aggressively going out there and creating the brand identity around Halal, especially since it is still a neutral term at the moment.
Food also breaks down cultural barriers very easily and quickly, said Shahed, and even at a time when America is at war with two Muslim countries and public opinion of Muslims is very low, Americans still go out and eat Muslim halal food.
“If you’re in New York and you tell any New Yorker, ‘I’m going to eat halal food’, they all know what you are talking about,” he said.
Once people are hooked on Halal food, they can then be informed of the humane preparations required by Islam such as giving the animals a drink of water and comforting them before slaughtering the animals as well as not killing them in the presence of other animals.

Shahed was a speaker at the International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) in Brunei. His presented a paper on “The Halal Tipping Point and Beyond – Examining Emerging Market and Social Opportunities”.
Read The New York Times’ article entitled Decline of the Dog on the rise of Halal meals on the streets of New York.

Pic: Mohammed Rahman, owner of Kwik Meal and maker of a widely touted lamb-and-rice platter, operates his Halal push cart at the corner of 45th Street and Avenue of the Americas in New York. Pic by Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times.


Anonymous said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

Melissa said...

Wow! I hope Halal becomes what it really is.

I know the Muslims do not eat pork.

RoyalTLady said...

Mel,It is not only about CANNOT eating pork... but slaughtering of chicken, cows, sheep and all else that are allowable by Islam have to abided by the persons performing them. Otherwise, we are said to be eating "dead animals" and this is rampant in our market place... We wouldn't know how to check if they have done it the Islamic way but once the Religious authority done their spot checks... then we would know those culprits are up to "feeding dead animals to the Muslims"... Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!

Melissa said...

Islam truly is so beautiful and so respectful of all life.

I love that.

azahar said...

Halal is way beyond just having our animals slaughtered the halal way.

I am always furious when Malaysians when they go overseas they are so frantic about looking for halal food.

But back home they do so many things that are not halal. Take using working hours to do personal things and at the end of each month they casually collect their salary without even worrying that in their salary is a proportion of money that is not halal!

Then they still go to banks that offer interest even though Islamic banking is everywhere now.

Remember, halal is not just the way we slaughter our food animals, it goes way beyong that!