The Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to ban certain halal certifications is the first step towards preventing a mullah-takeover of food and non-food certifications, a right which correctly belongs to the state.
The ban, which excludes products intended for export, will be condemned as a “communal” act by the Yogi Adityanath government, but it is the widespread use of such certifications, which Hindus have to willy-nilly accept, that should be called “communal”.
The UP government order says strict legal measures will be implemented against any individual or firm engaged in the production, storage, distribution, buying, and selling of halal-certified medicines, medical devices, and cosmetics within the state.
It added: "The right to decide the quality of food items lies only with the authorities and institutions given in Section 29 of the said (Food Safety and Standards) Act, who check the relevant standards as per the provisions of the Act”.
For good measure, the government said the obvious, that there are “no provisions for marking halal certification on labels in the government rules related to drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics", nor is such a certification mentioned in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and its related rules.
Absolutely. The wonder is that it even needs to be said. Let’s again start with the obvious. Halal is an Islamic requirement that expects Muslims to eat only that meat where the animal is slaughtered inhumanely — ie, without stunning — by cutting its jugular, carotid artery and windpipe and draining its blood while it is still alive.
As a BBC explainer on halal notes, “Animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and all blood is drained from the carcass. During the process, a Muslim will recite a dedication, knows as tasmiya or shahada.” In other words, the last words the suffering animal has to hear is that Allah is the only god, and Muhammed is his last prophet.
Here are some questions that “secular-liberal” individuals must answer, when the same lot say that Muslims can abstain from singing Vande Mataram since it glorifies the country as mother, and not just Allah.
One, why is a non-Muslim, especially in Hindu-majority India, obliged to eat food blessed by a mullah, and which glorifies Allah? It is one thing to respect someone’s faith and his right to eat meat as prescribed by his scriptures, quite another to force others to consume food and other items that embody that faith.
Two, why is a non-standard and inhumane way of slaughtering animals even acceptable, when our (and the Western world’s) food safety standards do not require any such method of slaughter.
If Muslims indeed want to eat halal, they should clearly be told that halal meat falls outside Indian law, and must be labelled as non-standard, and anyone consuming halal products will do so at his own risk.
Three, why is an Islamic injunction on how to slaughter being extended to all kinds of products, from medicines to medical devices and even cosmetics?
Baba Ramdev of Patanjali runs an Ayurvedic and FMCG products company, but even he is forced to use halal certifications to export his products to Muslim-majority countries. But even if this is a requirement for exports, none of these products should be sold to non-Muslims in India.
Let’s be clear: by extending halal certifications to all kinds of products, including meat consumed by non-Muslims in India and the rest of the world, the world is essentially being forced to pay tithes to the maulanas who run this certification.
And if most products ultimately need halal certifications, it implies that a mullah has to bless many things I consume. Over time, a halal-certified supply chain will become directly or indirectly controlled by Muslims, often Islamist forces.
This is nothing but jizya imposed on us through the backdoor. We must resist it and make laws to outlaw halal products for any products sold to non-Muslims. Otherwise, the corporate sector will accept halal as the norm, and pay jizya to the mullahs, forcing ordinary citizens to do the same.
The laws must make two things clear.
First, no halal certification is valid unless the product clearly says that it is meant only for orthodox Muslim consumption. Also that the product must explicitly state that it does not conform to Indian law.
Second, any product that uses a halal certification must always produce the same in conformity with Indian laws and which is made available to all.
As Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote seven years ago, the intolerant minority always wins, if the majority is not too inconvenienced by this demand. A Muslim may want halal, and the average Hindu won’t mind halal as long as the product is acceptable.
In effect, the intolerant minority usually wins unless there is a strong pushback against this less visible form of intolerance.
It is time the tolerant majority outlawed halal for Hindus and non-Muslims by forcing governments to stop the payment of jizya to mullahs and Islam.
Non-halal products must be mainstreamed; halal should be restricted to those orthodox Muslims who want to follow Sharia.
Jagannathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. He tweets at @TheJaggi.
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