Thursday, September 29, 2016
THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF ISLAM IN TANZANIA ONCE AGAIN YEARN TO INTRODUCE HALAAL BUREAU MEANWHILE NON-MUSLIMS DENIED
In 2012, The Supreme Council of Islamic organizations and Institutions of Tanzania in the course to fulfill its religious and social roles established Halaal Bureau Ltd for a number of purposes including but not limited to promote awareness to the general public on the need to use of Halaal branded goods voluntarily, to certify goods for Halaal certificate in order to protect consumers from flimsy goods among others. Goods with Halaal certification are increasing in the Tanzanian market, some are locally produced and others are coming from as far as South Africa, Kenya, UAE, China, Thailand among others in order to bully Muslims and general public to believe that these goods were prepared in line with acceptable Sharia (Islamic rules) standards.
Those produced in Tanzania could hardly stand validity challenge of being Halaal due to absence of Halaal certification agency in the country to validate their claims and audit the production process until it reaches the ultimate consumers. However, now things are expected to change with the establishment of Halaal Bureau Ltd. The 'Halaal Industry' as referred to to day is vast and it includes financial services like Islamic Banking and Insurance as well as Manufacturing Industry among others. Despite its significance it is not free from defects and challenges which must be worked upon to ensure Halaal brand stands to its expectations. Below are some assertions which Halaal Bureau Ltd must devote its resources to address as explained by Rashid Siddique in his recent article 'Halaal Industry-Fact, Fiction and 'Faction'?
Assertion: The halal industry, like Islamic finance, is only for Muslims. Halaal is for all mankind, but the [religious] reality is the term confines its reach and usage only to Muslims. Thus, halal faces similar challenges as ‘Kosher,’ food only for Jews. Yet, it’s only the Muslims that are saying ‘Halaal’ is not just for Muslims. Assertion: Halal is just about religious slaughter. First, halaal, lawful or permissible, is about a holistic way of life as prescribed by the Koran and Hadith. Second, it entails the seven sectors (Islamic Finance, Food/Beverage, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Fashion/Clothing, Travel, Media/Entertainment and Travel), including ingredients that form the final product.
Third, relating to livestock stock slaughter, it’s about ‘farm to fork,’ from humane treatment of animals (no factory farming), including free range grass fed (non-GMO feed), to slaughter (invocation of Creator’s name), to non-cross contamination with impermissible animal (pork) during distribution, hence, it’s about organic, accountability, transparency to minimize leakage.Assertion: Muslims control the halal food supply chain. It’s estimated the 80-90% of halal food is manufactured by non-Muslim owned companies, hence, perceived integrity risks for complying with halal certifications.
Putting in context, Islamic finance allows minor amounts of interest or impermissible income (with purification), whereas if a DNA spec of pork is found in say, halal burger, it cannot be consumed by Muslims. Assertion: Halal is hygienic (meat shops monitored), healthy and provides uniform taste‘Faction’: Tina Jamaluddinn, halal industry expert, recently stated ‘food quality and food safety means it's fit for human consumption, but not necessarily that it's good for your health, i.e., breakfast cereals that are high in sugar, soda, processed products, etc.’ Assertion: Halal is an investable asset class In 2011, the SAMI Halal Food Index was launched in Malaysia, and recent press release from Dubai Exports is talking about a Halal Index for Dubai.
Its well accepted indexes are DNA for investing, from funds to venture capital to private equity. This is innovation in halal, and it extends to R&D, i.e., finding alternatives to pig-based gelatin, vaccines, etc. Finally, i salute BARAZA KUU for this initiative and call upon Halaal Bureau Ltd despite it is infancy to join hands with local and global players to address these challenges. Insha Allah, good efforts taken will yield positive results.
Non-Muslims especially Christians have so far suffered a lot from the Government that denied this Society the right to observe Christianity tenets upon animals slaughtering contrary to the Secular Constitution.
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