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Muslim organizations challenge the Halal ban and consider legal options

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    A raid being conducted on the Halal Certified products, in Gorakhpur on Wednesday.

    A raid being conducted on the Halal Certified products, in Gorakhpur on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: ANI

    Muslim bodies have hit out at the Uttar Pradesh Government’s decision to ban the storage and sale of Halal-certified products. The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, which has a Halal certification unit, claimed the government had not sent “any notice or circular before the move”. It is said to be exploring legal options. The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, meanwhile, dubbed the move “ridiculous and unfortunate”. Both the bodies said it amounted to infringement upon the citizens’ fundamental right to eat what is permissible by faith.

    “We adhere to government regulations, as emphasised in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry notification, requiring all Halal certification bodies to be registered with NABCB (National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies under Quality Council of India), a milestone that Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust has achieved. Collaborating closely with APEDA (Agricultural Products Exports Development Authority of India) and Indian embassies worldwide, we promote Indian Halal certified products in global markets. The Halal certification logo not only aids Halal consumers but also offers informed choices to all consumers. It’s essential to note that all financial transactions are duly accounted for, with proper GST and income tax payments and thorough auditing, ensuring complete legality and transparency in our operations,” the Jamiat spokesman Niaz Farooqui who is also the CEO of Jamiat’s Halal Trust, said.

    Mr. Farooqui claimed, the Jamiat’s Halal Trust fulfils all norms set by the Government of India in issuing Halal certificates. “Our certification process aligns with manufacturers’ requirements for both export purposes and domestic distribution in India. The global demand for Halal certified products is robust, and it’s imperative for Indian companies to obtain such certification, a fact endorsed by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India,” Mr. Farooqui said.

    Speaking to The Hindu, another Jamiat official said, “The Halal certificate enables a Muslim customer to make a more informed choice, and be confident of the product he was buying. It, in no way, encroaches upon the right of other customers to choose what they wish. Even in the West, we have Halal certified products for which there is often a separate counter at stores.”

    The Jamaat’s vice president Salim Engineer, meanwhile, read communal undertones in the UP government’s decision. “It is beyond comprehension as to what message the UP government wanted to send to society and the nation by imposing a ban on Halal-certified products. The UP Chief Minister represents 24 crores people in the state. It includes followers of all religious denominations and it is his constitutional responsibility to ensure that no discrimination takes place against anybody, irrespective of caste and creed. In every religion, there are certain things which are prohibited for the followers of that particular religion, and the Constitution of India clearly allows them to practice it,” Mr. Engineer said.

    He pointed out that the decision reeked of discrimination against the followers of a particular faith, stating, “If the erroneous decision of the UP government is considered justifiable, then writing pure vegetarian outside restaurants, mentioning ingredients on the cover of every product, writing sugar-free on sweets and other products, and Halal and Jhatka on meat shops be all declared illegal.”

    Mr. Engineer, who is also the convenor of Sadbhavna Manch, claimed, “The UP government’s action is evidently based on hatred against the Muslim community and Islam, irrational and against friendly and social goodwill.”

    The Jamiat, meanwhile, is said to be exploring legal options against “attempts aimed at tarnishing our image” the organisation’s spokesman said.

    “Fortunately, as of now, there is no ban on Halal certification for export products. Our Halal unit has been giving certificates only for export purposes,” a Jamiat official said, adding, “It is a misconception that we give Halal certificates for vegetarian products. It is aimed at maligning us.”


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