Halal advocates: rich Muslims should go into halal production

| 28/02/2008 | Reply

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 Feb) – Rich Muslims in the country
should invest in Halal foods production as this would entail
“employment for the jobless” and address the “unavailability of Halal
foods” in the market for the consumption of Muslims, advocates said.
“In a society dominated by non-Muslims,” Shariah lawyer Guialil R.
Kanda, a lead Halal advocate in the city, said, “it’s a fact that
employment is very difficult for Muslims.”
 
“Such
problem can partly be solved only if our affluent brothers in Islam
would engage in Halal food production,” he pointed out.
 
Kanda,
an agricultural engineer, noted, “There are rich Muslims in the country
that can invest in poultry and cattle production. But if you look at
the Halal chicken in the market, it is produced by non-Muslims.”
 
San
Miguel Corporation and Swift, two top producers of Halal chicken in
Mindanao, are owned and run by non-Muslims. Foods produced by
non-Muslims are certified by Ulama and issued Halal seals which inform
Muslim consumers that such product is fit for their consumption.
 
Halal
means permissible or fit for Muslim consumption. It is free of alcohol,
pork or its derivatives. Haram is the opposite which means forbidden.
 
“Imagine
how many unemployed Moros would be hired if Muslims businessmen would
produce massive volume of chicken and beef,” he asked.

Kanda
explained that production of poultry and cattle feeds, operations of
poultry or ranch, slaughterhouse and abattoir, slicing and packaging,
and transporting chicken meat and beef require manpower.
 
Sheikh
Abdulbayan Laguialam, also a Halal advocate and acting chair of the
Muslim Supreme Council for Religious Affairs in SOCSARGEN, complained
the unavailability of Halal products in the market.
 
“In cities
like GenSan, Davao and Cagayan de Oro, some Muslim consumers resorted
to buying raw and processed meat products like beef loaf, beef sausage
and corned beef that were not slaughtered in accordance with Islamic
law “because there are no Halal meat products available.”
 
He
said that followers of Islam are ordained to consume Halal foods. “When
you eat or drink Haram, your prayer in 40 days thereafter would not be
accepted,” he warned.
 
Laguilam noted that some canned goods
have Halal seal but the name of the Halal certifier is not mentioned,
“which makes the products ‘questionable’ if it is Halal or not,” he
pointed out.
 
Kanda added that interested Muslim investors can
even engage in producing Halal foods such as noodles, biscuits, sauce,
sardines, canned tuna, bread, candies, dried or processed fruits for
local consumption which may be exported specially to Muslim countries.
 
“The
Philippines alone has a Muslim population between 8 and 9 million while
there is an estimated 1.9 billion in the world,” Kanda revealed. “You
add to that the number of non-Muslims who also consume Halal,” he
stressed, “so just imagine how huge the market is for Halal.”
 
Kanda
is a member of the board of trustees of the Muslim Business Forum and
treasurer of the GenSan-based Halal certifying body, Mindanao Halal
Authority. He is the field director of Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA)
in SOCSARGEN.
 
Laguialam is one of the Ulama (Muslim scholars)
who participated in the formulation of Philippine National Halal
Standards led by the Department of Trade and Industry with other line
agencies such as the OMA and the Department of Agriculture. (Gandhi C.
Kinjiyo / MindaNews)

Category: Asia

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