Indonesia: MUI Seeks Sole Rule on Halal Certification

logo_muiThe Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) says it should be the only authority for halal certification in order to avoid competition among Islam-based interest groups.

“Lawmakers should not open up opportunities for dissent among Muslims,” MUI Chairman for Fatwa Ma’ruf Amin said last week.

Ma’ruf said the MUI had had 24 years of experience as a reliable halal certification agency and that its standards were recognized worldwide.

Ma’ruf said he was not against the existence of other organizations formed by religious communities, such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). However, he said, the MUI should be the only institution allowed to issue certificates.

Misbahul Munir Kholil of NU said that it would continue to operate its halal certification unit that was established in 2011. He was not worried about disagreements between one agency and another, saying that the public should be “allowed to have options.”

Hasrul Azwar, Member of the Working Committee of Halal Product Warranty from the United Development Party, said any religious society organizations should be allowed to establish their own certification agency as long as their laboratory and methods were approved by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.