Monday, January 28, 2013

McDonald’s halal meal controversy doesn’t taste right

Reports of a recent lawsuit settled between McDonald's and a Dearborn resident with the former agreeing to pay about $700,000 has raised more questions than it has answered.

The story is about a man buying a chicken sandwich from McDonald’s and later finding out (I don’t know how) that the chicken was not halal. There’s no way one can look at a piece of meat and say whether it is halal or not. Perhaps the man had heard the story of that particular McDonald’s locations selling non-halal meals when they ran out of the actual halal ones and decided to investigate the matter.Halal is an Arabic term designating what  is permissible according to Islamic law. As long as McDonald’s has been fined to pay the price because it lied about the meal and made people eat something that’s against their faith, it’s good. Faith is a very sensitive subject and people’s religious beliefs must be respected.But the question here is what is halal meat. In this case, the sandwich wasn’t considered halal because the chicken used in the meal was bought from a slaughterhouse where they don’t say God’s name when the chicken is being slaughtered.  So if you take God out of equation, there is no problem. And what if you say God’s name when you eat that non-halal chicken? Wouldn’t that make it halal? Just a different timing. But, hey, the God is still same. I personally know a lot of Muslims who have no problem eating chicken at McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King or any other fast food outlet. Their concept is the same: "So what if somebody didn't say God’s name when the chicken was being slaughtered. We can say it now." But there are some people who don’t believe in this and are so orthodox that they wouldn’t even eat Subway’s tuna sandwich, because it could have been sliced with a knife that touched pork or any non-halal meat.That is personal choice. But I see a bigger issue. Has anyone noticed that those stores selling halal meat actually charge more money for the same meat, only because it is halal? Just because a vast number of people are forced by their faith to buy food from them doesn’t mean they should make extra money on that. I don’t think there’s any quality or health issue with the expensive meat. In fact, you are more likely to trust Kroger or Meijer on food quality than some Mr Rahim’s halal food (fake name) in the middle of nowhere.I don’t know of any instanced in the United States, but I grew up in a country where halal food can be more toxic than those little Chinese toys. In Pakistan, where I was born, food-related diseases have killed more people than the terrorists have killed.So, if you are a halal meat fan, next time when you see kids dying of some poisonous food or pay more bucks for the halal chicken, ask yourself this questions: Is this halal?

But who cares about those kids. Hey you know what, Beyonce lip-synced the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration!


  1. It's not about being "orthodox" or not, it's about knowing your own religion. The people who say they can say Bismillah and all is well make it up, as if they have authority to decide in matters of religion based on their desires and thoughts. Why would anyone be content with being so ignorant?

    As for knives which touched pork, it's more likely that the people who avoid it are just doing so because it's safer. All that needs to be done is that you ask them to change their gloves and wash the knife, or don't cut it and use your own knife. The evidence for this is in authentic hadith and from the scholars, not something I pulled out of thin air.

  2. The way the animal should be slaughtered is also taken into account and the law of slaughtering animals is called Dhabihah. It says that animals must be slaughtered with a rapid and deep section on the neck, thus cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides. Halal food is my first choice even though I am Hindu and i have found so many good places to eat in new york