Mufti says look at the food, not the name


PETALING JAYA: The content of a food item and not its name is what determines whether it is halal, says Harussani Zakaria, the mufti of Perak, the latest religious leader to step into a dispute about hot dogs and burgers.

“Yes, they are being extreme” in making an issue about posters and the name of food, he was quoted as saying.

“They should look at the content… that’s what determines the halal-ness. That is the duty of Jais (Selangor Islamic Affairs Department) and all. They should analyse and come up with advice or a list so Muslims can know what is halal or not,” he said, according to a news report.

Last week, the federal Islamic development department Jakim came under public criticism after it was reported that the Auntie Anne’s chain had been asked to change the name of its “pretzel dog” sausage.

Another outcry arose when religious officials took action after a complaint was made to the media about a poster advertising the “P Ramly” pork burger.

Yesterday Harussani told Malay Mail Online that a particular poster or name of a specific food like “hot dog” would not cause Muslims to go against their religion.

“Take ‘hot dogs’, the word has been used for a long time. There has been some issue, but the name is permitted as long as the content is halal,” he said.

Harussani said the public and religious authorities should first investigate an issue before talking about it on social media.

“Please check and verify first before sharing it. Any party that wants to comment needs to study and analyse the issue before saying anything. If not, it will be blown out of proportion,” Harussani said.

Yesterday, the mufti of Kelantan, was quoted as saying that no one should advertise a product in such a way that a “haram” product might appear to be “halal.”

“The public should not mock or belittle issues involving laws,” said Mohamad Shukri Mohamad in Kota Bharu, according to the Sinar Harian daily. “Don’t make it as a joke. There is a limit to jokes, when you cross the line, it is going too far.”