Amid allegations that Muslim clergy ‘spit on food’ to make it halal, the BJP has demanded the Kerala government to ban all halal food and halal boards outside restaurants and eateries across the state.
Halal, meaning lawful or permissible in Arabic, is the dietary standard prescribed by the Quran. To qualify Halal standards, an animal during slaughter should be alive at the time and all the blood should be drained from its carcass. A faithful recites a ‘tasmiya’ or ‘shahada’ during the killing.
Recently, the issue became a burning topic in Kerala after former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) state president SJR Kumar, in a petition to the Kerala High Court, alleged that halal-certified jaggery was being used in the preparation of prasad at the Sabarimala temple.
Raising the issue, BJP state general secretary P Sudheer in an interaction with the media on Sunday likened the practise of halal to the social evil of “triple talaq”. He said the practice is being given a “religious façade” and propagated by Islamic extremists in the southern state to “implement a communal agenda”.
“The BJP does not believe that halal is a religious practice and doesn’t think that even Islamic scholars would back it. By giving a religious façade for halal, extremist organisations are trying to implement a communal agenda in Kerala society,” Sudheer said.
BJP state president K. Surendran also alleged that the “halal phenomenon” is promoted in Kerala to “divide people and foment tension in society”.
“There is a clear agenda behind spreading halal culture,” he said.
PC George, a former member of the Kerala Congress (M), a regional party, seconded Surendran’s claims stating that halal food is part of religious fundamentalism. He claimed that spitting on food is mandatory in halal, and added that the prasad at Sabarimala should not be given to devotees as ‘halal jaggery’ is used in it.