MJC defends halaal procedures

2012-01-20 12:05

Cape Town - The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has defended its halaal clearance procedures following calls from the local Muslim community for the council to be scrapped, the Cape Times newspaper reported on Friday.

"We have not certified anything which is not halaal. On the basis of that, why must we defend the right to exist? I don’t understand that," MJC acting president Achmat Sedick told the newspaper.

The council, which certifies products as halaal, was criticised by the Muslim community for allegedly certifying as halaal pork sold by the company Orion Cold Storage.

"Orion deceitfully relabelled the products as halaal. The criminality lies with Orion and not the MJC," Sedick said.

The MJC cleared 18 consignments of meat Orion had imported, but was not responsible for checking all of Orion’s imports, he said.

Various Muslim groups took court action against Orion late last year. It was subsequently stripped of the right to label imported meat as halaal.

'Corporate monopoly'

Sedick said the MJC was "evaluating our systems" around halaal meat imports.

"We have not changed anything about our procedures and certification. We are looking at the process of clearing all imports and exports to make sure that this does not recur. If there are things that we could tighten up," Sedick said.

National Consumer Forum provincial co-ordinator Imraahn Mukaddam who had led a campaign against the MJC's halaal unit, accused the MJC of acting like a "corporate monopoly".

"Islam is not a trademark," he said.

"Muslim markets cannot be sold as a franchise. The capitalist exploitation of the Muslim community must stop because the corporate clergy class have lost our trust and proved their incompetence."

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-20 12:33

    All this pork-ing around by the MJC, is just not kosher, I tell you!

  • Godfrey - 2012-01-20 12:35

    Too much time wasted on dead, dumb superstition.

      zaakiro - 2012-01-20 13:52

      Halaal, is not a superstition. The global translation is simply "Lawful" products and practices.

      Peaceful - 2012-01-20 13:57

      I will pray for your ignorance Godfrey.. its such a shame that you live your life with ur mind and heart in darkness

      TheSlip - 2012-01-20 14:47

      Yes, and the Arab word for "infidel" is simply "riffraff".

      jowza1 - 2012-01-20 14:58

      what has your comment got to do with this article slipup

  • Neville - 2012-01-20 12:36

    This is another money making thing , listen 2 ETV someone is lying

      zaakiro - 2012-01-20 13:54

      For those who read this comment, they might fail to under stand that the Certification of Halaal goods could and has become a money making "thing" as you say...but the process of Halaal (lawful) and Haraam (unlawful) is based on religious teachings.

      Moi - 2012-01-20 14:34

      @Zaakirinho - I don't think that anyone is disputing the basis of Halaal. They are simply pointing out that they are using Halaal to get money out of people.

  • Brendan - 2012-01-20 12:46

    Is the meat not supposed to be made halaal at the abattoir already, at the source, thats what the procedure for making meat halaal is,isnt it? Prayer done over the animal when slaughtering it?(correct me if im wrong muslim readers)NOW, why does a STORAGE facility have to be deemed halaal in the 1st place, if thats the case, Checkers,PnP, Shoprite would also have to be deemed Halaal certified and not just products in the store then? Orion paid sum1 sum nice money to get those Halaal stickers in order for Orion to push cheap pork meat as something else...

      Tasneem - 2012-01-20 13:38

      The Authority has to be deemd halaal based on the way they handle and store the halaal meats - to make sure that no contamination occurs at the storage or repackaging (if applicable). You are 100% correct - it is the way that the animal is slaughtered that deems it halaal.

      Mahomed Dawjee - 2012-01-20 13:40

      Yeah that's the point. Mjc has become nothing but a money making organisation

      zaakiro - 2012-01-20 14:07

      Well thanks first of all for been polite in your question, the basic understanding is correct. The animal is slaughtered with a prayer that's all no other scary rituals as many assume. The issue with Orion is that they stock various types of Meat products including Pork. The problem is that they replaced the labels of the "pork" good with that of "poultry/meat" goods and that label had the "halaal" logo. So naturally the place of storage is an issue. If the meat supplier, and storage only keeps Halaal goods then it won't be an issue.

      Rodney - 2012-01-20 16:54

      i had a run in with the MJC many years ago, i ran the spu Stop on the Parade for about 6-8 months when it 1st opened. muslims would not buy from us unless the MJC approved, even though i used the muslim butcher next door who was always buying food. Members of the council arrived to inspect the place, i had 2 muslim staff, they wanted to sample EVERY single item on the menu, I refused on the basis it would be a massive waste. They declined my application because they "believed there were enough food outlets in the area to cater for everyone", yeah right. no one else anywhere near me sold filled potato meals.

      junaid.adam1 - 2012-01-25 05:59

      there is a need to maintain the halal chain and to avoid contamination and fraud.Unfortunately the mjc need to revise the flawed system of certification without control

  • Fatima - 2012-01-20 12:46

    MJC ....please tell me how can u go on live television and claim to be sick but your car is parked outside. If u had nothing to hide u would face the media head on, Im sorry but your actions have cast a doubt on the minds of many muslim brothers and sisters who might i add put out trust in u to do the job right. Lying is not goign to ge tu guys anywhere. Disgusted sister in islam

      junaid.adam1 - 2012-01-25 06:03

      that was indeed a tactical blunder,however hopefully a lesson learnt.

  • Tasneem - 2012-01-20 13:43

    Why all the nasty comments guys? The issue of halaal is important for us muslims!! It is a serious matter - not something for you to laugh at. Learn to respect others & other religions!! Next you will be laughing at the whole issue of Kosher...

      jowza1 - 2012-01-20 14:03

      ashley,your profile states that you work for the state.i suggest that you adress the many problems that you have at work and stop commenting on things that have got nothing to do with you

      Peaceful - 2012-01-20 14:05

      @Ashley.. there are good and bad in every religion but there shud be some level of respect for every human being despite his religious beliefs. the MJC always will be regarded as our brothers and sisters in Islam.. people make mistakes!!

      mickster87 - 2012-01-20 14:35

      Hmm and the rest of us non muslims sit in the middle being marganilised by shops and food outlets being authorised as halaal and so our local Debonairs is now no longer serving bacon and neither is the Steers its all or nothing and by the way our area is more than 90% non muslim and just because the owner happens to be muslim and we wish to purchase from them we are then having to eat food that is blessed by a religion we do not support, and in so doing become compliant, no choice in the matter, its the thin edge of the wedge to the loss of religious freedom, watch this space

      Peaceful - 2012-01-20 15:02

      @Mickster, if its such an issue for you to eat halaal food, then y subject urself to it. Muslims are not forcing you to eat there. by all means support your bacon supplying debonairs/steers outlet in neighbouring areas if you have to. dont blame religion - you have a choice!

      Gerald - 2012-01-20 15:14

      I am not a Muslim, but I feel bad for the Muslim community for what has happened. My best friend is a Muslim, and therefore I had to start eating Halaal foods so that he can join in our family meals. I don't understand the religion very well, but I don't judge or criticize, because I have respect for the customs and principles. Mutual Respect and Mutual Understanding of the DIFFERENCES in our religious believes makes our friendship work. I am disgusted, appalled and very disappointed in these people who did this, and one can lay the blame at any persons feet, but at no given time will anyone take the blame for what happened. But, let Allah deal with those responsible because they not only spat in face with this deceit, but took the very principles of the religion he set out and made a mockery out of it!

      mickster87 - 2012-01-20 15:37

      @peacefull, a predictable comment! Its certainly an issue for you otherwise we wouldn't be talking about Halaal food, of course I have a choice... if i go to another restaurant, the fact is that should i not want to go to another restaurant I am being compliant, would you eat a meal that was Halaal but say for example blessed by a Christian at the time of serving in the name of Jesus Christ? and please don't trot out the standard answer that you also believe that He was a prophet, but not the prophet

      Peaceful - 2012-01-20 15:57

      @Mickster. yes you are correct, we do believe in Jesus as a prophet but not the last/final prophet. to answer your question.. no i would not eat food that has been blessed by a christian, and that does not make me non-compliant but rather a devoted follower of my religion which i am not imposing or attempting to impose on anyone.

      mickster87 - 2012-01-20 17:57

      @peaceful, and therein lies the problem, you wouldnt eat food in the hypothitical example i made, because it has been blessedby a person of the wrong religion, but you have noproblem in Imposing islamic eating law on others by us eating halaal food that is blessed in the name of ISlam of a prophet that we dont believe in please tell me that if sharia law was imposed that we all would not beforced to comply? ?

  • PhoenixRebirthunderFire - 2012-01-20 14:11

    none of these groups who call for the mjc to be scrapped enjoy 1% of the support the mjc enjoys amongst WC muslims- this is just a very vocal minority trying to use this tragedy to discredit the mjc- and thereby themselves seek power - this is a power struggle between sunni esp shafi muslims and various tiny minority beliefs - who see in discrediting sunni muslim leaders - an opportunity to spread their differnt beliefs. and that is why this will fail because no matter who lies and cheats our Sunni leaders.. Muslims in Cape Town are still overwhelmingly Sunni... and will remain so.. inshALLAH - and yes the tv programme did give a bad perception of the MJC.

      Peaceful - 2012-01-20 14:21

      it has nothing to do with sunni/shafi believes but rather Halaal vs Haraam and the Trust Muslims (as a whole) had in MJC. Please do not behave as ignorantly as the non muslims in this forum.

  • Andre - 2012-01-20 14:17

    It is a farce. I have seen it with my own eyes, specifically at just about all the abattoirs I visited regularly.

      Peaceful - 2012-01-20 14:28

      care to elaborate Andre

  • Gerald - 2012-01-20 14:23

    Halaal is not a superstition! Muslims were INSULTED and DEGRADED by having pork meat being sold to them as HALAAL meats and the mere fact that ignorance state it as superstition shows how misinformed people are towards each others religious believes and practices. And then Christians want to throw the Bible at the first criticism that gets slandered. Just like any religion Muslims have the right to practice their believes...and this is why people fight holy wars...because of ignorance is STUPIDITY!

      jowza1 - 2012-01-20 14:27

      thank you alexander

      Tasneem - 2012-01-20 14:44

      Very well said !!

      Fatima - 2012-01-20 14:52

      well said ALEXANDER !!! plain down ignorance of people or failure to understand our religion.

      Mock - 2012-01-20 15:16

      eh? religion... any religion is nothing but mass superstition. fact. religion = ignorance and stupidity

      Paco - 2012-01-20 15:21

      it is because of people like u it is not good to generalise and stereotype because you are not muslim yet you can see wrong that has been committed here.Whatever religion or race you are i respect and salute you

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-20 14:24

    FAIL, if the council failed to ensure compliance it has failed as an organisation, if it has failed as an organisation there is no point in it continuing to to not service its community, it should therefor either be scrapped or completely ignored by the community.

      junaid.adam1 - 2012-01-25 06:08

      that is a bit harsh,they are humans and all humans can err,in this case the error is devastating as we put our trust in the organisation.however thereis aneed for an apology and steps should be taken to ensure this is not is a pity the council were not so forceful when the news broke in november 2011

  • Fatima - 2012-01-20 14:48

    charmain what are u raving about ?? are u on the same channel as the rest of us....clearly u have deep issues with regards to muslims and there principles...and u know what we wont change one bit for idiots like u, IM A PROUD MUSLIM WHO STANDS BY MY PRINCIPLES !!! and if we have to slam our own people for being deceitful to us then so be it .!!!

  • Fatima - 2012-01-20 14:51

    alexander for president !!!

  • PhoenixRebirthunderFire - 2012-01-20 14:54

    @ Peaceful - i respect your view but your approach of rejecting any opinion that is not in line with your own as ignorant is simply arrogant and definitely not peaceful. and i agree that some trust had been lost in the MJC but they too are human and prone to shortcomings anyone who believed other wise is and was simply wrong. let us be clear "Orion deceitfully relabelled the products as halaal. The criminality lies with Orion and not the MJC," Sedick said.

      jowza1 - 2012-01-20 15:01

      the mjc must take some responsibility on this issue.they must do a thorough investigation and make sure this does not happen again

      Peaceful - 2012-01-20 15:11

      please read one of my previous comments. "the MJC always will be regarded as our brothers and sisters in Islam.. people make mistakes!! " i am in full agreement with the fact that MJC are only human. i do however feel that they could have handled this issue alot better in the community. but again ppl make mistakes. my comment to you was not to make it about sunni/shafi. cos muslims in general are upset by this issue lets not cause division amongst diff sects of islam in this process

      bounca363 - 2012-01-21 12:24

      Im sorry if its one body that can have no shortcoming is halaal certifiers beacause at the end of the day millions of muslims put their trust and faith in these bodies. MJC was wrong period and we dont trust them. So the best and ultimate option scrape all halaal certifiers and have one national body independantly audited to keep 100% compliance. If the MJC did their duty to conduct randomspot checks and lab tests then Orion would have been caught out by the MJC but hence they failed the community. I got no personal beef with Sheigh Igsaan hendricks/ Sheigh Ahmed Sadick or any of them its the whole organisation as a unit that is flawed. FULL STOP. Its juts too sad that we can not boycott MJC products as they control the market at large. Bottom line is this debacle has spelt out too me personaly: rather eat at a restaurant that is not halaal but serves beef than to go eat at a place that serves beef certified by the MJC but there is doubt of pork in the mix. Thats the sad state of affairs that the MJC has reduced the trust of many-a muslims. Im not saying I will do that but thats the level of trust we have in them.

  • Ask - 2012-01-20 15:11

    I wonder who owns Orion Cold Storage? who are the directors? this may explain the their behaviour?

  • Ebrahim - 2012-01-20 15:23

    For all those pork lovers let me quote the bible " Leviticus 11.7 AND THE PIG IT DIVIDES THE HOOF, THUS MAKING A SPIT HOOF, IT DOES NOT CHEW CUD, ITS IS UNCLEAN FOR YOU" i think the bible also speaks of HALAAL

  • Faizel - 2012-01-20 17:09

    Peace be upon All , now that we eat vark lets not go on like swines , Viva ISLAM Viva Muhabbat & Unity ALLAH knows best

  • bounca363 - 2012-01-21 12:12

    Please follow the facebook group/page: This site is dedicated to the whole halaal scandal.

      junaid.adam1 - 2012-01-25 06:13

      point taken ,however should we throw the baby out with the soiled bathwater.i am sure the public pressure will make them vigilant and more assertive in their certfication.hopefully this will help them improve thier cerification and inspection standards

  • junaid.adam1 - 2012-01-25 05:56

    the mjc needs to review and reform its flawed halal certification can you ou only recertify an imported product only at the point of entry and then abandon it and have no jurisdiction over it the cold chain is paramount in frozen meat simlarly the halaal chain is essential until it reaches the public

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