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Muslim organizations call on Yogi govt to withdraw ban on Halal-certified products

– Anwarulhaq Baig

New Delhi, Nov. 26: Muslim organizations and leaders, including All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), and Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, have denounced the Uttar Pradesh government’s order banning halal-certified food products, calling it discriminatory and detrimental to the livelihoods of many people.
On November 18, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh issued an order banning the production, storage, distribution, and sale of food products with halal tags with immediate effect while exempting products manufactured for export. Subsequently, the government launched a statewide crackdown in cities, raiding shops and stores. According to the UP’s Food and Safety Department, over 3000 kg of halal-certified products from nearly 40 districts have been seized, while over 500 business establishments have been inspected since the ban’s implementation. Following the uproar over the sudden crackdown, the state government on Saturday granted 15 days relief for retailers and superstore chains to completely remove all Halal-certified products from their shelves. It has also directed all UP-based manufacturers procuring halal certification from non-certified organizations to recall their products and rebrand or repackage them within UP. FSDA also made it clear that there is no ban on Halal meat in the state.
In another move, the government has ordered the closure of all slaughterhouses and meat shops in the state on Saturday to observe the birth anniversary of Sadhu TL Vaswadi, after declaring November 25 as ‘no non-veg day.’
Muslim organizations questioned the ban on Halal-certified products, asserting that it infringed upon citizens’ fundamental right to consume food according to their faith.
Calling upon the Yogi Government to immediately withdraw this ‘anti-constitution’ move, Dr. SQR Ilyas, spokesperson of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, has condemned it as interference in religious matters, a violation of freedom of religion, and against the interests of the country.
Dr. Ilyas said that by banning halal certification, the Yogi government is actually hindering the exports of Indian products to Muslim and other countries, consequently harming not only these companies but also Indian economy and foreign exchange business.
He held that the reputed bodies granting Halal certificates were all registered under government regulations and even Union Ministry of Commerce has mandated obtaining such a certificate.
Highlighting the rapidly growing trend of halal products and halal certificates worldwide, particularly in Western countries, Dr. Ilyas asserted that halal-tagged products represent a legitimate practice among consumers.
He advised the Yogi Government to refrain from making everything a source of Hindu-Muslim hatred and social division.
Dubbing the UP government’s action as highly ridiculous, unfortunate, irrational, and against friendly and social goodwill, JIH vice-president Prof. Mohammad Salim Engineer pointed out that it was evidently based on hatred against the Muslim community and Islam.
He expressed surprise that, ironically, the order exempted the export of halal products.
Prof. Salim commented that if the erroneous decision of the UP government is considered justifiable, writing ‘pure vegetarian’ outside restaurants, mentioning ingredients on the cover of every product, writing ‘sugar-free’ on sweets and other products, and Halal and Jhatka on meat shops should all be declared illegal.
He appealed to CM Adityanath to fulfill his responsibilities to serve all citizens as per the spirit of the Constitution and uphold the principles of Raj Dharma, ensuring peace, justice, and prosperity for all.
Jamiat spokesperson Niaz Farooqui and the CEO of Jamiat’s Halal Trust, a body that issues Halal certificates, said it had a valid certificate on halal and authorization from the commerce ministry. He said Jamiat’s Halal trust strictly complies with all Government norms in issuing Halal certificates.

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