Date :Sunday, January 10th, 2016 | Time : 14:58 |ID: 25629 | Print

The Muslim Chicken

SHAFAQNA – The Muslim Chicken sells poultry, but no, the chickens are not followers of Islam ― they are slaughtered in a halal method by Malay-Muslims in a business run by Malay-Muslims.

The fact that Malay-Muslims are running the company based in Bandar Baru Bangi imports more significance to the halal label attached to The Muslim Chicken poultry, as opposed to businesses owned by non-Muslims who may not fully understand the halal method of animal slaughter, even if they employ Muslims to do the killing, the company’s director Irwan Kashmir said.

“The Muslim Chicken doesn’t mean that the chickens enter Islam, but it’s specially for Muslims who place importance on halal,” Irwan told Malay Mail Online in a recent phone interview.

Halal, which is Arabic for permissible in Islamic law, is big business in Malaysia, with the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) reported saying last August that its export expanded to RM38 billion in 2014 from RM32 billion the previous year, exceeding the RM19 billion target for 2020.

Various businesses in Malaysia are keen to adopt the halal tag, from bottled mineral water to trains. Among the most recent is a local airline that is marketing itself as Shariah-compliant.

Irwan said the more accurate name for the year-old The Muslim Chicken should be The Muslims’ Chicken, but the company decided against using the latter to avoid accusations of racism.

Besides, The Muslim Chicken poultry, which are sourced from Malacca, are sold to everyone regardless of their faith, Irwan said, noting that some of the company’s customers are Chinese traders.

“Let’s say a Mr Chong says: ‘Yes, my chicken is halal because I bring in slaughterers from Pakistan and Indonesia’, so we assume the chicken is halal. But Mr Chong himself is not a Muslim.

“The boss won’t know whether his workers follow [the halal method] or not, or whether it’s done wrongly; only Muslims will know,” said Irwan.

According to him, all of The Muslim Chicken’s managers are Malay-Muslims. There are seven staff in the company and 20 factory workers.

He said the halal method of slaughtering poultry was to cut the animal’s throat with a sharp knife in a single swipe. The Muslim Chicken is against electronic stunning, which would make the animal unconscious but not kill it, before slaughter.

UK paper The Guardian reported in 2014 that some European countries, including Denmark, have banned slaughter without pre-stunning. Campaigners reportedly said an end to slaughter without pre-stunning would mean a stop to unnecessary suffering.

Irwan, however, said the halal method of slaughter was humane.

“Stuns torture the animal. It creates prior tensions. If the animal dies [during the stun] and if we eat it, it’s considered haram,” he said.

According to Irwan, many Muslims in Malaysia are concerned about consuming halal, but they are generally ignorant about how the chickens they purchase are really slaughtered.

“What you want to do is to do the best for Muslims to give them chickens slaughtered by Muslims,” he said.

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