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Concerns Raised over Pork Products Labelled Halal

25 January 2012, at 11:11am

SOUTH AFRICA - Concerns have been mounting in South Africa that pork has been labelled as being halal.

The Muslim Judicial Council has attacked the relabelling as "scandalous, malicious and criminal" and has said the siutuation has "impacted upon the integrity of the general status of Halal meat and is thus a matter for the South African Justice system".

It has completely denied that it was in anyway complicit in the relabelling.

In a statement last month following revelations that the pork products had been labelled halal at a cold storage plant in South Africa, the MJC said: "Further to this we take strong exception to those individuals and organisations, who seized upon the opportunity to bolster their image by discrediting the integrity and reputation of the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust (MJCHT) without any justification whatsoever."

Just before the scandal broke, the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust (MJCHT) cleared a consignment of chicken from Orion Cold Storage in South Africa.

The council added in its statement: "The Muslim Judicial Council (SA), however, reassures the community that the despicable crime committed at the Orion Cold Storage has not in any way affected the sealed Halal chicken containers cleared by the MJCHT. The only involvement of the MJCHT with the Orion Cold Storage is on a Consignment Basis. Therefore, the unfounded accusations and insinuations expressed that sought to implicate and discredit the integrity of the MJCHT is malicious, deceitful and opportunistic.

"In principle, as Ulema (Religious Scholars) we take our guidance from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, (The Prophetic Divine teachings) and thus place the highest value on first ascertaining the truth, prior to levelling accusations that intend destroying the reputation of others and those who have served this community ever-since the birth of Islam in South Africa.

"The certification of Halal is not merely a judicial procedure but rather a sacred Amanah (Trust) and the responsibility of the MJCHT for which we are accountable to Almighty Allah (God) in fulfilling this duty.

"Those who have spread the seeds of doubt and created suspicion, division and dissention in the community, contradict the basic principles of Islam which guides us toward harmonious interaction and good, honest and truthful relations amongst humanity.

"The MJCHT consistently exerts itself in serving our community by exploring all possible avenues to ensure that imported food complies with strict Halaal standards. The community has thus benefited from the Halaal services rendered by the MJCHT that provides our Muslim community with contentment in the knowledge that their food complies with the highest Halaal standards.

"Since imported unregulated Halaal foods started flowing into South Africa, the MJCHT pioneered Halal Regulation for imported Halaal meat and poultry in order to ensure that all imported foods that are approved as Halaal are indeed Halaal. We have thus engaged with accredited International Halaal Authorities and established formal relations with these International Authorities.

In conclusion we reassure our beloved community that all imported meat and chicken cleared by the MJCHT, are indeed Halaal."