Pagad launches drive against MJC

http://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/pagad-launches-drive-against-mjc-1.1217938

Pagad launches drive against MJC

By Yazeed Kamaldien

January 23 2012 at 10:28am

People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) has launched a campaign to stop Muslims buying any food products cleared as halaal – or permissible in Islam – by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC).

Osman Sahib, the anti-drug group’s spokesman, said it also planned to hold a protest outside the MJC offices in Crawford on Friday. Sahib was speaking from Johannesburg where the group opened several branches as part of its national expansion.

Sahib said Pagad had decided at a meeting to bring the MJC “to account”.

The MJC has come under fire for granting halaal clearance to 18 chicken consignments from Orion Cold Storage last year. Orion was later found guilty of selling pork – which is forbidden to Muslims – labelled as halaal meat. The MJC has since distanced itself from Orion and no longer grants it halaal clearance.

Sahib said Pagad wanted the MJC to “run transparently”. “It is a big violation that Muslims are sold pork. Muslims have lost faith in the MJC (halaal) certification because the MJC has not upheld what they are entrusted with. We can’t walk into a restaurant any more and know for sure that it is halaal,” he said.

“We are phoning businesses and saying that they must not buy products with the MJC halaal label. Consumers must buy goods cleared as halaal by other organisations. We are going to put pressure on all halaal bodies and tell them we want assurance the product is halaal.”

There are a number of halaal clearance authorities in the Muslim community countrywide. The MJC is the most prominent authority in the Western Cape.

Maulana Ihsaan Hendricks, president of the MJC, declined to comment.

Sahib said Pagad didn’t want to establish another halaal body, but wanted halaal authorities to stop “making money out of this”.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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