A Misleading and Delusive Article

Article Review
A MISLEADING AND DELUSIVE ARTICLE
(The way we see it
)

Recently, an article appeared on the ‘Newsday’ daily newspaper which in reality, was misleading and deceiving to the Muslim public. This article was published on Thursday 25th November 2010 on page 16 of Section A NEWSDAY (daily newspaper) and highlighted the halal status of KFC’s chicken fillets.

Strangely enough, the Newsday took on the onerous and responsible task of boldly stating as the headline ‘KFC: Chicken fillets certified halal.’

It is extremely disappointing on the part of Newsday to make such a bold statement when they have absolutely no expertise, knowledge and understanding of halal in Islam. They do not understand what is Islamic slaughter, and what is required for meats to be termed as halal. Notwithstanding their ignorance in this matter, they have openly declared ‘KFC: Chicken fillets certified halal’.

From this statement, we understand that Newsday is making an official declaration on KFC’s chicken to be halal. It’s not that they are saying “KFC says that their chicken fillets are halal”. This is a totally separate statement which Newsday did not use it.

If they wanted to attribute this statement to KFC, they would have simply written ‘KFC says Chicken fillets certified halal’ or they could have written ‘Differences over KFC’s Chicken fillets’. However, instead of placing any of these fair and just headlines, they went to the extent of actually being a judge in this matter by making a clear, open and bold statement that ‘KFC: Chicken fillets certified halal’. This statement is written in such a manner that one will immediately understand that Newsday is saying that ‘KFC: chicken fillets are halal’. This is a pronouncement which Newsday has no religious and legal authority to make.

The statement tells us that Newsday probably had an interview with KFC personnel, and after discussions, they probably decided that these chicken fillets are halal. Hence their open and bold declaration. But the question is, who is Newsday to make a pronouncement on halal matters? Are they qualified to do so? Have they done an investigation into these products? Or are they simply partisan towards KFC on account of the amount of business they get from them? (Allah Alone knows)

Before this article was published, the Darul Uloom Halal Committee sent an advertisement on the Halal status of these chicken fillet to the Newsday, to be published (as a paid advertisement).

The Newsday requested a lawyer’s letter for publishing the advertisement. The Darul Uloom Halal Committee then got a lawyer’s letter, and sent it back to the Newsday to be published. Upon this, Newsday said that they will not be able to publish it for reasons which they did not disclose. After this, in the midst of the Muslims’ settled minds, Newsday comes about and makes an open and bold pronouncement that ‘KFC: Chicken fillets certified halal”.

It seems to us that Newsday had an agenda in their refusing to publish our ‘Halal Bulletin’ (which has now become transparent).

Look at the bias conduct of this Newspaper. Although, our advertisement was going to be paid for, was submitted much earlier, they bluntly refused to publish it. Yet, the Newspaper went ahead and discussed the matter with KFC, and then give them an entire article on their position. Although they made mention of Darul Uloom’s stance on the issue, it was such a small and insignificant courage, that the publicity and ‘so called’ explainations of KFC, given by Newsday, far outweighed the little that was said about Darul Uloom Halal Committee. (This is nothing but ‘so called skillful tactics’ used in journalism).

The Darul Uloom sees this action of the Newspaper as sheer prejudice on their part.

Further to this, they knew very well that the Darul Uloom Halal Committee (The leading halal certifying authority in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean) has officially declared that these chicken fillets should not be consumed by Muslims. They also would have known that many Muslims would have started to refrain from KFC chicken products. Yet, with this knowledge, they went ahead to boldly make an open statement. In our understanding, it seems that this statement and article was done simply to mislead and confuse the Muslims.

Further, in the article, Newsday quoted Mr. Pashley’s statement that ASJA has approved the product. We wish to let the Muslim public know that we have spoken directly to the officials of ASJA, and they have stated that they have not approved this product.

Mr. Pashley is also quoted as having said that ‘Dr. Rafi Mohammed (an Imam with ASJA) investigated the process and he is comfortable that the process is Halal’.

We wish to inform our Muslims that there is no Imaam of ASJA with the name of Dr. Rafi Mohammed. Mr. Pashley has quoted a name that does not exist. Our advice to him is that he should check his records properly before someone sues him for misquotation and misinformation.

It is true that Prestige Holdings communicated with the Darul Uloom Halaal Committee, but only one meeting was held. In that meeting, the Darul Uloom Halaal Committee made it clear to them that it had done a thorough investigation in the said product, and that many Halal certifying bodies in the world have not considered it as being Halal. The Darul Uloom also does not consider these products as Halal.

The Darul Uloom also proposed to them that in order to cater for the Muslim customers they can either prepare these chicken fillets separately from the Original/Spicy Chicken or they can identify a few of their outlets that can serve local halal chicken fillets. KFC accepted none of the proposals and it seems to us, that they are not bothered about the Muslim customers.

In conclusion, we request the Muslims to adhere to the true teachings of the Quraan and Sunnah, and adopt that which is based on Taqwa and Piety.

The Darul Uloom holds firm to the verdict that KFC chicken products must not be consumed at this time.

On behalf of Darul Uloom Halal Committee
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Waseem Khan