Islamic Council for Halal Affairs
Islamic Council for Halal Affairs is a platform of Scholars and Community Representatives that have come together to protect, promote and to help Muslims adopt Halal in every aspects of their lives.
Due to its significance within the Muslim community and current debate within the food industry, the Council has taken upon itself to represent Muslims to convey clearly and beyond doubt on what constitute Halal in process and product.
The Council aims to inform public, Industry and Government opinion on this important matter.
What is Halal?
Halal meat consumption is the most visible and important aspect in the life of a Muslim, practicing or not. The criteria of Halal is set by the Book of Allah ‘Quran’ and clearly explained by the Prophet (Pbuh) – There is no doubt or difference in opinions between the various sects within the Muslim Community on what constitutes Halal.
The Council aims to highlight this through a united voice once and for all.
The Halal Industry
It is estimated that there are around 2 million Muslims in the UK which represent about 3% of the total UK
population. Despite the 3% of the total population, Muslims account for about 20% of lamb consumption in UK with an increasing amount of beef.
The Halal meat market in UK is a multi-million pound contributor to the British economy. This industry was born out of need with the first licence to produce Halal was granted in Birmingham to Hafiz Mohammed Yaqoob in the 1970’s. As the Muslim population increased, dedicated meat shops catered the needs of Muslims. The foot and mouth disease in the 1990s had a significant impact on these shops, replacing many with local grocery shops providing a Halal meat counter.
As this industry grew community based Halal certification bodies were formed to give assurance to the community on the authenticity of the Halal product with a focus on the method of slaughter only, ignoring other quality and health & safety aspects.
The past 10 years have seen the supermarkets like Tesco and Asda, provide Halal meat through a dedicated Halal meat counters targeting Muslims communities across UK. This has now given the Halal meat product a visible profile among the mainstream UK consumer. Consequently, mass production of Halal meat is now expected to become a reality, raising the need for clear labelling and quality standards.
It has come to the Councils attention that Eblex, a representative body of the red meat industry has conducted a survey without consulting the Muslim consumer and scholars. This survey has resulted in Eblex introducing confusing Halal logos to set quality standards for the Halal industry.
Whilst the Muslim community welcomes any attempt to improve the quality standards within the Halal industry, the Council is very concerned on the confusing message posed by these logos. Eblex are attempting to classify something that is not Halal as Halal to serve the commercial purpose of certain meat producers and retailers. This is playing with the faith of the 2 million Muslim living in UK and the Council will not let this happen.