Hot­dogs set for name change in Mus­lim Malaysia

The Myanmar Times - - World -

FOOD out­lets in Mus­lim ma­jor­ity Malaysia must re­name hot­dogs or risk be­ing re­fused ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The rul­ing, which also in­cludes other food items whose name in­cludes the word “dog”, has gar­nered much ridicule on so­cial me­dia.

It fol­lows com­plaints by Mus­lim tourists from over­seas, said Si­ra­jud­din Suhaimee, di­rec­tor of the ha­lal di­vi­sion from the De­part­ment of Is­lamic Devel­op­ment.

“Any [ha­lal] prod­ucts that make con­sumers con­fused we have to change,” he said.

“In Is­lam, dogs are con­sid­ered un­clean and the name can­not be re­lated to ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

Nu­mer­ous street ven­dors and ha­lal restau­rants sell hot­dogs in Malaysia. Mr Si­ra­jud­din said checks would be made “step-by-step” when these out­lets re­new their twoyear ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion with the de­part­ment.

US pret­zel chain Aun­tie Anne’s, which has 45 out­lets in Malaysia, said it has no qualms about re­nam­ing its pret­zel dogs – sausages wrapped with pret­zels.

“It’s a mi­nor is­sue. We are fine with chang­ing the name,” said Farhatul Kami­lah Mo­hamed Sazali, an ex­ec­u­tive at Aun­tie Anne’s Malaysia.

Un­der the con­cept of ha­lal – mean­ing “per­mis­si­ble” in Ara­bic – pork and its by-prod­ucts, al­co­hol and an­i­mals not slaugh­tered ac­cord­ing to Is­lamic pro­ce­dures are all haram or for­bid­den.

Malaysia has long prac­tised a mod­er­ate form of Is­lam but con­ser­va­tive at­ti­tudes are on the rise.

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