Halal certification body to launch defence fund

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Demand for halal food is growing among muslims and non-muslims, says the HFA
Demand for halal food is growing among muslims and non-muslims, says the HFA

Related tags: Halal

A legal “fighting fund” is planned by the Halal Food Authority (HFA), the certification body, to meet what it said were an increasing number of malicious attacks on the sector.

The initiative was announced by Saqib Mohammed, chief executive of the HFA on the first day of its two-day conference, held in London last month.

“We are contributing to a halal defence fund to counter the accusations and false claims about halal,”​ said Mohammed. “We recently received some accusations and have vigorously gone after them and we will be taking legal actions against the perpetrators.

The defence fund is being considered and there will be three or four organisations attached to that; those who would be involved in halal certification or halal PR or who have got interest in securing the integrity of halal generally.”

Improve education about halal

The fund would also be used to improve education about halal, said Mohammed. “We are looking for more partners to collaborate in that project,” ​he added.

Halal-certified food is growing in demand, both within the UK, which boasts around 3M muslims, representing around 5% of the 65M population, and the 1.7bn around the world.

However, halal is often subjected to criticism, both for animal welfare reasons by those who strongly oppose the use of non-stun slaughter methods and for other reasons – sometimes racist.

Often subjected to criticism

“Any accusations that are false will be taken very seriously; about halal certification funding terrorism, which is, of course, absolutely not the case,”​ said Mohammed. He cited the example of false accusations along these lines made in Australia, which were pursued and successfully prosecuted in the courts there.

‘Any accusations’

“Any accusations that are false will be taken very seriously; about halal certification funding terrorism, which is, of course, absolutely not the case.”​ 

  • Saqib Mohammed, HFA

At the conference, HFA chairman Dr Abdul Matin Khan also announced plans to expand its activities in Europe, having opened an office in Brussels, as well as in the Middle and Far East. “For us being a charitable organisation, we have a bigger community to serve in the future,”​ said Khan.

While the HFA does operate halal standards that permit the stunning of animals prior to slaughter, it has also recently added an alternative standard called ‘Traditional Halal’ for non-stunned animals.

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Posted by Adrian Vidgen,

By the way I am not a racist or a bigot or anti-multiculturalist or Muslim insensitive. I am a normal person who believes in animal welfare and humane treatment so far is possible. A tray of halal meat in a shop can't be distinguished from non-halal so it makes no difference to us but it makes all the difference in the world to the animal. Halal has no place in modern society like a number of other medieval Islamic practices.

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Posted by Adrian Vidgen,

Any non-stun method of slaughter should be illegal in the UK as it is inhumane and yet major food manufacturers (some having no connection with animal slaughter) are queuing up to buy Halal certificates to appease the Muslim minority. The Government needs to enforce its professed interested in animal welfare.

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Posted by Ms Heather Pearson,

Great idea & I'm fully supportive. I'm not Muslim myself but here in the UK as I've been going on about for a long time now on Twitter & Facebook, 'anti-Halalers' as I call them are ALL about racism, bigotry, anti-multiculturalism & Muslim insensitivity which is unacceptable in today's society.
Please let me know if I can help campaign for you in ANY way. I've modeled + done PR & work for a local Authority.

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