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No certifying of Israeli products: Sanha

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The South African National Halal Authority (Sanha) says it has not issued certification to any Israeli company. Sanha was responding to public criticism on social media that halal bodies were allegedly profiteering from certifying Israeli products and companies for Muslim consumers. There has been growing calls on Muslims to boycott Israeli products and businesses that support Zionism, in light of Israel’s military offensive on Gaza, which has killed 265 innocent civilians.

In a statement on Twitter on Friday, Sanha said the accusations were hurtful and extreme said to insinuate that it supports the state of Israel is not only untrue but is “hurtful and absurd to the extreme”.

“Let alone Muslims, even non-Muslims including Jews have in the strongest of terms condemned the horrendous attacks and oppressive occupation. Whilst there are numerous calls made for the boycott of various companies and products, of Palestinian land, Sanha has aligned itself to the BDS and applies their guidelines in the determination of such companies and products,” the body stated.

To date, BDS South Africa has not identified any Sanha certified products as part of the BDS campaign. The halal organization said it strongly condemns attempts by certain individuals to cause disunity in the Muslim ummah by spreading inaccurate and false information about Sanha.

“Whilst we respect everyone’s right to an opinion, we must not let our personal emotions cloud our judgement and pit one Muslim against another. We appeal to the community to align itself with BDS in making their choices and pray that Almighty Allah alleviate the plight of the oppressed and restore justice and peace in the world.”

On Friday, the Islamic Unity Convention (IUC) urged halal certification bodies to intensify the BDS campaign. The IUC said it was concerned about the halal certification to companies who are openly in support of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

The organisation said it was encouraged by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) plans to call an emergency meeting of all South Africa’s halal certification bodies to discuss whether to revoke the halal certification from food outlets and companies in support of Israel. However, MJC Halal Trust director Sheikh Achmat Sedick emphatically told VOC News they never made any such statement on an emergency meeting.

“The IUC sincerely trusts that such a meeting will come to fruition; for the longer we wait and drag our feet to act in support of the Palestinian people, in any which way, we are investing in the violence and aggression which has now become a war on children and society’s most vulnerable,” said the IUC.

“We fully agree that such a move is a sensitive issue and Muslims are employed in such companies, but it is the least that we can do in respect and support of what Allah has deemed sacred, Al Aqsa our first Qibla and the blood and lives of the innocent.

“Not only will it be a show of compassion towards the plight of the Palestinians, but a means to unite as a community by way of pooling our resources in assisting these employees. We are aware of the consequences of such a bold step, but surely with careful thinking and planning we will be.” VOC


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6 comments

  1. That’s the basic problem about Muslims globally; no unity, no leadership, no commitment, no direction!

  2. The BDS’s call to boycott Israeli products is not new. The Muslim leadership, especially those issuing halal certificates knew about this call since its inception. The halal certification has become a global business and these businesses have become ‘religious corporates’ – an integral part of the neo-liberal global economy. This does not mean it should not take a stand on humanitarian issues especially in support of Palestian. If the Republic of Chilli could cut trade links with Israel, why not Muslims?

    It is also clear that the Muslim governments – almost without exception have not said or done anything significant against Zionist aggression in Gaza which begs the question: where is the Muslim Ummah? If the people support Gaza struggle for human rights, why are they allowing their leaders to be indecisive, confusing and misleading? Certainly the matter is urgent and an urgent meeting is required to handle serious business? Or are we going to allow the leadership to use the masses to show that “they” have the support – hence they are representative of Muslims and decide for them. What stops the Muslim community to initiate an aggressive campaign in support of BDS despite the seeming reluctance of the leadership to give the lead? What is the purpose of a massive march on the one hand and inaction on the other?

  3. Let us be strategic and where money can be made from those businesses who support apartheid israel eg via halal certification then so be it, as long as we the people know and implement the boycott of those products. Organising ourselves and strategising should be high on our agenda. UNITY IS STRENGTH!

  4. LEADERSHIP, LEADERSHIP why always cries about leadership. The concept of leadership is only relevent when the people are WEAK. Weak people need ‘leaders’ so they can follow, strong people needs leader to implement their plan of action.

  5. I recall a similar meeting of all halaal bodies during Operation Cast Lead – where they were meeting to discuss this.

    No further news reports after that, and despite numerous queries, nobody ever gave any further feedback. And still companies like Nestle and Coca Cola are certified.

    The change probably won’t come from these bodies. We need to make the change as consumers – cutting down or completely eliminating our use of these companies’ products.

  6. Sanha certifies chilla products which are purported to be israeli. Thus far, sanha has failed to clarify the origin of all chilla products it certifies. In addition, sanha certifies African spices products which is owned by the president of the sa Zionist federation.

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