News From : DagangHalal.com (29 Oct 2009)
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is working on a single standard to standardize the halal industry in its 57 member countries that range from wealthy Saudi Arabia to poor countries like Somalia.
The U$2 trillion halal industry – based on a belief that Muslims should eat food and use goods that are ‘halalan toyibban’, which means permissible and wholesome – would increase and benefit from such agreement among Muslim countries.
“We need a halal certification that everyone can use easily” stated Malaysia’s religious affairs minister Jamil Khir Baharom, adding that Muslims generally agree on what is halal even though some issues should be left to countries to decide. “In general, we don’t have many differences in terms of products and food.”
Islam prohibits the consumption of pork and prescribes how animals must be slaughtered, but there has been debate on the acceptability of non-alcoholic beer, collagen and vinegar.
“Disagreement within the OIC is due to certain interests of certain countries,” said Mohamad Akram Laldin, a religious scholar and legal expert. “Some people might have their own agenda and that might be the hindrance. They might want to push certain things from their view and not agree with others’ views.
Sudanese authorities, for instance, have prevented women for wearing trousers and a Malaysian woman has been sentenced to a beating for drinking beer, practices which are acceptable in some Muslim countries.
However, agreement to regulate the halal industry, which ranges from financial institutions to cosmetics and meat, would help trade and speed up the certification for makers of halal products.