Halal toothpaste, anyone? Religious observance has become a global brand

the guardian: by Nesrine Malik.

A few years ago, the only “halal” signs one saw were on butchers’ shops. But now halal is turning into a global brand – as highlighted in a BBC documentary proclaiming that “The Future is Halal“.

The Arabic word “halal” means simply, that which is permitted in Islam (the opposite being “haram”, or what is forbidden), and until recently that definition meant little more than consuming meat slaughtered in a religiously compliant way, and avoiding pork and alcohol. Now there is an almost endless list of halal products. The hashtag #IslamicProducts on Twitter recently satirised the increasing absurdity of some of these innovations.

The most lucrative of these by far is Islamic finance, which seeks to eliminate usury from all transactions and which has been transformed from a niche product to one available on the high street in the UK.

There is halal perfume, toothpaste, “beer” (it’s awful), bacon (delicious), cosmetics as well as “halal” hotels and holiday resorts. The definition of halal has become so broad, it seems to encompass everything that caters to Muslim sensibilities. There is even a World Halal Week that showcases such products.

Editor’s note: What is halal Beer and Bacon? Why do they even consider to make it? And why Muslims would like to eat bacon (halal or haram) and drink beer, just to join the crowd as they feel left out if they don’t. Why this complex to be like the majority doing the wrong instead of being in minority and stand out on your moral principles? WHY?

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