Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pork for thought

An apt topic in light of the Chinese New Year open houses occurring all over the country over the next couple of weeks.

Which is the right way for handling non-halal food (namely pork) during multi-racial/religious mealtimes?

(A) The Singaporean way - identify and label exactly what's halal and what's not, and serve both. Muslims refrain from eating what's not halal and non-Muslims refrain from offering them the same. Everyone sits at the same table. Read the attached articles appearing in today's Star newpaper.

(B) The Malaysian way - non-halal food is out-of-bounds in any function where a Muslim will be present, to the extent that only halal ie. Muslim caterers are allowed even if the function attendees are 99% non-Muslim eg. Chinese weddings where Muslim guests are invited, or official functions.

So what do you think? How should non-halal food be handled in multi-racial/religious meals and functions?

Should Muslims be simply given ample opportunity to avoid non-halal food and ample alternatives in the form of halal food?

Or should non-halal food be totally eliminated and made non-existent at any meals and functions where Muslims are in attendance?

What is the definition of tolerance here? Where does the onus or burden of tolerance lie? On non-Muslims to keep pork away from Muslims or on Muslims to keep themselves away from pork?

And while we're at it, let me throw a spanner into the cogs:

How about Hindus and beef? Why isn't beef accorded the same 'duty of care' (to borrow a legal term) as pork?

1 comment:

All4muslims said...

Let's take it a step further ala Kelantan style, and separate the eateries into muslim (sub-divided into male & female sections so that both can't interact because they can only be up to no good) & non-muslim sections, with accompanying separate sets of utensils, because allowing muslims & non-muslims to share the same set of utensils will ultimately taint the utensils with non-halal saliva, and therefore depriving muslims who share the utensils a chance to heaven!

If anyone else can come up with even more extreme and ridiculous suggestions, please share it here!