The controversy of whether or not Muslims are assimilating to the customs and practices of the nations that they inhabit is growing as a new push comes for fast food chains to change the way they process food to honor Islamic law.
Mufti Muhammad Arshad was unhappy with the preparation methods that McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut restaurants used to process their meats, and demanded that they provide “Halal” meat.
For those who do not know what constitutes Halal meat, Halal is translated to English as “permissible,” and it explains how animals should be slaughtered in order to be pleasing towards Allah.
The UK’s Sun breaks down the process even further:
The animals must be alive when they are slaughtered, and the method of slaughter is slitting their throats. The animal must be hung upside down in order for all of the blood to drain out, and it can take a full minute for the animal to die.
It is important for the slaughter to be performed by a Muslim who will recite portions of religious text from the Islamic book the Quran. In the United Kingdom, some slaughterhouses that perform Halal slaughters will have the prayers said over a speaker.
Another condition to maintain religious purity of the meat is to have the animal facing the Islamic holy city of Mecca as it is being killed.
Lastly, the animal cannot be stunned before it is slaughtered.
Arshard’s attempt to convince McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut to comply with the religious practices in their business have been met with resistance. The Muslim population of Hong Kong is only roughly 3%, and that small percentage may have accounted for the refusal to serve Halal meats. So far, the big name chains have refused.
“It’s disappointing that we could not convince the companies,” said Arshad. “It doesn’t have to be Hong Kong- wide. In the main areas, like Central, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, the New Territories, and at the airport, it would be a great service. The companies have to realize there is a need for this, and that it is good business for them.”
McDonald’s restaurant has tried to serve Halal in America, with two restaurants in Dearborn, Michigan serving the Muslim approved meats in their Chicken McNuggets. After a local resident and several Islamic organizations sued the fast food giant with allegations that the Halal meat was not truly Halal, McDonald’s was forced to pay a $700,000 settlement and removed the food from their menus. McDonald’s has not resumed the practice of appeasing the Muslim communities in America by serving the Muslim approved meats.