Religion

Hindu God Appears Next to Halal Sign on Water Bottle Label; Muslim Group in Malaysia Outraged

| by Lina Batarags

A Muslim consumer group is claiming that a mineral water bottler has made “insensitive” use of the image of a Hindu god on its labels.

Bottlers Chuan Sin Sdn Bhd placed the image of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, next to a “halal” logo on its labels. Chuan Sin Sdn Bhd produces mineral water under the Cactus and Spritzer brands in their factory in Perak.

Now, Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) is demanding that authorities punish the bottler.

PPIM chief Datuk Nazim John said that “We will make a police report and urge all Islamic authorities and NGOs to stop or hold sales of this brand of mineral water until we can resolve this matter.”

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Sheikh Abdul Kareem, PPIM head of monitoring and financial services, claimed that the practice violated the Trade Descriptions Act, which states that no religious symbols may be used on the label or packaging of a product.

“This action is a disgrace to the religion of the constitution, which is Islam,” said Sheikh Abdul. “We urge the Home Ministry to take action and tell them to respect that.”

“If they sell it without using the halal logo, it won’t be a problem but when you have both, it will definitely cause confusion among the Muslim community,” Sheikh Abdul added.

MalayMail Online reports that PPIM officer Mohd Mustaffa Hamzah said they hope the government in Malaysia takes the matter seriously.

“Insyallah we will make a police report tomorrow,” he said.

According to Today Online, PPIM’s complaint yesterday was not the first time that Muslim groups have raised concerns over halal food items sold in the country this year. In May, Cadbury withdrew two varieties of halal-certified chocolate snacks after they were alleged by the Ministry of Health to be contaminated with pig DNA; under Islamic law, Muslims are forbidden to consume pork and those who have touched pigs have to undergo ritual purification.

Sources: MalayMail Online, Today Online

Photo Sources: MalayMail Online, Today Online