Kentucky Fried Chicken is a highly successful chain restaurant. They have been around for decades. And they won’t be leaving. But the legal dispute they are caught up in is threatening that. More importantly, it is over some of the most absurd nonsense that will make your stomach turn.
A group of Muslim believers is campaigning for Kentucky Fried Chicken to shut down their businesses if they do not serve halal food. It is a movement that is gaining a lot of support in New Zealand all thanks to a Facebook and social media campaign. They have gained over 2,000 likes in a little over a month and their support continues to grow.
The US Herald reported,
“The movement is being led by Syeda Fouzia, who said the process of delivering halal food ‘is not that difficult.’ ‘We’ve had some criticism, but having halal certification will only mean more people will be able to eat at KFC. It won’t affect non-Muslims,’ UK-born Ms. Fouzia told reporters.
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However what seems to be missing in all of this is KFC’s iconic branding within the fast food industry and whether it might actually affect its business model around the world, in that the entire concept of KFC is its branding persona of it’s carefully guarded “top-secret” original recipe which includes a blend of 11 herbs and spices.
However, Ms. Fouzia has gained a lot of support online asking why the simple transition can’t be made to include “halal KFC?” “Just like to point out KFC is a multi-national fast food corporation, it has about as much cultural bearing on New Zealander’s way of life as Tacobell,” one person said.
But not everyone was having it from the bully Muslims:
Fortunately, KFC has no intention of caving in to the demands of these pushy Muslims. ‘We appreciate their request, however, the issues relating to us being able to certify halal product for customers remain,’ said a KFC a spokesperson. ‘We have no plans to re-introduce halal in New Zealand.’ Well, there you have it. Nice job KFC!”
Halal meat is food that is permissible to eat under Islamic law. Much like kosher meals for Jewish people, halal is a dietary restriction that many Muslim believers abide by. While there is no problem for anyone to eat like this, the problem that is arising is where they are trying to force Kentucky Fried Chicken to abide by their religious dietary restrictions.
However, David Wardly – one of the staunch online critics of her campaign – said halal certification was a way for Muslims to “ram their religion” into New Zealand culture. The 82-year-old said he did not know any Kiwi Muslims, but he feared the halal certificate was a way to introduce the Shariah law in to New Zealand. The Englishman said Islamic practices only had a place in Muslim countries.
“We’ll enjoy your culture, your music, your customs and your food in your country. Not here” Many online opponents also criticised the halal method for being cruel. But according to the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), the country’s commercial halal practices were in line with the Animal Welfare Code.
That meant it was compulsory for all animals to be stunned unconscious before they could be slaughtered. President of FIANZ Hazim Arafeh said the Animal Welfare Code and the halal method worked together “perfectly”.
“In Islam an animal must not suffer or be sacrificed in front of other animals.” He said there was no hidden radical agenda. “Halal certification is not about bringing Sharia law in to New Zealand, it [halal certification] exists because New Zealand wants to export to Muslim countries.”
Restaurant Brands – the company that owned KFC in New Zealand – had earlier said a halal trial was carried out in 2001, but complexities in supply chain led to the idea being dropped. Marketing general manager Geraldine Oldham said the fast food chain’s position had not changed and at this stage they had no plans to re-introduce halal options in New Zealand.
There were 46,000 Muslims living in New Zealand in the 2013 census, a 28 percent increase since 2006. Halal is an Islamic term meaning permissible. In the dietary context it referred to meat from animals and poultry that has been slaughtered using a sharp knife and specially-trained slaughtermen who recite a special prayer.”
If someone wants to eat halal meat that is fine but they can’t force private businesses to offer food. They are a private business and as such, they have a right to serve whatever type of food they want according to the demand they have. Clearly, the demand for halal food is not that high otherwise they would have already served it.