Muslim outrage in Malasia over Cadbury’s porcine-tainted chocolates far eclipses their response to greater sins such as corruption and exaggerates the gravity of the issue, former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin said today.
The Islamic scholar said that while it was commendable for Muslims to protest against Cadbury as it was within their rights as consumers, they should not go overboard or go through “extreme” lengths in doing so.
“It is unfortunate that at the same time we are not up in arms against matters which are clearly ‘haram’ such as usury, corruption, misuse of public funds and so on.
“This is the Islamic understanding of only thinking that pork is ‘haram’ but not gambling, usury or corruption, despite the fact that the sins from these are bigger than consuming pork,” he wrote in a posting on his official Facebook page this morning, which has so far garnered over 26,000 likes and 9,000 shares.
Asri pointed out that Islam is not a “nonsensical and troublesome” religion, and that if a Muslim unknowingly consumes pork, he or she would not be punished by Allah.
He said that calls by some people for “blood transfusions” to cleanse one’s blood due to consumption of the tainted Cadbury products was “excessive” and “extreme”.
Cadbury Malaysia said yesterday it remains steadfast and focused on ensuring that all its products are compliant with existing halal guidelines.
Cadbury’s head of corporate affairs Raja Zalina Raja Safran said in a three-paragraph statement that the company has received and heard the Muslim community’s call for a “resolution” on the matter.
More than 20 Malay-Muslim groups have called for a nationwide boycott on all Cadbury products, saying that a holy war must be waged against the confectionary giant for attempting to “weaken” Muslims in Malaysia.
At a news conference yesterday, the groups which include the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM), Perkasa, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Darul Islah Malaysia (Perkid), Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and the Halal Muslim Entrepreneurs’ Association (Puhm) claimed that Cadbury had “crossed the line” by selling its porcine-tainted chocolates, and that swift action was needed.
PPIM president Datuk Nadzim Johan said that they have begun discussing matters with Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) and other Malay NGOs on possible legal action.
Cadbury’s Malaysian outfit scrambled to recall two batches of chocolate products found tainted with porcine DNA by the Health Ministry on Saturday.
In an earlier statement, the company said it was informed that samples of its Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and the Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond that had been sent to the ministry had “tested positive for traces of porcine DNA”.
The Muslim groups also said they will be lodge a police report against Cadbury “soon”, and called on all Muslims nationwide to unite in efforts to shut down the company’s operations in Malaysia.
Jakim has already suspended the halal certification of the two porcine-tainted Cadbury chocolate products.
Rumours of the porcine taint first cropped up on social media sites last week, prompting the Health Ministry to carry out an analysis. -Malaymail