A viral forward claiming that during a court hearing in Tamil Nadu Muslim groups admitted that the process of 'halal' is complete only by spitting on food, is false and misleading.
The text in Hindi and English making the same fake claim is being shared with a tweet of Indu Makkal Katchi, a far right group from Tamil Nadu.
BOOM found that the claim is false and has misinterpreted an excerpt from a petition filed in the Kerala High Court against the Travancore Devasom Board where the petitioner, SJR Kumar, made the allegation. Kumar has been a part of several Hindutva organisations including the Kerala wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
The claim is viral on Facebook with the Hindi text translating to, "In a court case in Tamil Nadu, Muslims have admitted that Halal means spitting in food and the process is not complete till the person who is cooking spits in it. In conclusion, food prepared by Muslims is not ready till they spit in the same. In a court case they admitted that spitting is what made Halal complete, thru out the Nation including TN"
"तमिलनाडु में कोर्ट के एक केस में मुसलमानों ने यह माना कि हलाल का मतलब जब तक पूरा नहीं होता जब कि खाना बनाने वाला उसमें थूके नहीं। अतः मुस्लिमों द्वारा बनाया गया भोजन बिना थूके पूरा नहीं होता।"
The post warns Hindus against eating at Muslim owned establishments.
This is the latest in a long-standing grouse Hindu right-wing groups have had about the process of halal and have increasingly objected to the use of halal-certified food items.
The same message is viral on WhatsApp with text in Marathi and English, making the same false claim.
We first searched for news reports about a case where Muslims admitted that Halal included spitting in food but did not find any such articles.
A further search showed a petition filed in the Kerala High Court by a SJR Kumar against the Travancore Dewasom Board, which manages the famous Sabarimala temple.
Kumar who is currently the general convener of the Sabarimala Karma Samithi an organisation which looks to protect the customs and traditions at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
In his petition against the board, Kumar claimed the the temple used spoilt jaggery in their offerings to devotees and raised objections against using halal-certified jaggery at the Hindu temple. Jaggery is made from concentrated cane juice and is used as a natural sweetener in India and South East Asia.
We accessed the petition and found that the portion in the viral message is an allegation made by the petitioner as part of their plea and not by any Muslim organisation.
Below is the excerpt from the petition :
The petitioner Kumar while making the claims in his plea does not provide any proof to substantiate his claims and only says, "The religious scholars of the Muslim community have been proclaiming publicly that saliva is a necessary ingredient for certifying Halal in the preparation of food materials. The religious scholars took the above view by interpreting holy texts and its valid interpretations. However, different views were also expressed by a section of religious leaders. "
We also found that the Kerala High Court asking for a detailed hearing on the matter, asked the petitioner whether they knew the meaning of halal. "The concept of halal only says that certain things are prohibited; all other things are halal. This certification only says that those prohibited materials are not included in a particular product," the court said according to a report in LiveLaw
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