In India, the halal label is now banned in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous in the country, with 240 million inhabitants. The authorities cite deceptive commercial practices and the fight against terrorism. The decision could affect forty million Muslims.
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With our correspondent in Bangalore, Como Bastin
It was through a decree that Yogi Adityanath, the Hindu extremist monk who heads the state of Uttar Pradesh, ratified the measure this Sunday, November 19. All Halal certified products (which adhere to Islamic dietary laws) are concerned, primarily meat but also milk and certain cosmetics.
The decision followed an information report filed by a Hindu citizen with the local police. The order states that halal products would create unfair economic competition in the name of religion, deceive consumers, incite division and finance terrorism.
In Uttar Pradesh, Muslims are already victims of harassment since the ban on the consumption and sale of beef. With the ban on halal products, many small sellers and restaurants are in the sights of the authorities. Violators risk prison sentences.
Halal certification bodies want to take legal action over an unfounded decision. While the electoral campaign for the next Prime Minister is in full swing in India, it remains to be seen how this shock measure will be applied to the forty million Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.