Muslims in New Zealand are lobbying for fast food restaurant KFC to serve halal food.
A Facebook page called ‘We Want HALAL KFCs Back In New Zealand’ was only created a month ago, but more than 1700 people have ‘liked’ it. A similar page, called ‘Halal McDonald’s in New Zealand’, has received more than 2,300 ‘likes’.
Many Muslim New Zealanders have commented to show their support for the campaign.
Others have said they will be attending various ‘virtual events’, such as ‘I Support Return Of Halal KFCs in Hamilton’, to show the demand for halal around the country.
On November 9 the page posted a screenshot of their contact with KFC’s official Facebook page. “There are close to 50K Muslim population in NZ which can be part of the customer base,” was one of the messages they sent to the restaurant. KFC replied saying they would pass the idea on to their “team”.
While most of the comments on the page are positive, the campaign has attracted its share of detractors who aren’t keen on the idea.
Others are sceptical of the importance of halal to people of Muslim faith.
‘Halal’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘lawful’ or ‘permitted’. For meat to be considered halal, the slaughter must be done by a specially-trained Muslim person who recites a prayer before slitting the animal’s throat with a sharp knife.
Food outlets are given halal accreditation by the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand. The Ministry for Primary Industries has specific regulatory standards for halal meat production.