Assalamu Alaikum Brothers and Sisters,
We all agree that Halal is a pure Islamic issue and Halal standardization and certification cannot be a working-field for non-Muslims. Any Muslim religious issue is the sole prerogative of Muslims, especially their respective religious authorities. This implies that no standards for Halal procedures used by the Muslim community may be set and owned or controlled by a non-Muslim organization.
However, since the year 2010, we have been passively observing the European Committee for Standardization’s (abbrev. CEN) endeavors to interfere in Halal issues and to set their standards for Halal Food by building a standardization Technical Committee on Halal Food led by non-Muslims. Islamic authorities will have but a second-role that is to play an advisory role in the CEN Technical Committee.
These standards are scheduled for publication in 2017.
CEN’s initiative constitutes for Muslims a degradation of the Islamic term “Halal” from its comprehensive religious meaning to just a mere technical term. The reference “Halal” will but lose its credibility. This will certainly engender confusion among Muslim stakeholders and especially strong rejection from Muslim consumers, certification bodies and Muslim authorities and lead to creating new trade barriers between Europe and Muslim countries.
This kind of initiative sets a dangerous precedent in the attempt of non-Muslim authorities to regulate and standardize Muslim religious matters in the 21st century. It is an illegal act which will have serious impacts on Muslims religious freedom of worship and right of regulating their own and pure religious affairs by themselves.
Should this kind of interference successfully establish itself, not only Muslims living in Europe but Muslims all over the world will be affected. This interference will not stop at “Halal Food” but will move on to all areas of the Muslim life.
This issue should be of concern to all Muslim authorities all over the Muslim world. Ministries of Awqaf, standardization institutions, certification bodies in every land and the like should take position.
For the purpose of standing against this project and similar minded attempts by any authority to allow non-Muslim intervention into Halal certifying, we would like to invite you all to Istanbul for a 2-day event where we are going to draw up a joint position to be adopted by Muslim authorities, by our fellow certifying bodies and by all Muslim stakeholders.
Brothers, to achieve our goal we are going to leave behind, or better forget all our national identities, prejudices, dislikes, pride, friendships, personal or organizational matters.
-What is our aim?
To enhance the unity among Muslim HCBs and standardization authorities and take a common position against CEN and other authorities that back up non-Muslim intervention on Halal issues and certifying.
-What shall we do?
We are organizing a 2-day Congress in Istanbul that will bring all responsible HCBs and Halal stakeholders of the World together. We will talk about this important issue and sign a declaration afterwards and distribute it worldwide.
-Who will attend?
All Muslim stakeholders (HCBs, WHC, WHFC, SMIIC, Islamic religious authorities) have been requested to attend. This is the day for unity and this is the meeting where you have to be. This is the must-attend meeting. No other event, conference, seminar or business matter is more important than this gathering. To observe and record this gathering, national and international media will be invited.
-When and where?
In Istanbul, Turkey on 13-14 June 2015. For convenience, the dates selected are Saturday –Sunday. The program of the meeting will be detailed later. The venue is Goldenway Hotel in Istanbul.
-Who is organizing the event?
This Congress is collectively organized by a number of HCBs and authorities from Europe. It is not an event of a single entity, rather a result of collective thinking initiative.
GIMDES is the host and arranging the logistics and other local arrangements on behalf of the preparation committee.
-How will you arrange your trip?
Just arrange your flight ticket so as to arrive at Istanbul latest on June 12th in the evening and to depart earliest on June 14th in the evening and send us an email so that we can arrange your transfer within Istanbul.
The hotel selected for accommodation is Goldenway Hotel, Istanbul. http://en-lang.goldenway.com.tr/
-What is expected from you?
We expect you to come to this meeting with the sole intention to serve Halal and the purpose we set for the meeting and to leave behind any kinds of prejudice and personal or business preferences.
We are sending you our best regards and pray Allah that He may reward you for your efforts to participate to such an important meeting.
Please send your participation confirmation to the email below no later than 22.05.2015:
On Behalf of the preparation Committee
Dr. Huseyin Kami BUYUKOZER