Multinational fast food chain McDonald’s was recently caught in a fix after the company had declared that they only serve Islamic Halal certified foods in India. This declaration coming from the food chain had certainly unsettled consumers from several communities who either had reservation against the painful and inherently exclusionist Halal technique or had other religious compulsions.
In recent developments noted lawyer Ishkaran Singh Bhandari has served a legal notice to the multinational fast food chain in a bid to get their response on several issues that have been raised on social media over Halal meat.
Since many asking & want to use template of legal Notice for their own battles against discrimination-
Here is legal Notice sent to McDonald’s for buying & serving only HALAL Meat. That’s economic/religious discrimination 1/2 pic.twitter.com/V1q4Jvr7oH
— Ishkaran Singh Bhandari (@Ish_Bhandari) August 27, 2019
The notice diligently points out the exclusionary and discriminatory issues that emerge out of such company policy of serving only Halal meat.
“Choosing to serve only a specific process meat to exclusion of all others is prima facie economic, social, racial and religious discrimination,” the notice read.
The legal notice also pointed out the contradiction in the company policy when it comes to the type of meat that is being served in India and other countries. “It is unfortunate to know that Addressee no. 1 (McDonalds) policies with respect to types of meat served is very contradictory to that in the western world and some example of it is Canada and United States,” the notice further read.
The legal notice ultimately urges the stakeholders to address the issue on a public platform to clarify on their meat buying policies and calls for terminating any discriminatory practices in this regard, “it must stop immediately and buy and serve all forms of meat”.
It all started after the fast food chain replied to a Twitter user stating, “Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald’s India. We truly appreciate this opportunity to respond to your comments. The meat that we use, across our restaurants, is of the highest quality and is sourced from government-approved suppliers who are HACCP certified.” It also added, “All our restaurants have HALAL certificates. You can ask the respective restaurant Managers to show you the certificate for your satisfaction and confirmation.”
Following the outrage on Twitter after these comments came from McDonald’s, advocate Ishkaran Singh Bhandari had also initiated a mass petition against McDonald’s “only Halal” meat supplying policy in India. “McDonald’s food chains in Indian ONLY SELL HALAL MEAT, which is discrimination & is racial & religious prejudice against non-Muslims who are into meat Business. Also, customers then are forced to eat it, due to the monopoly of such chains. This has to stop & they have to serve all meat which is both Jhatka & Halal & of other process,” he said in the mass petition on Change.org.
Many users had questioned the fast food chain of discriminating against people of other communities by monopolizing their meat supply with just Halal meat; many have also raised questions of economic ramifications of such company policies on non-Muslim communities. Under the Halal technique the slaughtering is done following the set Islamic rituals which include reading of religious verses and only inclusion of Muslims in the production process. Nonetheless any corporate policy which takes into account a specific religion as a basis of procurement and production is surely not only discriminatory towards other religions but surely needs to be updated to be more inclusive and sensitive.