Do refrigerators run on pig’s blood? We didn’t think so, so why on earth is there a halal-certified fridge in Indonesia?
Let’s back up a little. For years, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the nation’s highest clerical body, was entrusted with the sole authority to issue halal certificates, most of which went to food and beverage products they deemed fit for consumption by Muslims under Islamic dietary guidelines. But after many years of accusations regarding corruption within MUI’s certification process, the government last year ended the quasi-governmental association’s ability to issue halal certificates, passing that authority over to the Halal Certification Agency. That body operates fully under the auspices of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and, unlike MUI, is not allowed to collect fees for issuing certificates.
That being the case, it appears MUI has now branched out to issuing halal certifications for non-consumable products. Yesterday, Japan-based electronics giant Sharp launched an Indonesia-exclusive halal certified fridge — the first of its kind — because there’s clearly a need for it and this is not just some religious-based marketing gimmick.
Sharp seems so proud of their product that they’re expecting rival electronic companies will try to copy their innovation.
“We hope that in a month and a half consumers will have the image that refrigerators that are halal come from Sharp,” said newly appointed PT Sharp Indonesia President Director Tadashi Ohyama at the product unveiling yesterday, as quoted by Detik.
Separately, MUI’s Food and Drug Analysis Agency (note that there is no mention of refrigerators or electronics in their name), which is responsible for testing halal products, confirmed that they issued the halal certification for Sharp’s fridge after it passed MUI’s scientific tests and received approval from MUI’s Fatwa (religious edict) committee.
Which begs the question: were all the refrigerators produced by Sharp before the launch of their new fridge haram AKA forbidden under Islamic law? Well, according to Sharp, all of their refrigerators are also halal but the older models simply were not certified.
And what of the contents of the halal fridge? If pork were stored in the fridge, is it still halal, or does it have the magical ability to transform haram products to become halal?
Ugh, our head hurts thinking about it. Be right back while we grab a beer from our non-halal fridge.