Malaysia’s religious authorities were riled up this week over the recently-launched whiskey brand Timah, after conservatives complained it sounded too close to a Muslim woman’s name, Fatimah.
The brand, which launched on Oct. 11, has since clarified that the name had nothing to do with a woman, but that it was actually inspired by the country’s tin mining era while it was under British rule since timah means tin in Malay.
But that didn’t stop conservatives from continuing their uproar against the whiskey brand, with some fearing that it may cause confusion among Muslims who just so happen to stroll through the non-halal sections of supermarkets. The Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, is petitioning the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to investigate the brand.
With the uptight brand policing by Muslim conservatives, Coconuts found 26 other alcoholic brands we think could suffer the same backlash in Malaysia — simply because they have Malay or Arabic names.
1. ABU NAWAS
From Jordan, the Arak Abu Nawas is an anise-flavored spirit named after an Arabic poet and wine-lover, who lived between 756 and 814 AD.
The Musita Aisha Catarratto is a type of white wine from Terre Siciliane, Italy. The name Aisha means “to live” in Arabic, and is coincidentally also the name of one of the wives of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
3. AL RAYAN
The Al Rayan arak is a type of wine from Syria and costs US$19.90 per bottle.
Photo: Packaging of the world
While aman means “peace” in Malay, it also means to love or adore in Spanish, and is the name of a tequila beverage brewed in the Nayarit state of Mexico.
“Amira” is the name of a type of red wine from Italy and is also a common name among Muslim women. It means “princess” in Arabic.
Photo: Al Ahram Beverages
Ayam means chicken in Malay and is also the name of wines sold by Egypt’s Al Ahram Beverages.
Photo: Brolly Brewing
Babi is the Malay word for “pork,” which is forbidden in Islam. The UK’s Brolly Brewing company has a beer named Babi, which costs £6.50 (US$9) a can.
Bintang is the name of a popular beer brand in Indonesia and also means “star” in Malay.
9. CAP TIKUS
Photo: Allan Sumali
Cap Tikus is a traditional alcoholic beverage native to the Minahasa tribe in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tikus means “rat” in Malay.
The Cinta Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Italy. The name also means “love” in Malay.
Codice Citra is the name of one of the largest wineries in Abruzzo, Italy that produces wines under the label “Citra.” In Malay, Citra translates to “sculpture or image.”
Dara is a type of red wine from Priorat, Catalunya, in Spain. The Malay word dara translates to “virgin.”
Jiwa is the name of a starfruit-based sparkling wine made by Indian winery Fruzzante. Jiwa also means “soul” in Malay.
14. MATA HARI
Mata Hari is a type of absinthe from Vienna, Austria, named after the Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I. Matahari, the Malay word, means “sun.”
Arak Muaddi is a handcrafted spirit made by the Muaddi Craft Distillery in Palestine.
Nadia is a type of red wine from the Laetitia Vineyard and Winery in Santa Barbara, California. In Arabic, Nadia or Nadiyyah means “tender” and “delicate.”
Nur is the name for a type of white wine made in Italy. Nur is also a common name for Muslims, meaning “light” in Arabic.
Omar is the brand of a type of whiskey brewed in the state-owned Nantou distillery in Taiwan. One bottle goes for RM360 (US$86).
19. OMAR KHAYYAM
Omar Khayyam is a UK brand that sells wine, sparkling wine, and vodka. Omar Khayyam is also the name of an Islamic mathematician who lived from the years 1048 to 1131 and wrote poems about wine.
Palestinian alcoholic beverage Ramallah is an anise-flavored spirit. Ramallah is also the name of a city in the central West Bank of Palestine, located 10km north of Jerusalem.
Rasa is the name of a type of wine made in the Sula Vineyards located in Maharashtra, India. In Malay, the word rasa means “to taste” or “to feel.”
Raya is the name of a collection of wines produced from a vineyard near Bangalore, India. The Malay word raya means “to celebrate.”
Sabrina is the name of a brand of gin found in Nigeria. Sabrina is a feminine name romanized from the Arabic word sabr, meaning “patience.”
Sayang is the name of a wine brewed in France. The word sayang in Malay either means “to love” or “to go to waste.”
Tanya is the name of a boutique winery in Israel. In Malay, the word tanya means “to ask.”
Yahya is a brand of rose wines from Rheinhessen, Germany. Yahya. The name means “God is Gracious” in Arabic and is also the name of an Islamic prophet.