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Sunday, November 09, 2008

The elusive Yoga Fatwa and the halal turkey disappearing act

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Is it just Walski, or is it almost next to impossible to find halal (Islamic kosher) turkey in Malaysia these days? Ever wonder why?

Image taken from, hosting by PhotobucketBut before we delve into that culinary mystery, the National Fatwa Council decided to defer the announcement (via The Star) of the much anticipated Yoga Fatwa. It was supposed to have been announced on Friday (November 7th), but wasn't, because the council's chairman was abroad in Jordan on an official trip.

Walski's always maintained that Islam (at least in Malaysia) is more than just a way of life - it's a bureaucracy. And this is a perfect example. More suspiciously, however, why announce a date when the chairman would be away, knowing damn well that it couldn't be done then? The chairman couldn't have decided to go to Jordan without anyone knowing, right?

Mysterious, isn't it? Walski does wonder, however, whether this is a case where Jakim & the Fatwa Council, having come under fire for issuing the Tomboy Fatwa recently, realized that issuing one on Yoga was not such a bright idea after all. And that the decision would be put off indefinitely, in hopes that the Malaysians will simply forget about their faux pas.

Which brings us to the latest poll... what you think will be the decision announced. The poll is in the usual location, on the side bar, and will be active until midnight next Friday, or until the fatwa decision is released. Whichever is earlier. Walski may extend the poll period if we don't hear anything by next week. Which is always a possibility.

Interesting, but both the Tomboy and Yoga fatwas target primarily one portion of the Malaysian Muslim population - females. Just an observation, but it does make Walski go "Hmmmm... wonder why..."
(mind control, the right to consume turkey, and more, in the full post)

And then you have the mystery of the disappearing halal turkey. Actually, it's really no big mystery. Sometime in 2006, Jakim decided quite arbitrarily that imported turkeys (particularly from the US) would no longer be deemed halal. Poof! Just like that... 

Image taken from, hosting by PhotobucketAs this was announced just before Christmas that year, many hotels had to axe any turkey dish on their Christmas menu. And many had to go without turkey for Christmas... and beyond.

Meanwhile, the price of turkey simply skyrocketed... even for the non-halal variety. A year later, in December 2007, Malaysians who used to be able to have turkey at Christmas could no longer afford the bird. For one, Cold Storage has completely stopped selling halal turkey; Walski isn't entirely certain about the other supermarkets, though.

And non-Muslims (or concerned Muslims, for that matter) should just stfu? Why should they, because what Jakim initiated in 2006 has affected ALL Malaysians, in this case.

You know what Walski thinks? It goes back to this ludicrously applied idea of resemblance and origin. Yoga has its origins in Hinduism, so therefore it could lead Muslims astray - like crosses on biscuits and oil lamps. This sort of siliness has happened before in Malaysia.

The possible reasoning? Turkey is a traditional Christmas dish, and therefore Muslims eating turkey would be doing something resembling what Christians do on Christmas. And because of that, turkey (whole birds, particularly) are made prohibitively expensive. An ounce of prevention, they may claim... cures nothing. Except turkey dinners.

Or is there actually a scam going on? Meat imports to Malaysia have many restrictions, particularly halal meats. And when permits come into the picture... yeah, Malaysia boleh. Perhaps this is something Walski might consider investigating further...

All three cases - the Tomboy, and soon-to-be Yoga fatwas, and the disappearing turkeys - highlight one major worry about how Jakim (and for that matter, the Fatwa Council) operates. As a non-democratically elected body, they sure love to throw their authority around, don't they. How they are actually kemajuan-ing anything, much less Islam, is anybody's guess. 

And yet, we're all supposed to just keep quiet like obedient imbeciles and just accept whatever decision they make? Even stranger, criticize, and all kinds of Muslims come out of the woodworks to "protect Islam", and defend their "rights" as Muslims. What rights, Walski wonders... the right to willingly have your mind controlled?

Walski, for one, thinks not. His mind is for him, and only him, to control. And now the search for smoked turkey meat continues...