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  • Far-right Indian Hindus threat to boycott McDonald's for serving halal meat.

    Far-right Indian Hindus threat to boycott McDonald's for serving halal meat. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 August 2019
Opinion

"It is an absolutely Islamophobic atmosphere which is existing in India now and each and every occasion is used by right-wing Hindus to attack Muslims," an activist said. 

The global fast-food chain McDonald’s is facing a boycott by right-wing Hindus in India for serving halal meat. The whole thing started after McDonald India wrote on Twitter that all its restaurants are halal certified. 

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"All our restaurants have HALAL certificates. You can ask the respective restaurant Managers to show you the certificate for your satisfaction and confirmation," the fast-food company said is a reply to a user. 

The Arabic word “Halal” means permissible according to Islam. For Muslims, meat and meat-based products have to be cut and prepared in a certain way for consumptions. 

"This is a blatant and intentional assault on Hindu beliefs. India is 80% Hindu, and there 4% Jain, Sikhs & Buddhists in addition to it. But, McDonald's had betrayed all these 84% people just to appease the 14% Muslims. It's time people of all Indian Religions #BoycottMcDonalds," a Hindu Indian wrote in response. 

However, Hindus can consume halal meat but their anger towards McDonald’s is seen as another onslaught on India’s Muslim minority who are already being lynched and harassed by the right-win majority. 

"It is an absolutely Islamophobic atmosphere which is existing in India now and each and every occasion is used by right-wing Hindus to attack Muslims," Shabnam Hashmi, an activist told Al Jazeera. "It's the extreme right asserting themselves to convert India into a Hindu nation."

Many from Hindu community also came forward to condemn the xenophobic attack on Islamic lifestyle. 

"The entire nation is suffering from it. They are just making an issue out of a non-issue because of their hatred," Nishita Sood, a Hindu Indian told Al Jazeera. 

This is not the first time Indian Hindus have created an uproar due to food. Earlier this month, a right-wing Hindu asked a food delivery app to cancel his order because it was being delivered by a Muslim driver. Last month, an Indian airline IndiGo faced an online campaign of boycott for serving halal meat on its flights. 

The lynching of Muslims in name of cow protection has also gripped the community in fear. 

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