Russia takes up British trend for halal, which means allowed by Qur’an. In the UK with only 2 millions of Muslim population, halal products (namely food) are bought by 6 mln people, or one in ten.
There is no statistics concerning the number of consumers of halal products in Russia. But judging by opening of specialized shops, offer of special menus in restaurants and growth of number of «In Islam» social network members in the Internet, this tendency promises to develop in a big way.
NTV correspondent Nicolay Zakharov has examined the new trend.
For Alexey, a builder shopping now is like learning Arabic. He learned the word halal in the mosque shop and now prefers it to the nearest supermarket.
Correspondent : «Do you prefer it because of your religious convictions or the quality?»
Alexey Bogdan, builder: «Because of the quality. I come here every day to buy fresh meat».
The word «halal» means allowed, that is allowed by standards of Islam. Naturally, no pork, delicacies made of blood (e.g. some kinds of sausages), and the animal must be slaughtered properly.
Zhafar Azizbayev, representative of halal development department of Russia Muftis Council: «You won’t see any shaman dancing around the meat. It’s just pronouncing a prayer which is usual for any believing person».
Now every supermarket arranges a section for halal products. For non-Muslim customers it’s like a fashion for organic products. In Kazan you can see even a halal taxi where the driver will never switch on songs of the criminal world.
Halal in Russia is more than just halal. Now it’s becoming a trendy feature. There’s one restaurant in the center of Moscow that was initially established as traditional Japanese restaurant. But then smoking got forbidden there, wine list disappeared from the menu and no alcohol was used in recipes any longer.
According to Qur’an now it is a halal institution. The bar was transformed into a praying room. But the earnings decreased since the majority of them were based on spirits sales.
Abubakar Bekmurziyev, entrepreneur: «I think that it’s also going to be a business. It will bring less income but still it’s a normal business».
This business let Leila Mandy knock up a huge fortune. She has launched a line of cosmetic products conforming to Qur’an requirements. It’s only the beginning for Russia.
Contrary to other similar networks, the social halal network «in Islam» doesn’t allow to upload photos in swimsuits. It has about 2000 visitors, whereas the similar web-site has almost 83 mlns.
Producing goods in compliance with Islamic standards is not enough. You have to pay in order to get the special mark at your products. But even the special committee admits that one in three sausages and more than a half of minced meat and semi-finished products with a mark «Halal» are fake.
Dinar Sadykov, deputy head of committee on halal standards under the Muslim Religious Board of Tatarstan Republic: “For instance, the poultry at the markets is sold as halal but you can not know where it comes from”.
But you can check it, though. In Kazan a special test for checking the purity of products has been invented – it shows one line if a product contains pork and two – if it does not. But this test is not in wide distribution so far
But you can find soda with «Halal» sign in the shop. Because acсording to Qur’an, everything that is not forbidden is allowed.
Translated by Natalya Ergen for MuslimEco