Misleading Protest Message Calls for KFC Boycott Due to Halal Hand Wipe Rules
OutlineProtest message circulating via Facebook calls for a boycott of KFC after staff at a halal KFC branch in Leicester, UK, refused to give a customer hand wipes because they contain alcohol and might therefore break Islamic rules.
© Depositphotos.com/ lucianmilasan
Brief AnalysisThe incident described did take place. However, the protest message is misleading. The withdrawal of the wipes was simply the result of staff misunderstanding about Islamic rules and was not due to pressure from the Islamic community. In fact, there are no Islamic rules about using alcohol as a cleansing agent and the alcohol hand wipes are approved for use in halal restaurants. (Please review detailed analysis below for more information.)
Staff at an halal KFC branch in Leicester refuse to give a customer hand wipes - because they contain alcohol, forbidden by the Koran! Fight back against the encroach of halal and Islamic rules. BOYCOTT KFC! Britain First
Protest Message Calls For KFC Boycott After Alcohol Hand Wipe Refusal
According to the message, staff at the store would not give a customer the hand wipes because they contain alcohol and would therefore be forbidden under Islamic rules.
The message suggests that non-Muslims fight back against this supposed pandering to Islam by boycotting KFC so that the company only gets Muslim customers.
Incident Did Occur But Protest Message is Misleading
While Islamic rules do forbid the consumption of alcohol, there are no rules that forbid the use of alcohol in hand wipes or similar products. The alcohol impregnated hand wipes are approved and used in halal restaurants.
An article about the incident in The Telegraph notes:
"They have made a mountain out of a molehill," said Dr Sheik Howjat Ramzy, director of the Oxford Islamic Information Centre. Pointing out that Muslims had used alcohol for medicine and hygiene for centuries, he explained: "There is no problem as long as we don’t drink it: if it is for medicine it is no problem, if it is a perfume it is no problem and if it is for hygiene that is no problem."The KFC store where the incident took place was one of around 100 selected UK stores participating in a trial offering halal chicken. Staff at the Leicester store were instructed not to supply the hand wipes in case the wipes contravened Islamic rules about alcohol. But, as noted, there is actually no such rule and the decision was certainly not driven by demands or expectations from Muslim customers. It was thus just a case of store management erring on the side of caution because of the halal trial and because they did not have the correct information.
Continued Circulation of the Message Unfair and Unnecessary
Spreading such misleading protests just increases tension and hatred between sectors of communities and gives ammunition to the bigoted.
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Last updated: September 30, 2014
First published: September 30, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen