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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Don’t drink ‘halal’ beer, Jamil Khir advises Muslims

May 29, 2011

PADANG SERAI, May 29 — Muslims should avoid consuming a brand of beer claimed to be halal as it contains more alcohol than is permitted, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom(picture) has said.

He said despite claims by the distributor that the beer only had 0.01 per cent alcohol content, laboratory tests showed that it contained as much as 0.5 per cent alcohol.

“We will refer (the matter) to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to get a better picture,” Jamil Khir told reporters here today.

He added that the Malaysia Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) together with state Islamic councils will take steps to stop the sale of the beer to Muslims.

The beer, said to be imported from the Middle East, is widely sold in cafes here for RM3.00 to RM5.00 a bottle.

“I advise Muslims to stop consuming the drink so as to not get trapped in a confusing situation,” Jamil Khir said.

It is understood that the sale of ‘halal’ beer, which is becoming more popular with Muslims, was detected by the Johor Islamic Department recently.

The department took samples of the beer to be tested and found that the drink, which comes in several fruit flavours, contained 0.5 per cent alcohol content.

Johor Mufti Datuk Mohd Tahrir Samsuddin said the National Fatwa Council had ruled that alcohol content in food and drink should not exceed 0.01 per cent.

He said Muslim scholars fixed alcohol content at that level as alcohol could sometimes be produced naturally in food and drink.

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