Wednesday, February 27, 2008

British Muslims criticise food company after it is revealed that some crisp varieties contain alcohol

Furious Muslims have heavily criticised Walkers crisps after it emerged that certain varieties of the manufacturer's products contain trace elements of alcohol. Some crisp types use minute amounts of alcohol as a chemical agent to extract certain flavours.

The report in Asian newspaper Eastern Eye, highlights concerns raised by shopkeeper Besharat Rehman, who owns a halal supermarket in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Mr Rehman told the paper: "A customer informed us that Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli and Doritos Chilli Heat Wave are not on Walkers' alcohol-free list. Our suppliers were unaware of this. "Even if it is a trace amount of alcohol, Walkers should make it clear on the packaging so that the customer can make an informed choice. "I feel frustrated and angry. I have let my customers down simply because such a big company like Walkers is not sensitive to Muslim needs. "Many of them were my daughter's favourite crisps. As soon as I found out about the alcohol in them, I called home to ask my wife to throw out all the packets."

Shuja Shafi, who chairs the food standards committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that he intended to investigate. "Certainly we would find it very offensive to have eaten food with alcohol." Masood Khawaja, of the Halal Food Authority, said that this was not the first time the issue had been raised with Walkers. "They should have looked into the matter and solved it instead of hiding behind labelling regulations. It does not matter what percentage of alcohol is involved. "Besides Muslims, there are a lot of teetotal people who would not like to consume alcohol in any form. As far as possible we try and lobby for halal symbols on popular products like Kellogg's cereals. "But we have always told Muslims to check the contents list even if a product is marked suitable for vegetarians. But to not mention it on the packaging is unfair."

However, a spokesperson for Walkers said that trace amounts of alcohol in crisps or bread are believed to be permissible for Muslims. "We do not add alcohol to our products. However, ethyl alcohol may be present in trace amounts in a very small number of our flavours. "It is used as a carrying agent for flavourings, and is found in many common food and drink products. "Foods like bread can also contain the same or higher trace amounts due to fermentation. "We are aware of the concerns from some Muslim consumers about the appropriateness of specific ingredients. We take the concerns of our consumers extremely seriously. "In previous assessments by Muslim scholars, foods and drinks that contain trace amounts of ethyl alcohol have been confirmed as permissible for Muslim consumption because of both the fact that the ingredient does not bear its original qualities and does not change the taste, colour or smell of the product, and its very low level."


Some `homeless' have a home

Post below lifted from Don Surber. See the original for links

Massachusetts give the homeless apartments, only to find them sleeping on the streets. When he is not giving speeches that Barack Obama can later lift, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is giving away taxpayer money on stupid stuff. The Boston Globe reported Patrick wants to spend $10 million on apartments for the homeless, moving them out of shelters. The selling point is this will reduce spending on other social services for the homeless.

A pilot program has mixed results. Burton Tainter, 61, for years slept on a grate behind the Boston Public Library. The pilot program gave him an apartment. He felt lonely and bored. The Globe reported that soon, Tainter was "resuming his old life of living on park benches in Boston." Hmm. Maybe that was his home.

"The hardest part is living alone - especially when struggling to stay sober," he said.

This tale symbolizes modern liberals. People are not individuals but rather some member of a demographic group to be stereotyped and pandered to. Instead of blowing $10 million on a bureaucratic dream, why not scoop them off the street and put them in rehab - then make them find work later.

Or better yet, why not live and let live? I know, I'm just another heartless Republican.

Fair To Whom?

Post below lifted from Blue Crab. See the original for links

The Daily Mail hits at the "Fair Trade"certification in Britain again this morning. This time, they are reporting on the release of a study by the Adam Smith Institute that slams the entire fair trade movement as worthless marketing or something that is actually harmful to the most vulnerable people on Earth.
Last year, British consumers spent more than 300million pounds on Fairtrade products. But the report Unfair Trade claims that the organisation's "positive image appears to rely more on public relations than research". It adds:

Fairtrade helps only a very small number of farmers while leaving the majority worse off.

It favours producers in better-off nations such as Mexico, rather than poor African countries.

It holds back economic development, paying inefficient cooperative farms and discouraging diversification and mechanisation.

Supermarket chains profit more from the higher price of Fairtrade goods than farmers.

Only a fifth of produce grown on Fairtrade-approved farms is actually purchased at its guaranteed fair price.

Tom Clougherty, policy director of the Adam Smith Institute, says: "At best, fair trade is a marketing device that does the poor little good. "At worst, it may inadvertently be harming some of the planet's most vulnerable people."

Most damning of all, the report claims that Fairtrade is hurting the poorest group of all in the production process of its goods - the casual labourers hired by farmers to pick the bananas, coffee and cotton.
The UK executive director of Fairtrade whines that the report is beating them up for trying. (It's all about the good intentions, don't you see?).

Actually, the study, as reported in the story, isn't beating them up for trying. It is beating them up for what they are doing wrong. Is making sure that farmers get a fair shake a laudable effort? Well, maybe, although that is a subject that is debatable. But forcing collectivism is the surest way to ensure that they all get treated equally badly. The "fair trade" activists insist on only dealing with collectives. Winston Churchill's famous quotation applies here: "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." The report indicates that the "fair traders" are very good indeed at making everyone miserable.

This Bishop is no Pawn

Most readers will remember the Anglican Bishop of Rochester, Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, who has been notably outspoken on the topic of Islam and the Islamization of Britain - especially when one compares him with the Archdhimmi of Canterbury.

Dr. Nazir-Ali's most famous and controversial statements concerned urban neighborhoods of the UK which have become virtual "no-go areas" to non-Muslims. The bishop has taken a lot of flak from the chattering classes, especially those within the Anglican hierarchy. According to today's Telegraph, however, he's not backing off from his assertions:

Bishop of Rochester reasserts `no-go' claim

In his first interview since his controversial comments, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali vows not to be forced into silence

Michael Nazir-AliThe Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, who received death threats for airing his views on Islamic issues, has vowed that he will continue to speak out.

His claim that Islamic extremism has turned some parts of Britain into "no-go" areas for non-Muslims led to fierce rows between political and religious leaders over the impact of multiculturalism on this country.

Those comments were followed soon after by the Archbishop of Canterbury's suggestion that the adoption of aspects of sharia law in Britain was "unavoidable".

The bishops' views in The Sunday Telegraph sparked a storm of criticism and raised questions over the role of the Church in society but, most seriously for Dr Nazir-Ali, led to threats that he and his family would be harmed.

Yet, in his first interview since the sinister calls were made to his home, the Bishop of Rochester remains steadfastly defiant. He will not be silenced. "I believe people should not be prevented from speaking out," he says. "The issue had to be raised. There are times when Christian leaders have to speak out."


Threats were made warning that he would not "live long" and would be "sorted out" if he continued to criticise Islam.

Dr. Nazir-Ali originally fled from Pakistan to escape death threats from Muslims, so the irony of his current circumstances is not lost on him:
However, it's not the first time that his life has been endangered.

Shortly after being made a bishop in Pakistan - at 35 he was the youngest in the Anglican Church - he was forced to flee to Britain to seek refuge from Muslims who wanted to kill him.

He says that he never expected to suffer the same treatment in Britain and expresses concerns over recent social developments.

He continues to speak out, and is more concerned about the civilizational crisis within the West than he is with Islam itself:

"The real danger to Britain today is the spiritual and moral vacuum that has occurred for the last 40 or 50 years. When you have such a vacuum something will fill it.

"If people are not given a fresh way of understanding what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a Christian-based society then something else may well take the place of all that we're used to and that could be Islam."

Dr. Nazir-Ali is daring to give voice to sentiments that many thousands of his fellow Britons hold, but which are denied utterance by the rubrics of political correctness:

Just over a year ago Abu Izzadeen, an Islamic radical, heckled John Reid, the former home secretary, as he tried to deliver a speech on targeting potential extremists. "How dare you come to a Muslim area," Izzadeen screamed.

There was widespread dismay at the outburst, but nobody had dared to try to suggest that these views were entrenched across the country until the bishop spoke last month.

In warning of attempts to impose an Islamic character on certain areas, for example by amplifying the call to prayer from mosques, he seems to have tapped into the fears of a large section of society.

Many Christians - not least some of the leaders of the major Protestant denominations - seem to think that Christian morality always requires the faithful to submit without resistance to any form of violence. Dr. Nazir-Ali, however, believes the time has come for Christians to stand up for what they know is right.

To many, he has become a champion of traditional Christianity and its importance to Britain at the same time as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has been attacked for suggesting the adoption of aspects of sharia law is "unavoidable" in this country.

While the archbishop received widespread support from within the Church, Dr Nazir-Ali found himself isolated from his colleagues.

"I don't court popularity. If I say something it's because I think it's important enough to say it. What I said was based on evidence, and that has been strengthened as a result of overwhelming correspondence."

The moral cowardice that his been so evident of late within the Anglican Church is not lost on him, although he is circumspect about addressing it directly:

He wishes the Church would be more vocal on issues of multiculturalism and sharia law, but refuses to criticise his colleagues, although it is clear he is baffled by their silence.

"I can't guess why they haven't talked on the issue. I'm not responsible for other people's consciences." Is it due to cowardice? "You'd have to ask them."

Above all he is opposed to the adoption of any form of sharia for Muslims in the UK:

"People of every faith should be free within the law to follow what their spiritual leaders direct them to, but that's very different from saying their structures should replace that of the English legal system because there would be huge conflicts." In particular, he points to polygamy, women's rights and freedom of belief as areas in sharia law that would undermine equality.

There is a danger that the archbishop's remarks could become a reality unless Britain quickly regains a sense of its Christian heritage.

"Do the British people really want to lose that rooting in the Christian faith that has given them everything they cherish - art, literature, architecture, institutions, the monarchy, their value system, their laws?"

As a Pakistani-born immigrant who has suffered racist abuse - he was called a "Paki papist" by Anglican clergy - he has gained an army of admirers who appear grateful to have someone brave enough to address controversial topics. He has vowed the latest threats will not change how he and his family live.

"The recovery of Christian discourse in the public life of this nation is so important. It's that discourse that will allow us in a genuine way to be hospitable to those who come here from different cultures and religions."

It's ironic that a bishop of Pakistani and Muslim background should be the most visible defender of Christianity and British tradition.

Maybe it's easier for someone coming in from the outside to see what we've got that's worth saving.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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