Malaysia to rename hot dogs because 'dogs are not halal'

A Malaysian religious authority wants food sellers in the country to rename hot dogs because it says Islam deems dogs as 'impure'.

Pretzel Dogs are on display at Auntie Anne's at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pretzel Dogs are on display at Auntie Anne's at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Source: AAP

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department is asking fast food outlets to rename hot dogs because in Islam dogs are considered ‘naj’ or dirty.

It has begun with food outlet Auntie Anne’s popular “pretzel dog”, a sausage wrapped in pretzel bread.

Sirajuddin Suhaimee told the BBC: "In Islam, dogs are considered unclean and the name cannot be related to halal certification."

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As outlined in the Malaysian government’s halal certification , ‘naj’, which directly translates to ‘impure’, has three levels of severity: severe, medium and light.

Dogs, along with pigs and their descendents, are classified as ‘muhghallazah’ or severe.

Pretzel Dogs are on display at Auntie Anne's at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Pretzel Dogs are on display at Auntie Anne's at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Source: AAP


Even though hot dogs are not traditionally known to contain dog meat, the guide goes on to explain:

"Products which use the name or synonymous names with non-halal products or confusing terms such as ham ... bacon, beer, rum, hotdog, charsiew and the like" are ineligible for halal certification in Malaysia.

The BBC reported that Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz opposed the call.

"It's been around for so many years,” he said. “I'm a Muslim and I'm not offended.

“Please do not make us seem stupid and backward."

The Malaysian public has taken to social media to express they are also unimpressed.


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2 min read
Published 21 October 2016 at 12:02pm
Source: SBS News