YAMU is starting to add halal icons to food reviews and we’ll slowly go through our archives and improve our search. This is to make the site more friendly for Muslims, for whom halal is required, and it should make no difference to non-Muslims, for whom halal food is just fine. These are individual choices responded to by businesses and we firmly reject racist and ignorant views that halal food or Muslims in general are somehow not welcome in Colombo or Sri Lanka.
Halal simply means that food, especially regarding animals, is prepared in accordance with Islamic law. This means that it doesn’t involve pork or alcohol and that animals are slaughtered in a certain way (among other things). In Sri Lanka this process is certified by the ACJU, which is quite open and has published
The an explanation here.
Halal certification is a choice, one that businesses make to serve Muslim customers better. There is a cost for the administration and auditing, but that is borne by the business, not the consumer.
We think this is important to stress, halal is essential for Muslims and harmless for non-Muslims. Halal certification happens all over the world – from Canada to India. Sri Lanka has naturally evolved a system of halal certification over years, it’s not some foreign thing that just happened. We have been co-existing and eating together for hundreds of years, and it makes for a great food culture which we all enjoy.
We’re adding halal information for our reviews because it’s important for our Muslim friends to know. It is also important for non-Muslims to understand that halal places are good for anyone. Halal is not a conspiracy and Muslims are not unwelcome strangers in Colombo or Sri Lanka. We fully support our Muslim friends and are happy to break bread together anytime. The halal icon will hopefully help you decide where to go.
Note that we’ve only started adding the icons on new reviews. We (I) have to go through old posts and add the information, which we’ll do over the next few weeks. We’re adding other info as well, like whether you need to wear shoes, if there’s a view, etc.