From The Gathering Storm

First the Motoon blasphemy – now the sacrilegious corn chips. It seems that Muslims are getting all in a tizzy over the ingredients in the popular Frito-Lay Mexican chip. Hat tip to JammieWearingFool.

From around the world, Muslims have been calling up Frito-Lay, inquiring about their products after learning of possible pork enzymes in their cheese seasonings. Muslim students and professionals, in response, started email campaigns, wrote on their blogs, and some even created groups on the popular college-networking website, Facebook.

One group on Facebook, “Fight Against Pork in Frito-Lay Products,” has already accumulated over 1,810 students globally. Its moderator urged its members to “call whether [they] are for or against the change” and for them to inform Frito-Lay of their concerns.

Watch it Frito-Lay! You’re chips are in threat of crumbling.

The ‘chip snit’ has generated some deep thinking about being Muslim.

Some Muslims, however, have opted out of the “contact Frito-Lay” bandwagon and have instead questioned their fellow Muslims’ concerns and actions. On one blog, one Muslim woman wrote on April 3, 2007, “I wonder how many of those people who called Doritos called their local congressman about their opinion of the war? Or to have a fair trial for Dr. Sami Al-Arian? How many of these thought to affect change on more important matters? I mean, if the food is not permissible to eat, I would like to know. But the reaction and the larger context really irks me.”

One Muslim man responded back to her on that same blog, “The reason people are worked up…number of us have been eating Frito-lay products since we were little kids.”

So much for the politics. Now the science.

I spoke to Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez to get the record straight. She informed me that Frito-Lay has been aware of this discussion and are “respectful” of those who do not consume pork enzymes.

She told me, “Most cheeses are made using enzymes as part of the process to develop unique flavors, and depending on the flavor, enzyme sources may include vegetable, microbial and/or animal. Pork enzymes may be used in the milk that makes the real cheese for some of our cheese seasonings.” “However,” she said, “by the time the cheese seasoning arrives at Frito-Lay, the animal enzymes have been physically changed by heat to be inactive long before being added to our snacks.”

But you can bet that some Muslims will still consider such foods Haram (forbidden). So let’s see, what should Frito-Lay do. I know! Let’s do the accommodation dance.

Could there be a new market for Muslims in the near future? Will Frito-Lay’s manufacturers and importers consider placing a halal logo on its snack foods that do not contain pork enzymes for its Muslim consumers? If its products contain animal substances, will Frito-Lay consider becoming halal certified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (or JAKIM)?

And what about the poor kosher Jews. Who cares about them, right? They’ll just have to settle for Morgan David and wine Manoschevitz foods.

Muslim-American Seton Hall University student, Ibrahim Khaddash, in New Jersey, told me he feels “paranoid” ever since he heard about Frito-Lay’s pork-enzyme-containing products and said, “Muslims need to somehow let these big organizations know that if they want our business then they must obey our dietary laws.”

Catch that word, Frito-Lay? ‘OBEY’? Learn it. Along with this one. Dhimmitude.

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