The Malaysian Islamic Development Department, a religious government body, has begun a campaign to force restaurants and cart owners to rename hot dogs to avoid offending Muslims. The reason, Director Sirajuddin Suhaimee explained with a straight face, is that “In Islam, dogs are considered unclean and the name cannot be related to halal certification.” So chains like Auntie Anne’s has been told it cannot receive halal certification without calling hot dogs something else.
The Malaysian halal food guidelines say “halal food and halal artificial flavour shall not be named or synonymously named after non-halal products such as ham, bak kut teh, bacon, beer, rum and others that might create confusion.” So much for hamburgers.
Unfortunately, Pillsbury renamed its current “Crescent Dog” but the earlier “pig in a blanket” is unlikely to satisfy the morality police. How about “hot halals”?