Junaid Jamshed and Lays Chips!

Junaid Jamshed and Lays Chips!

By Shumaila Rana” Junaid ne lays ke add main aa ker apna image kharab ker dia”. A friend said a few days ago.
I was surprised to hear that. I said “acha, kiyun?”.

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She said “What we have in Pakistan is only a franchise of Lays, its a western company. They hired him when the campaign against Lays was in full swing. He is widely accepted and respected in the society so audience was easily convinced”.

I thought she was right because even we were doubtful about eating lays until Junaid Jamshed appeared with a yellow lays in his hand!
I belong to a generation who grew up along with Junaid Jamshed. I still remember all his songs by heart though I have not heard them for past 10 years now! I lost my interest in songs at almost the same time when he converted to a more practising muslim (If I am using the right word to describe the change in him).
I am not the sort of person who doubt or question others intentions. His naats and his speeches reflected truth to me. But when I read the text below about him… I am no longer sure…
Urdu daily “Ummat” of 29 June 2009, leading scholars have criticized Junaid Jamshed for declaring Lays chips as “halal”.
Mufti Naeem of Jamaa-e-Binnoria (SITE, Karachi), Mufti Muneebur Rahman (Chairman, Ruet-Hilal Committee), Mufti Abu Bakr (Jaamia Clifton, Karachi) and Mufti Abdul Momin Bangash have declared that having a beard does not make a man an Islamic scholar and Junaid Jamshed (who has not been trained in a madressah) has no knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence.
An interesting explanation I found which I would like to share with you:
“In a clever move to dispel recent rumors of pig fat being used as one of the ingredients in Lays Chips (in Pakistan), the recent Lays TV commercial shows Junaid Jamshed, a role model for many, testifying to the ‘Kosher’ nature of these popular chips. According to Lays, the chips are in fact ‘Halal’ qualified from Saudi Arabia. The skeptics are still warning people in various blogs but the fact of the matter is that Lays’ claim is totally believable. A recent article in Time Magazine talks about how the Halal Food Industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry and is growing rapidly with most large international food companies branching into products that cater to this huge consumer segment. And it’s hard to believe that anyone but a suicidal madman would introduce pig fat coated chips in our schools, colleges and shops. How long do you think he’d last?

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However, there is one irksome element to the ad. The end of the ad shows a slide which states that the commercial is in fact a Public Service Message from Lays. To double check, I looked up the definition of Public Service Message and here’s what Wikipedia says (all the other definitions were a close match):
A public service announcement (PSA) or community service announcement (CSA) is a non-commercial advertisement broadcast on radio or television, ostensibly for the public interest. PSAs are intended to modify public attitudes by raising awareness about specific issues. The most common topics of PSAs are health and safety.
It is obvious and totally understandable for a company to defend its product against bad press but does that constitute a public service message? So I went and looked up the definition of ‘misrepresentation’ and this is what Dictionary.com had to say:
an intentionally or sometimes negligently false representation made verbally, by conduct, or sometimes by nondisclosure or concealment and often for the purpose of deceiving, defrauding, or causing another to rely on it detrimentally; also : an act or instance of making such a representation”
Check this out http://www.zaheerspeaks.com/2009/05/19/lays-chips-haraam-propaganda-or-truth/


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