Sorry Guys, No Such Thing as Halal Vodka
Ah yes, a few sips, refreshment, unwinding the day’s stress, a good time with the pals. NOT when you are a good practicing Muslim. May be that’s why a wine producer in Kazakhstan labeled the words, “Allah” or in detail, “The Power of Allah Suffices for All” on his vodka bottles!
Poor soul was probably just trying to get a divine stamp of approval from the Lord for some harmless good time. But his action sent his Muslim countrymen in a righteous uproar. He has been asked to seek forgiveness for the blasphemous use of the sentence "The Power of Allah Suffices for All."
Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Islam and hence no consumption of the ‘evil drink’ for the followers of the religion. Not that it stops many of them. But apparently even most of them have an objection to sipping vodka with their deity’s name labeled on it. Maybe, it makes them feel like snooping candy from mum’s purse, knowing she was in the same room and they can get caught.
Just as well we suppose, as alcohol can have quite disturbing effect on consumers, especially those not used to it. Just the other day a group of Somali women who repeatedly attacked and injured a young woman in the head a few months back walked free from court after the judge declared they were "not used to being drunk" because they were Muslims! There you go! And no, we didn’t make it up. It is a real story, it actually happened. The local news channel KTK reports that the vodka bottles with the Arabic inscription, “Allah’s strength is enough for everybody," has enraged the Muslim population.
“Imams are outraged: They haven’t seen a bigger sin,” they say.
However, a representative of the Aktobe factory that produces the blasphemous vodka (so to speak) denied intentional blasphemy, insisting the labels and caps are manufactured in Russia and they had no idea about the inscription as it was in Arabic.
Vodka is a specialty when it comes to the former Soviet Union and has been known to have the strangest of names including the likes of Marlboro and Mercedes Vodka. May be the manufacturer went a bit far in trying to rope in a Muslim clientele. There have been worse stories of marketing strategies gone wrong!
In 2005, McDonald’s came up with a marketing campaign where a young man claimed, “Double cheese burger, I’d hit it.” McDonald’s advertising department obviously didn’t know what the term “I’d hit it” meant. They heard the younger crowd using the slang around and thought it would be a big hit with the younger market! What they didn’t know was that the slang meant “I’ll have sex with her but I’ll be damned if I respect her.” No, we didn’t make this up as well.
It’s just bad research – or more likely, no research. May be if the idea behind the “Allah inscribed vodka” was capturing a Muslim market, may be the right brand name is not “Allah” but “Astaghfirullah” (meaning: I ask forgiveness from Allah.) Ah… we made this one up!