South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)
Three Men Make A Tiger – the fear factor  
June 2010 : Rajab 1431

Fear is an inbuilt emotion and a response to a perceived threat. Common fears are of spiders, snakes, heights, flying, water, enclosed spaces, public speaking, rejection, failure and death. The root of all fears lies initially in distrust which is then fuelled voraciously by ignorance. Psychologists, warmongers, politicians, marketing people and strategists understand this principle and some effectively harness it in furtherance of their own objectives. Preying on the insecurities of the fears, they manipulate and heighten the threat through the fear factor whilst simultaneously offer their product or message as a panacea. It is an appeal to fear through fallacy in which a person/s attempts to create support for his idea by using deception and propaganda by increasing fear and prejudice towards others. It’s the bogeyman syndrome that has been used for centuries.

The Chinese analogy “Three men make a tiger” sums up this fear phenomenon most aptly. Pang Cong an official of the State, asked the King of Wei whether he would hypothetically believe in one civilian's report that a tiger was roaming the markets in the capital city, to which the King replied no. Pang Cong asked what the King thought if two people reported the same thing, and the King said he would begin to wonder. Pang Cong then asked, "what if three people all claimed to have seen a tiger?" The King replied that he would believe in it. Pang Cong reminded the King that the notion of a live tiger in a crowded market was absurd, yet when repeated by numerous people, it seemed real.

An extremist fringe group, who have failed miserably in trying to impose their divisive, derisive and radical views on mainstream Islam for decades, envious of the success of others, have become the “three people to see the tiger” and are employing this method of fear through fallacy. Amongst their many fallacious claims is that all commercially processed poultry in South Africa is Haraam as the Tasmiyah (incantation) is not performed, a huge percentage of chickens are already dead from stunning before the slaughter and the birds are "boiled alive." That they have largely been ignored is rejection of their sordid scheme since Muslim wholesalers, retailers, butchers and restaurateurs continue stocking the products to meet consumer demand.

However, not everyone is immune to this kind of smear campaigning and some interesting observations have come to the fore as a result of this fear factor.

1. Many people including some senior Ulama in a town were affected by the fallacious claims, “panicked” and decided to purchase poultry products from a Muslim entrepreneur in the town to be on the "safe side." SANHA took some of the local community leaders on a “bust” and much to the horror and disgust of those present, it was discovered that the community was supplied poultry products that were totally Haraam. The poultry product originated from a non-Muslim abattoir who had no qualms in confirming that they do not conduct any Halaal slaughter.

2. In another instance subterfuge is involved where a butcher boldly proclaims that they do not stock Rainbow chickens, they deliberately omit the SANHA logo from their adverts, yet stock 'commercial chickens' from our other certified plants.

3. Then there is the case of the franchise restaurant that is visible at some of the airports whose owner claims that they do not use “conflict chickens," displays a certificate of a local 'Halaal Desk', but the poultry purchases are from a SANHA certified commercial plant through a middleman.

The only thing to fear is 'fear' itself and Allah (SWT). Arm yourself with knowledge and slay the tiger of fitnah that thrives on ignorance.


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