Hot dogs must be renamed in Malaysia, says religious government body

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Earlier this week, Malaysian government had ordered a popular hot dog chain in the country to rename its pretzel dogs in order to avoid hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims and people who think that the snack contains dog meat.

The US-based fast food chain, whose most popular item on the menu is Pretzel Dog, has been the reason of distress for Muslims in Malaysia. The Malaysian Islamic Development Department, a religious government body in the Muslim-majority country has been receiving many complaints from Muslim tourists and localites, and has hence asked the food chain to remove the word ‘dog’ from its entire menu.

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The chain has not been given a halal certification on the condition that it rename its ‘Pretzel Dog’ as ‘Pretzel Sausage’. While the Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz has slammed the ruling, calling it stupid, the food chain released a statement saying that this was a minor issue and that they would change the name on their menu.

Other food chains have also been affected by similar rules, where ‘coney dogs’ and ‘frankfurters’ have been shortened to ‘coneys’ and ‘franks’, and ‘root beer’ has been shortened to ‘RB’, to avoid using the word beer.

This ruling by the Department of Islamic Development has since then, become a subject of trolls on social media. Activist and columnist Marina Mahathir, daughter of former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad, criticized this ruling when she wrote on her Facebook page, “Oh we poor easily confused Muslims who have never heard of hot dogs before and who will have no choice but to buy one if one was on the menu.” This post was shared over 2,000 times.

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