A lot of Japanese who are still unfamiliar with the word “halal” might think “muslim friendly” means the same as “halal”, but it’s not, and I too wasn’t careful enough in using the term “halal”. Recently I revised the titles of my old posts about restaurants from “Halal Restaurant” to “Muslim Friendly Restaurant”. I did so after I showed this blog to a muslim lady I got to know from the halal business course. She told me that I shouldn’t use the term “halal” if the restaurant serves alcohol even if all the menu is halal. I thought it was ok to introduce a restaurant as a “halal restaurant” as long as I mention the facts like that they serve alcohol or that they have non-halal food beside halal food. But as she pointed out, for muslims halal is halal and there’s no such thing as 90% halal or partially halal…therefore a restaurant is not halal if there’s any alcohol served. I got it.
“Muslim friendly” is the expression we see a lot in Japan now. For the muslims, I want you to know that this term doesn’t mean it is 100% halal. You should ask for details if you’re not sure about the food.
I will write about local halal certification next time. It might be helpful for you to pick a restaurant when you know about halal certification in Japan.