Revised to add in the information about the Sepoys.
It has come to my attention that there exists a company called Jihawg Ammo (and no, I’m not linking them. you know what to do).
If you happen upon their site, you will notice some pretty, ahem, questionable rhetoric. Some of it’s paranoid, at the very least. Is there really an “ever growing threat of radical Islam and Sharia Law” in the United States? I mean, the last I heard, it wasn’t Muslims who were making a concerted effort to impose their religious views on the American people.
But hey, what do I know about how dangerous American Muslims could be? I’m just someone who was born into and raised within a Muslim community in the United States.
What I’m here to talk about is the product claim central to Jihawg’s marketing strategy: that it is a deterrent against violence for terrorists of the Muslim persuasion.
Jihawg Ammo is certified “Haraam” or unclean. According to the belief system of the radical Islamist becoming “unclean” during Jihad will prevent their attaining entrance into heaven. Jihawg Ammo is a natural deterrent to radical and suicidal acts of violence.
To break down their claim in (sloppy) syllogistic fashion.
- Pork is haraam.
- “Radical Islamists” think that they won’t go to Jannah (Islamic heaven) during their “Jihad” if something haraam is in their bodies.
- Therefore, pork-laced bullets will give “radical Islamists” who intend to commit “Jihad” pause.
Right off the bat, we have a problem: haraam does not mean “unclean.” Think of the word “harem” as in women’s quarters or the term “Masjid al-Haram” as in the mosque that houses the Kaaba in Makkah — would Muslims really call Muslim women or their holiest site “unclean?” Haraam means forbidden and/or off-limits (as opposed to halaal, which means permitted without reservation). Just as pork (and, according to many Muslim scholars, pork products of any kind) is off-limits for the consumption of Muslims, a harem is a space that is off-limits to men and Masjid al-Haram is off-limits to non-Muslims.
Because I recall just how much my non-Muslim/non-Desi friends loved to learn bad words from other languages, here are some fun ones related to the word “haraam.” Urdu and Hindi have two choice insults based on the concept of the forbidden: “haramzada,” as in “bastard,” as in “someone born as a result of off-limits (i.e. out of marriage) sex”; and “haramkhor,” which has no direct English equivalent and means someone who obtains their sustenance/income from forbidden sources.
As for the premises, the first is correct. Pork is forbidden in Islam. And, to throw them a (ham?)bone, pig skin is indeed considered naajis, which does mean impure or unclean, in Islam. The second is where the assertions fall apart. Only pig skin is naajis; pork fat, on the other hand, is off-limits for Muslim consumption. Embedding a bullet that has traces of pork product on it isn’t exactly getting them to willingly consume it. Furthermore, pork products are not considered so unclean to Muslims that they aren’t allowed for Muslims in emergency situations; they indeed are. Sins in Islam have to be deliberately committed and prohibitions are often considered flexible in emergency situations.
There is absolutely nothing in Islamic theology that would lead to the belief or even the implication that being shot by bullets greased in pork fat would ensure that a Muslim wouldn’t be able to enter Jannah. Even if you are paranoid enough to worry about the brown hordes, Jihawg Ammo won’t help deter anything. By the company’s own arguments for its existence, the product is a rip-off, pure and simple.
Aside from being a rip-off, if history is any indication, such measures would backfire, not prevent violence. The British imperialists in India had native units whom they called the Sepoys. When a rumor circulated among the Sepoys that pork and beef fat was being used in their ammunition, the response was not for the beef-averse Hindus and pork-shunning Muslims to cease committing violence. Au contraire — there was a rebellion.
Oh, and for the record? Halaal certification exists, but not Haraam certification. Perhaps I, as the most haraam kind of person of all, could start up the service. Why not profit from the ignorance of racists?