As home to the world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia has tried to ensure all its products are certified halal, but a recent brouhaha about restrictions on Christmas greetings on cakes has sparked debates about the government’s ability to manage halal certification and has highlighted places where it may go wrong.
The controversy, involving South Korean bakery chain Tous Les Jours, had people questioning halal certification procedures.
The government and House of Representatives passed the Halal Product Assurance Law in 2014 to ensure all products distributed or sold in the country complied with Islamic values and were safe to be consumed or used by Muslims, who make up more than 88 percent of the total population.
An article in the law stipulated that all products sold in Indonesia were required to be approved by the Halal Certification Agency (BPJPH…

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