August 9th, 2011
08:58 PM ET

Whole Foods denies canceling Ramadan promotion

By Alan Duke, CNN

(CNN) - Whole Foods and a company that produces traditional Muslim foods disputed online reports Tuesday that the grocery chain has bowed to right-wing pressure and canceled its Ramadan promotion.

"Whole Foods Market is not cancelling our current halal promotion, which is centered around the time frame of Ramadan," company spokeswoman Libba Letton told CNN Tuesday.

The controversy centered around "halal-certified products" produced by Saffron Roads.

"It's more of a tempest in a teapot," Saffron Roads CEO Adnan Durrani said Tuesday.

The tempest was fueled by a blog published by Houston Press, which quoted an e-mail sent by a Whole Foods manager to some store workers.

The e-mail said "It is probably best that we don't specifically call out or 'promote' Ramadan," according to the blog. "We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered 'Celebrating or promoting' Ramadan."

The e-mail suggested the Ramadan promotion "has generated some negative feedback from a small segment of vocal and angry consumers and bloggers."

Whole Foods "never sent a communication from our headquarters requesting stores take down signs at all," the company spokeswoman said. "We have 12 different operating regions and one region reacted by sending out directions to promote halal and not specifically Ramadan after some online negative comments."

Durrani blamed the e-mail on "just one outlying, regional person who had no authority to speak."

The blog was "charged with lightning" and quickly went viral on Twitter and Facebook, he said.

"The bloggers like to blog," Durrani said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Ramadan

soundoff (324 Responses)
  1. Sigma2012

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    October 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  3. Muneef


    Wouldn't the investment in those African immigrated countries to create jobs and a better status of living for their people would have contributed to stopping such suicidal migration through deserts and rough seas ?
    Rather than holding them,returning them or drowning them if not allowing them to drown...

    August 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  4. Muneef

    The Mercy of Allah in Regard to Forgiveness
    "O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I have forgiven you for what you have done and I do not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and then you would seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins that are close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring to you forgiveness close to filling it." 

    There was a sect called Khawaarij, who worshipped Allah only in fear and held the belief that anyone who commits major sins was a disbeliever and would be thrown into the Hellfire forever. This is a gross extremism and straying from the correct path. 

    Yet, another sect, which emerged within the first century of Islam, had no fear and believed that sins did not affect ones faith and that as long as one believed and testified in Islam, he would enter Paradise regardless of his actions. Both of these extremes lead to a dangerous consequence. 
    Guess you have those same in your faiths "Christians"....


    August 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Some countries such as Somalia are not finding essential foods to eat and survive the Famine and Drought while others pouring Fruits and Vegetables  on the streets as if unwanted or unneeded Rubbish rather than thanking GOD for his Blessings of their Prosperity;

    Angry French farmers raid Spanish fruit trucks
    12/08 13:34 CET
    Furious French farmers have attacked Spanish fruit and vegetable deliveries as effects of the E.coli crisis continue to bite.


    August 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  6. Muneef


    They ask;
    What is the only animal that can't look up at the sky?
    Or ask; Why pigs can't look up in the sky?

    Wow no wonder it is d-i-sliked by all heavenly religions..! No wonder that upon Jesus resurrection it is told that the first thing he will do will be the killing of all Pigs...!

    Guess out of all Human's and Jinn's Beings who are of that kind not looking up to the skies of heavens will be facing a very heavy torment here and there...!
    But never they learn,taking it for a fairy tales and a joke, no recognition of the signs that are loud and clear...!

    August 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  7. Muneef

    1-  What is the Wisdom of Islam?

    Islam is a very simple Religion.  Islam simply means submitting yourself in peace to the Absolute One and Living GOD:

    "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.  (The Noble Quran, 112:1-4)"

    "Then Praise be to Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth- Lord and Cherisher of all the worlds!  To Him be Glory throughout the heavens and the earth: and He is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom!.  (The Noble Quran, 45:36-37)" 

    "Say: 'O People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians)!   Come to common terms as between us and you:  That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.'  If then they turn back, say ye: 'Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will).'  (The Noble Quran, 3:64)"

    The GOD of Islam is the GOD of everything He created.  There is no middle man between the Creation and the Creator; "It was We Who Created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him:  for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.  (The Noble Quran, 50:16)"

    "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.   (The Noble Quran, 2:186)"


    Everything from good and bad that happens to us is determined by Allah Almighty:

    Sometimes a Muslim wonders and says to him/herself:  "How come I am a devoted Servant to Allah Almighty, I do everything that pleased Him, I do all of the things that He commands me, and I still suffer in life?"

    These are fair questions.  It is important for every Muslim to know that Allah Almighty determines everything for us for a Wisdom and reasons only Him the Almighty knows:

    "Say: 'Nothing will happen to us except what God has decreed for us: He is our protector': and on God let the Believers put their trust.  (The Noble Quran, 9:51)"

    "Say: 'I have no power Over any harm or profit To myself except as Allah Willeth.  To every People Is a term appointed: When their term is reached, Not an hour can they cause Delay, nor (an hour) can they Advance (it in anticipation).'  (The Noble Quran, 10:49)"



    Scientific facts about day of resurrection
    In this research we are going to make a scientific analysis for many events in day of resurrection to prove that the Qur'an doesn’t contradict with science and the scientific realities …

    August 18, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Faith

      CNN, please cancel Muneef. We can't take his posts any more and no one wants to read them.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Muneef


      Why not read them? Are you afraid of some thing?

      August 18, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Muneef

      By the way do think that what is told by this guy's post is correct ;


      Arabic language have similarity with Aramaic language which used on that time. Muslim word are from Word "Moses" and elim = "Big Group" = big portion, meaning muslim is Moses mass (Jews, Israel, Christians, Coptic, Islam). While Islam are from Isa = "Jesus" = Christ and alam="small group" = small portion, Islam meaning is aramaic is The follower of Isa (Jesus) Mahdi or Christians itself.
      I believe Mohammed was about to create new Christianity (his uncle is christian) from Jews but hadist (unknown source) messed it.
      August 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |

      August 18, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Faith

      No, the whole history of your posts trying to sell your religion is so sick I'd rather read a comic.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Faith

      I don't care what that guy thinks or what you think. P!ss off and stop posting cr@p.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Muneef

      Am not selling any thing nor going to be paid for it, all I did was to bring up is how Islam should be and what it believes... I beg of you just to read even if you do not believe just to observe the indifference's of ideals and ideas..

      August 18, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Muneef

      Well seems your personality turned to show total madness!? Guess you are against freedoms as well ? Hmm

      Well I guess then no wonder many turn atheists of your people because of such mentality who just want to order and be obeyed !!? You are this way another form of Jehadists but in Asian Christian version!!? Am sure if am closer by you will bomb me....well guess I wouldn't dream of being in one cell with you as was suggested by a commentator of yours..

      August 18, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • Muneef

      Wonder what you are selling then?

      August 18, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  8. Muneef

    Found very interesting...
    I recommend Muslims and Non Muslims to read;
    The first words of the Quran to Mankind was is to Read,
    Read It Please – It will not even take 2 mins.. it is your life.. it is you;

    A clever person is the one who will question his existence, for we are not here to just enjoy.  He searches for answers and  then finally  he does what is better for him in the future. This world is the testing for the  hereafter. Where we have to permanently stay.  Our deeds & sins will come before us. 
    Kindly open link;


    Evidence from the English translation of Luke 6:40 that further prove that the word 'Muslim' was used by Jesus:

    Let us look at Luke 6:40 from my N.I.V. Bible "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher."

    Luke 6:40 (KJV)
    40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    Luke 6:40 (Darby)
    40 The disciple is not above his teacher, but every one that is perfected shall be as his teacher.

    Luke 6:40 (Young's Literal Translation)
    40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one perfected shall be as his teacher.

    Luke 6:40 (21st Century King James Version)
    40 The disciple is not above his master, but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    Luke 6:40 (American Standard Version)
    40 The disciple is not above his teacher: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher.

    The perfection here means a spiritual one.  What the verse is saying is that knowledge is not what matters!  The teacher or master is higher in knowledge than his student.  But the student can be as high as his teacher, or even higher, by being a true 'MUSHLAM' or Muslim, a spiritually perfect and well-disciplined person!

    August 18, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Faith

      CNN, please cancel Muneef. We can't take his posts any more and no one reads them.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • Muneef

      Well do not read them no one is forcing you to read them just ignore them as I do ignore yours!!

      August 18, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  9. Muneef

    US Professor of Comparative Religion Finds Islam
    James Frankel's Journey to Islam

    August 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Faith

      CNN, please cancel Muneef. We can't take his posts any more and no one reads them now.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Muneef

      Well do not read them no one is forcing you to read them just ignore them as I do ignore yours!!

      August 18, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  10. Rob

    If Muslims are so miserable here then they can all go back to where they came from. Problem solved. Then they can kill animals however they please as well as each other like they are so fond of doing. And to you "American" Muslims who will be so quick to point out that you are American. You can also join them In'Shallah

    August 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Muslims tackle looters and bigots

    British Muslims' reaction to the riots should dispel any continued demonisation in the media.
    Robert Lambert Last Modified: 12 Aug 2011 12:02

    "When accused of terrorism we are Muslims, when killed by looters, we become Asian", a Muslim student explained to me. He was commenting on the media reportingof the death of three young Muslims in Birmingham on Tuesday night. Like many other Muslims, they were bravely defending shops and communities as rioters went on a violent rampage of looting.

    August 14, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  12. Muneef

    Jayalalitha, who goes by one name, demanded an apology from Chao in a letter to the US Consulate's Consul General Jennifer McIntyre.

    "This remark which smacks of racism is highly condemnable. You will agree that this remark of the vice-consul is an affront to all Tamils," Jayalalitha said.

    The Communist Party of India demanded the withdrawal of Chao for her "racist" comments and asked the government to lodge a "strong protest" with the United States.

    "The remarks show the racist nature of the official even during Barack Obama's presidency. This cannot be tolerated," party national secretary D. Raja said.

    August 14, 2011 at 1:57 am |
  13. Muneef

    A brief dialogue between a Brazilian theologist
    Leonardo Boff
    and the Dalai Lama.
    “Remember, the universe is the echo of our actions and our  thoughts.”

    August 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  14. Lou b

    Halal and Kosher slaughtering are essentially the same. Anyone who will eat Hebrew National hot dogs and complain about halal practice is a total idiot. I don't see anyone looking with horror on kosher meat

    August 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  15. Hajra Saleem

    Thanks to that blogger 😛 I am going there as well 🙂

    August 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  16. Methusalem2000

    Do you guys know that Muslims don't use toilet papers in the bath room, rather prefer to use their hands? So, if you find some sand in you Kebap next time please don't get surprised – it's all halal!

    August 12, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Alfonso872

      "...Muslims dont't use toilet paper in the bathroom...'?
      Have you been living under a rock or did some coconut fall on your head when you were a kid?
      Muslims do use toilet paper, and that's a fact. And yes, Muslims also use water and their hands but that is ritual cleansing of your private parts. Plus, using water and hands is useful when there is no toilet paper around or if the toilet paper feels like sandpaper! And Muslims do clean up after using the restroom THOROUGHLY, contrary to what you may think.

      August 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  17. David051

    Open letter to Whole Foods management–
    I have to take exception with how you are
    dealing with the issue of Halal foods and the Ramadan holiday. While
    I’m Jewish, I have to stand up to your lack of cultural sensitivity
    towards Muslims. A corporation’s obligation to the community is not
    only about sales, profits and folding to the intolerance of a few within
    the majority– we have to only look back a few decades in human history
    to see where this can lead. You have a strong moral reputation and I
    would encourage you to rethink your recent actions. While your
    headquarters may not have sent orders to treat Muslims as second class
    citizens, it is still your obligation to reverse one of your region’s
    actions and to make clear that this will not be tolerated. May I
    respectfully suggest that you immediately send a communication to your
    stores to put up a display promoting Ramadan foods, much as many stores
    do during the Jewish High Holidays and Passover. It is said that we must
    all stand up for each other when our rights are trespassed upon, for if
    it is left to happen to one group, then no group is ultimately safe
    from bigotry and intolerance.

    August 11, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Frogist

      @David051: Love your letter. I hope you sent it to them.

      August 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • robert izziarah

      ...actually a public corporation's sole purpose (as dictated by law) is to increase profits; these peripheral aspects you mention are simply for marketing purposes, enhancing the image of the 'brand'. For this reason, i'm glad wholefoods did not back down in the face of ignorant, racist comments, the controversey is free advertising for the company. (Besides, aside from Chorizo and Halal meat, you couldn't have a whiter, ango-inspired food selection if you tried, so i can't possible imagine anyone who opposes this possesses any shred of rational thinking abilities.)

      August 12, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  18. Methusalem2000

    So much noise and attention from 0.9% of the American population? Another proof that the devil is the force behind it.

    August 11, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    Get your first trauma:


    August 11, 2011 at 6:40 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    Halal meat is produced by ritual slaughter. Ritual slaughter is brutal animal torture and should be prohibited by the state.

    Ritual slaughter:

    The butcher cuts the throat of the animal (cow, sheep, etc..). By vessels within in spine and the remaining muscels of the neck the brain of the animal is still supported with enough blood for a while (anyway the brain and the nervous system is not damaged at all by the cut). That means the animal experiences a horrifying death agony. First when all the blood has left the body, the animal dies.

    Furthermore: Often one cut is not enough. By thromboses the arteries clog and the butcher has to cut again (awful), in order to make sure that the blood can leave the animal's body.

    Furthermore: During the death agony the animal produces stress-hormones, which are a poisonous for human beings.

    Conclusion: Don't eat halal meat. It is a crime to eat it.

    August 11, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      There are hints that ritual slaughter was invented by ancient pagan Egyptians.

      August 11, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      At any rate it is sure that the Triune God has never commanded ritual slaughter, because he likes the animals (before Eve was created, God made the animals as friends for Adam, see Book of Genesis). God has merely commanded to consume no blood.

      August 11, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Moreover: There is evidence that an animal, which is killed gently by headshot, and sliced immediately after the shot, also loses nearly all blood. Thus, there is no reason for ritual slaughter.

      The crucial point of "human" slaughter is the abrupt destruction of the animal's brain. Having lost it's brain, the animal immediately loses awareness and dies peacefully.

      August 11, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • m4life786

      Are you really that ignorant and foolish that you are going to spread these lies? Do you even know what halal actually is or are you just a crazy right-wing like Breivik who knows nothing about Islam. Islam slaughtering of animals is the best way to kill one since they slit the throat right at the veins and the animal does not feel a thing. There have been countless studies that support this so before you go and start spreading lies, try to learn some facts.

      I get so annoyed by how arrogant people can be and how they try to spread lies on a subject they know nothing about.

      If you want to see real torture, then look up how U.S. companies treat their own animals or how in Denmark the slaughter thousands of dolphins each year with hooks to prove their "man-hood"

      August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Sam

      What basis are even stating these conclusions on? The Islamic way of slaughtering is actually the opposite of pain and agony. Certain veins are suppose to be cut which make the animal feel no pain at all. Multiple studies around the world show that the halal method is the best. And reports on animals condition starting from the slaughter showed that very little, if any pain is present and no damage as well. This is compared to the "factory method" that has been proven to cause pain and actual damage. Halal meat is healthy for humans and humane for animals.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • sakinah aziz

      I am a muslim and your ignorance of what Halal meat is is obnoxious!! .... do some REAL RESEARCH before telling lies!!

      August 12, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Alfonso872

      Contrary to popular belief that electrocuting an animal for its meat is humane, it's not! It actually hurts the animals more. The halal method of slaughtering an animal was made in a way to minimize the pain it will actually feel. What you see as humane is less painful for human, not the animal, because the animal will be hurt more and will create more toxins to its body. Here is a report from a university in Germany on ritual slaughtering versus the mainstream way:
      -– http://www.mustaqim.co.uk/halal.htm ---

      Also, take into account that if one electrocutes an animal, it often fails the first time, so the animal will feel more pain to its body.

      August 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.