Disclaimer: This blog is not to encourage the drinking of Coke/Pepsi. I don’t consume these drinks. I or my family don’t own any stocks in these companies. This blog is not funded by Coke or Pepsi.
Please read the Choclate blog for background.
Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
A fundamental part of higher education and post graduate research is critiquing a scientific study. The origin, those involved in the research, how the research was funded, how it was designed and ultimately are the conclusion drawn rigorous and match the data gathered during the study.
A good study is thoroughly designed, modelled, executed, concluded and is repeatable. This repeatability (also discussed in the last blog) is an important element of a good scientific research. Furthermore, a good research is usually cautious in its conclusions and doesn’t make wild exaggerated claims. The media on the other hand is wild, exaggerated and sensationalist in its claims.
(Fictitious) Coconut oil example:
For example if a good sound study reports some (limited) progress against skin cancer while using Coconut Oil, the media will report it the next day as:
Coconut cures Skin Cancer, Miraculous cure available at the local supermarket!
Further studies may or may not find coconut oil as effective and efficacious so the media will report after sometime:
Coconut Oil cure: What the drug companies don’t want you to know!
If further studies do find coconut oil effective and efficacious but advise further research the media will report:
Coconut oil cure confirmed!
Media vs. Science:
Sensationalism creates panic and it sells while science is boring and cautious.
Western Media advising Muslims on Halal/Haram (Masha'Allah):
Every now and again media reports break out that Coke and Pepsi contain any variants of:
- Human Blood
- Porcine Blood
And the Muslim whole world goes into wrist-slitting mode.
Last time it was in July 2012 when a French study reported “Alcohol” in Coke and Pepsi and then the Media around the world reacted with great sympathy with the plight of “Muslims” as to how we will now consume a drink which has Alcohol! All of a sudden we had a (Islam) caring media so concerned about Halal/Haram that this breaking news study was beamed into households around the world. Countries panicked and the shameless Muslim leaders (who very often) don’t pray and drink (hard) alcohol also appeared very perturbed about the situation.
Haqq vs Baatil battle:
Ulama were consulted around the world and two opinions emerged:
Majority of Ulama who ruled that these figures are so (small and) miniscule that these drinks are permissible to consume.
Minority of Ulama who ruled that this is absolutely Haram.
Our (sincere) Brothers and Sisters belonging to the second group immediately started targeting the first group and presented this as a sign of the Last Hour and alcohol being consumed in another name and Ulama have sold out. You can analyse the severity of these Fatwaas even to this day.
Hold up wait a minute!!!
There are few people who said lets first check if Coke and Pepsi actually do have Alcohol before we start discussing the rulings and drawing lines of “Haqq and Baatil”. Alhumdolillah the Ummah of Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) will never be devoid of people who want to bring the believers together and unite the Ummah.
Verify the news:
The first rule of the Qur'aan is to verify the news:
[49:6] O you who believe, if a sinful person brings you a report, verify its correctness, lest you should harm a people out of ignorance, and then become remorseful on what you did.
- A quick google search will demonstrate how a “scientific” study got sensationalised as it went around the world.
- A quick google search will also reveal that this study has NOT been confirmed by any other rigoursly conducted scientific research
Coke, Pepsi and 7-up testing in USA finds NO Alcohol in Pepsi:
Muslim Consumer Group randomly bought bottles of unopened Coke, Pepsi and 7 UP bottles, sent it to a lab for sophisticated Residual Solvents Identification (USP 35 ) testing and paid $1200. Tests revealed no Alcohol in Pepsi.
Correction: Originally this blog stated that none (i.e. Coke, Pepsi or 7 UP) contained Alcohol which was an error as pointed out in this blog. The correct statement is that Pepsi was detected with “No Alcohol”
UAE finds NO Alcohol:
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority also conducted tests on random samples of soda drinks and showed their consistency with the UAE standards and regulations.
Independent testing of Coke and Pepsi in Pakistan finds NO Alcohol:
Jang news group sent two randomly selected bottles of Coke and Pepsi to Pakistan Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (PCSIR) and again no Alcohol was found.
There are thousands of labs around the world, anyone interested in proving a theory should be able to randomly purchase a can (or bottle) of Coke, empty it in a container and sent it for testing. Don’t even tell the lab what it is and just ask, “Does this contain Alcohol?”. Then send the same sample elsewhere and get it confirmed.
But such a rigours, repeatable, authentic approach will be boring and it’s a lot more fun to send people links to Internet articles exclaiming:
Coke and Pepsi contain Alcohol, what will Muslims do? Millions of Muslims affected!
And then people can approach Ulama for Fatawaa and then believers get into battle mode and fight it out for "Haqq vs Baatil".
And the media has more sensational stuff to report on, do you get the picture?
Addendum (13JUNE2014) : May Allah (SWT) reward our dear, respected and noble brother in his blog for pointing out the (blatant) error (Ameen). I apologise for the oversight and the mistake in stating conclusions (incorrectly). This blog will be re-tweeting and placed on Google+ for correction so the mistake can be rectified.
The original point of the blog was too fold:
- Don't go by media reports on the Internet
- Rely on conclusive repetable results before fighting the "Haqq vs Baatil" battles
Both points still stand.
Regarding the error pointed out then the issue has a Fatwa on it already.