Halal Choices – But Not For Muslims

Every now and then something silly happens in Australia and I wonder whether it’s better to talk about it or lay on the ground and wait for the stupid to subside. Sometimes, I’ll make jokes to highlight how ridiculous something is, other times I write about it.  This is going to be one of those times – no, no. I promise I won’t lay on the ground. Let’s talk about it. Let’s get all the key players out first. (P.S I once made a sarcastic video about how eating halal meat makes you Muslim. You can watch it here. It involves halal animals breeding with non halal ones.)

Kirralie Smith believes in freedom - for her beliefs only, obvs.
Kirralie Smith believes in freedom – for her beliefs only, obvs.

Halal Choices

Halal Choices is the baby of Kirralie Smith who claims to ‘love the freedom we have’ in Australia. She has created a website that aims to list all the halal products being sold in Australia so that everyone can boycott these products. You guessed it – yes, I use this list of halal products as a starting point when doing my grocery shopping and I freaking love it. Unsure which cheese contains halal rennet? Check Halal Choices. Feel like some delicious lollies? Check halal choices.

Depending on the time of day that Kirralie does an interview or presentation, she can go from purely wanting companies with halal certifications to clearly label their products to wanting all Muslims to be a bit more patriotic and do away with their silly halal requirements.

Kirralie has been on her mission for a couple of years now. I first saw her on Today Tonight where she was calling on Halal certified companies to display their certifications so that people could make an informed choices about their foods. This is more than reasonable. Along the way she spiralled into some slightly bigoted rhetoric (but don’t call her a bigot. She doesn’t like it).

I want to highlight now that I would love to sit with Kirralie and have a civilised conversation about this – the invitation is open. Contact Me.

I once thanked Halal Choices for their contribution to the Muslim Community.
I once thanked Halal Choices for their contribution to the Muslim Community.
They didn't like it very much.
They didn’t like it very much.

Restore Australia

Restore Australia is an amalgamation of incoherent bigotry, racism and sometimes outright violence.  The group say they have two goals – firstly, they believe all Australians should be allowed to initiate a referendum and secondly, that all Australian voters should have a say in how the Constitution is written. We all know that 23 million people writing one legal document will result in a fantastic document – it’s like that group assignment you had to do, but instead of four or five fonts and thought processes, you get a couple million. Genius!

It’s headed by Mike Holt, a self-proclaimed ‘patriot’ and ‘infidel boss’. Restore Australia wants to help stop the ‘Islamization of Australia’ (you really want to look at their sister website Islam 4 Infidels).

Mike Holt (source)
Mike Holt (source). Sure, his followers get violent, but that’s the victim’s fault. He’s totes different to the leader of terrorist organisations, you guys.

Mike’s beef (non-halal) with halal certification is that he didn’t ‘ever vote in a referendum to allow halal certification’. Fair point, Mike. I think the Australian government should require a referendum for every business decision made in Australia. In fact, there should be a referendum every time I want to make a decision. Mango sorbet or a brownie for dessert? TO A REFERENDUM.

I digress.

He also has a problem with the lack of clear labelling on halal certified products but conveniently adds that even if there was better labelling, he and his crew would still be against it. Remember, you guys – freedom for all, except for everyone else but Kirralie and Mike.

Mike says sure, his followers are ‘very passionate’ and have made threats (to companies, people) but it’s the companies’ faults for bringing it upon themselves. Charming.

Boycott Halal in Australia

Impressively (and tragically) there is  a Facebook group called Boycott Halal in Australia with almost 40 thousand members. I’m not even going to go into this because it’s actually rather insane. They essentially refer people on to Halal Choices and have a bunch of letters that you can spam companies with that go on about how Jesus is the Lord and Saviour, thusly, don’t let the Muslims eat the foods we want to eat blah blah blah. I’m sure that’s exactly what Jesus preached. Whatever.

GREAT. Now that everyone is here, we can continue. Let’s clarify what ‘halal’ is and why these guys are so adamant about being bigots in order to prevent halalness from spreading.

Halal is actually just an Arabic word for permissible. You can use it in the context of relationships or jobs or ownership or foods. Like, when you’re out going for a walk, you’re being halal. When you give your brother a hug, that’s halal. When you brush you’re hair, you’re being pretty halal. These days, most reference to halal is a reference to halal foods. Everything is halal to eat except for a couple of things (which may vary depending on the Islamic sect you belong to). Non halal foods and drinks include:

  • Swine and all piggy products.
  • Blood products.
  • Meat from an animal that died in any way that wasn’t a halal death (we’ll get to this one later).
  • Non-scaley sea creatures (a pretty niche belief).
  • Intoxicants.

So water? Halal. Honey? Halal. Most foods? Halal. Beer and bacon? Not halal.

In order for an animal to be consumed, it must be prepared using the halal method. This requires the animal to be treated well during its lifetime. When it’s time to say goodnight, the throat of the animal is slit with a quick motion, severing the carotid artery, jugular vein and windpipe in a single swipe. Once the animal is dead, its blood must be drained and then it’s ready to go.

Look. I know. It’s not pretty – but that’s not because it’s halal; it’s not pretty because you just can’t pretty up killing an animal for consumption. However, the problem here isn’t how the halal foods are produced. These people don’t care about the technicality around processing of animals for consumption.

Let me be clear – this is an attack against Islam, and more importantly, against Muslims and their freedom to just live.

The arguments being made to support this halal boycott are incredibly ridiculous – each more ludicrous than the other. Let’s have a look a them, together. Hold my hand.

Not all halal certified products are clearly labelled.

These groups tend to start their arguments with something along the lines of ‘Muslims can eat whatever they want but we should have the choice to not eat halal foods. Halal-certified foods need to be better labelled!’ I 100% agree. I had no idea that so many products were halal until Halal Choices popped up. I seriously use it all the time.

But even when products are clearly labelled, these groups go on their own little rampages and demand that the companies remove their certifications. In fact, Mike recommends that people purchase foods that are labelled as halal, open them up and take them back to demand a refund (something about not wanting to eat something blessed by Muslims) so that the store will have to give a refund and not be able to resell the product. It truly is charming. I don’t know why anyone would provide a refund for such stupidity.

Remember, freedom only for Kirralie and Mikey.

Halal certifications fund mosques and schools and Islamic community services. I don’t want to support that.

It has been argued that the profits from halal certification feed back into the Islamic community and people want the choice not to support Muslims in Australia. Great. If you think halal certification fees go towards funding Muslims in this country and that isn’t what you want to do; great! Don’t buy halal products.

Well, that was easy.

Halal certifications fund terrorism.


Okay, alright. Let’s not laugh. These nice, true blue Aussies are worried about doing things that will fund the terrorisms. Fair call. Except for the part where they have been incapable of producing any evidence of halal certification money being used for anything inconspicuous. In fact, they don’t even have any evidence of evidence existing. Instead, reports suggest that the Australia Federal Police audit the halal certifiers and that these certifiers keep very specific records.

Halal foods that are already halal are being certified. 

Yes, they are. Halal certification labels are popping up on honey, for example. Firstly, that’s a business decision. If they think being halal certified will help (particularly for exports), then let them certify. Secondly, manufacturing processes my unhalalify a food. Now, would I worry about that too much? Not even a little bit. If you tell me something is halal, and all evidence points to that fact, then I’m going to believe it. If something is already halal, I will accept that it is halal until proven otherwise. Some people don’t accept that system and need a clear indication of the halalness of a product. These people obviously create a large enough market that companies certify naturally halal products.

Muslims are the only religious people who require certifications. No one else does it.

Heard of Kosher? No? Here, have a read of the Kosher Australia website. My Jewish brothers and sisters have very similar dietary requirements. They also have their own certification schemes that ensure that foods claiming to be kosher are prepared as such.

Is this cow halal? Well, it may have a secret certification that we don't know of.
Is this cow halal? Well, it may have a secret certification that we don’t know of.

We’re all being forced to pay more for our products to cover an Islamic tax. The Muslamics are taking over with their ray guns (find out more about the ray guns here)

The argument is that products are more expensive because companies pass on the cost of halal certification to the consumer. There hasn’t been evidence of this at all. In fact, when asked to produce evidence, Kirralie has changed the subject.

Let’s be sensible though – why would a company pay for a certification that causes a product to become uncompetitive by being more expensive than those sold by other companies? Maybe, just maybe (and I don’t have evidence, I’m just maybe-ing) there is enough of an increase in demand that the price of halal (or Kosher) products doesn’t need to increase.

We haven’t even looked at the value of the halal export market (it’s something like 2 trillion dollars, by the way), bringing more work for Australian companies exporting to South-East Asian and Middle Eastern Markets.

But y’know. What do we know?

Halal certification is pandering to the Islamic minority (aka the GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM argument)

Kirralie often says that it’s ridiculous that food manufacturers are fulfilling the needs of only 2.2% of the population. You see, there are only about 480,000 Muslims in Australia. Our anti-halal friends say that it’s ridiculous that companies even undertake certification for such a small market. They say there are plenty of halal foods out there that don’t need to be made halal for Muslims, and if they don’t like it, they can go to a Muslim-majority country.

On my count, there are about 48,000 likes on the Facebook pages of the aforementioned groups. Thusly, these geniuses want companies to pander to the drivel of 0.22% of the population. I’m no longer very good at math, but I’m pretty sure that 0.22% is a lot less than 2.22%. Just saying. So, you xenophobic bigots, if you don’t like the fact that Australia is an open and welcoming country that is capable of fulfilling many of the needs of the cultures that make us who we are, go somewhere else.

The list just goes on. These arguments are full of contradictions; full of hatred and bigotry. It’s time that these groups are put in their place.

What can you do?

Well, use the Halal Choices Product list. Write to companies with halal certified products and thank them for being accepting of the various faiths in this country and show them your support. Maybe it’ll counter the crazy the receive from these anti-halal groups.

In the meantime, I repeat my invitation to Kirralie – let’s hang out. I think you mean well but are severely misguided.

Halal love to you all.

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  1. I had never even heard of this. Thank you!
    As an American, how could I help this? I don’t think there’s any sort of issue with halal foods here… At least none that I’ve heard of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I hope that you don’t have to deal with similar issues in your country. I suppose the good thing is that these movements come in cycles and fizzle out soon after. Here’s hoping this movement burns out soon. I guess we’ll wait and see!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm. This is an eye opener. Living in south africa – where we have our own halaal certification issues (more like which of the several halaal certifying bodies do I follow) its interesting to hear abt the issues in Australia.
    To me the group you mentioned just seem to be fueling the global anti islamic movement and attacking what we eat is just another way to hop on the ‘I hate Muslims’ bandwagon.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Unveiled Thought.
        I am surprised and disappointed.
        You . . . sorry, *the Moderators* . . . accepted PeterRabbit’s post, yet when you replied mine which also remained down at the bottom, you replied TWICE on (I think) January 21, your 2nd reply was an Email you tried to send me. I responded and that reply was deleted immediately (NOT EVEN allowed “awaiting moderation”).
        But YOUR TWO RESPONSES were also deleted!!!???
        Hence my “next post “Join the Club, Unveiled Thought” (awaiting moderation – deletetion!!!


  3. enjoyed the read, as a Catholic who has lived in Lakemba for 30 years and my family as a whole having lived in Lakemba for 3 generations we have recieved nothing but good will and fellowship from our Muslim neighbours. I just wish these guys who get so worked up about Muslims, actually just took a breath and just spoke to a Muslim instead, they might just open their mind a bit and get themselves a friend as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Matt! Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad that you feel at home in Lakemba. Generally speaking, all that Muslims want is to live normal lives. It seems these people who are up in arms about anything a Muslim wants to do have no yet befriended a Muslim. At the moment, we’re just these strange, foreign concepts. Maybe if we became more real to them, the battle would stop. Have a good new year! Best wishes to you and yours.


    2. Seconded. I’ve met many Muslim people in my life. They have been my neighbours, they have been lecturers, fellow students and they have been friends. They have included Iranians, Bangladeshis, Gazans and Aussies. They have sometimes been obviously identifiable as Muslims, more usually not. I am not afraid of them, I am afraid for them. Not a single one of them has been a terrorist or a supporter of the sort of barbarity ISIS engages in. I feel sad that I need to actually spell that out. That’s like having to specify all the Christians I have known have been utterly repelled by NOT members of the Westboro homophobes cult or the all the atheists I have known have opposed Stalinism and not been Soviet agents. Our response to terrorism to the very few crazies committing very rare acts of disgusting hatred should never be to become hateful ourselves. We should not allow irrational fears to overwhelm us and prevent us from taking a thoughtful, calm and very well targeted response that does more good than harm not vice-versa. The correct response to ignorance is to learn and seek to understand. The correct response to fear is courage – and it is cowardly not courageous to bully others and single out those who are different and scapegoated already, to kick those who are already down and suffering and who are NOT the problem and are NOT bad people. Every Muslim I have ever met, almost every single Muslim in Australia has done me (& everyone else I know) no harm and wishes to do me (& everyone else I know) no harm. There is too much nastiness and ignorance in this world without any of us adding to it. So please, everyone, please, remember this and act accordingly.


  4. Thanks for this post, which I found both informative and humorous (even though what’s happening here is mad). I have a question, I hope you don’t mind giving advice. I have a Muslim friend for whom I’d like to prepare a meal. I’m vegan, so do not use animal products, and I know not to use alcohol. Is there anything else I need to be careful about? Does it matter if there are bottles of alcohol in the kitchen when food is prepared? Do I need to make sure others don’t consume alcohol around him? Many thanks

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Joanne! I’m glad I gave you a chuckle. It’s a bizarre place in which we find ourselves – but what can you do? There are plenty of people who need better things to do with their time.

      In terms of your friend – I think it is SO sweet of you to be mindful of these things when cooking a meal for him. I get a lot of questions like that when my friends want to invite me over for dinner. You’ve covered off on the animal products and alcohol. So long as the alcohol is in bottles and isn’t coming in contact with the food you’re preparing, you’re good to go.

      The question about whether others should be asked not to drink around him is a lot more personal. I know that I feel more comfortable if people aren’t drinking around me, but I won’t attempt to stop it or ask people not to drink. I have friends who will be so uncomfortable that they won’t sit with anyone drinking. The only place I am adamant that there won’t be any alcohol is my own apartment. Maybe check with him and see what he’s comfortable with.

      Best wishes to you and yours for the new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice article, i noticed ‘Halal Choices’ a month or two ago and also found it to have some not so subtle racist undertones under the guise of freedom of choice and was disgusted by most of the themes, particularly the comments by followers. My question is that of animal ethics, of which i have a more objective concern as i am somewhat of a carnivore but prefer my food to suffer as little as possible before it is killed. Does Halal food allow for stunning or sedation before the animal is bled out? I understand that bleeding is a commonly used method of dispatching animals for human consumption around world and is not isolated to any one cultural group.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, David. Halal Choices has been on my radar for a little while, but it’s really the last few months that they’ve gained some momentum. Their arguments are riddled with contradiction and it’s really just a breeding ground for hate.

      Regarding your question – the rules say that the animal which is slaughtered cannot be carrion – so can’t be dead animals. The risk with stunning or sedation is that it will result in a dead animal before it can be slaughtered. However, a number of Imams, who are capable of issuing a religious ruling on the matter, have allowed for particular methods of stunning. I’m not sure about the particulars though. It seems though, that the animals are killed in such a way as to sever nerves and not result in pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the clarification, i’m sure animal ethics groups have come to some sort of agreement to facilitate cultural requirements whilst minimising pain and suffering, i was just curious about the particulars. Nice to hear tradition is keeping with the times, or is it the times that are keeping with tradition? Anyways cultural requirements aside, it is certainly not animal ethics that these groups are concerned with, even if they were to bring it up it would be a smoke screen to mask their bigotry. Much like when individuals complain about ‘traffic’ issues when a mosque is planned in their area, you can be sure that more than half the people complaining would not have an issue if it were a christian church.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. G’day David. I liked THIS post of yours, but not your second!

      You meekly accepted astrostevo’s and unveiledthought’s replies without question.

      Might I suggest you search elsewhere (is a non-muslim site) to find the truth about muslim ethics regarding the slaughter of animals.

      The following is my reply to astrostevo and quite possibly will not survive unveiledthought’s moderation/censorship.

      Permit me to contradict you astrostevo.
      You suggest those who disagree with you are bigots.
      Maybe so, maybe not.
      I consider bigots as those who stifle (ie prevent – by moderating/censoring) other poster’s views which are contrary to their ideals.
      My posts rarely get accepted because they are contrary to muslim’s viewpoint.

      Like a question “David” asked on December 31 above:-

      “My question is that of animal ethics, of which i have a more objective concern as i am somewhat of a carnivore but prefer my food to suffer as little as possible before it is killed. Does Halal food allow for stunning or sedation before the animal is bled out? I understand that bleeding is a commonly used method of dispatching animals for human consumption around world and is not isolated to any one cultural group.

      unveiledthought replied:-

      “Regarding your question – the rules say that the animal which is slaughtered cannot be carrion – so can’t be dead animals.”
      “The risk with stunning or sedation is that it will result in a dead animal before it can be slaughtered.”
      unveiledthought:- “The risk with stunning or sedation is that IT WILL RESULT IN a dead animal . . . .” [my capitalisation] Stunning or sedation does not kill the animal.
      “However, a number of Imams, who are capable of issuing a religious ruling on the matter, have allowed for particular methods of stunning. I’m not sure about the particulars though. It seems though, that the animals are killed in such a way as to sever nerves and not result in pain.”

      Non-muslims require that the animal is unconscious so a the blood keeps circulating and will drain out of the body whilst the animal is in a state lacking pain and feeling!!!

      muslims DO NOT follow the code of animal rights and gain pleasure out of an animal feeling pain!!!

      By the way: when unveiledthought commenced this Forum she posed herself as a concerned non-muslim just like several of mindmadeup do, yet along the way their true religion shines through. She has exposed herself (not surprisingly to myself) as being one of your mob.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Peter. I have been watching your comments floating through this blog and have been more than happy to approve those which are not hateful or violent. I am excited by open discussion and differences in opinion. It is the way that we learn from each other.

        However, I have a zero tolerance policy regarding angry, hateful or violent posts. If you keep your comments respectful and do not fall into disrespectful bashing of other posters, then I can assure you that your comments will keep getting approved.

        Further – I am a Muslim. I have never tried to hide it in any way, shape or form. Quite clearly, if you read the rest of the posts, they are coming from a person who discusses Islamic affairs and what it’s like to be a Muslim. So I haven’t been ‘exposed’. This is a blog by a young Muslim woman – it’s what my entire brand is. I mean, the website is called Unveiled Thought – it’s a play on the fact that I’m veiled.

        I trust that you understand where I’m coming from and can appreciate the boundaries which I’ve quite clearly set for all commenters.


  6. All these people thanking you, and for what, bastardizing the truth? You have turned this into a joke, you have not informed your readers of the factS, where they then could have made a decision as to whether they supported it or not. Well if you write trash and think it is amusing it doesn’t say much for your intellect. Apparently you can’t take the correct information an facts and write intelligently and objectively about it, says a lot for your skills doesn’t it. I hope you have some at least who will google and read the other side of the story, the facts that you have distorted and presented as the truth of the matter. People don’t have to agree with the boycott, but they can’t make a valid choice on that can they, if they are not presented with the truth instead of your idea of making a fool out of some one so you can write an article.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Alana. I would love to know which ‘facts’ I didn’t present. It seems like you barely read this post. If you did, you would’ve seen that the first paragraph clearly explains that I am going to make fun of the situation while providing the facts because it’s the only way to deal with that much bigotry and hatred without wanting to curl up into a ball. I’m not making a fool out of anyone. I provided the facts – if they sound foolish, it’s because they are.


  7. This anti-halal hatred garbage .. it just ain’t Kosher as the old Aussie saying goes!

    Really? I have no problem eating Halal or Kosher or vegetarian or gluten-free. It does me no harm and is actually healthier. (Just don’t ask me to personally give up beer or bacon because, crikey I’m addicted to both! Sorry.)

    Are these bigots really *that* stupid? (Rhetorical question – course they are. Willfully so and despite the evidence out there they could find that so easily proves them wrong. Also they are a minority of dropkicks that I think and hope most Aussies look on with the same contempt I do.)

    Great article – thanks.

    There is far too much hatred and bullying in the world without any folks adding any to it, for one am happy to live and let live and treat individuals as just that and I’ll ride with you. Every Muslim I have ever personally known has been a really good person. Even if they weren’t, y’know I can tell the diff twixt individual people and a whole faith systems shared by millions round our whole pale blue dot. Salaam, Shalom, Peace.


  8. Bigots are always and will always be unhappy as a direct result of their bigotry.

    If you are so constantly cowardly and hate others for them just being who they are and thinking and feeling and being as they think and feel and be, can you be anything else than miserable?


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