Halal Choices

New year, renewed to-do about Halal foods in the supermarket. Although many common food items have been Halal certified for years, the bigots and racists are only making a fuss about it now. Of course, they deny being racist on the grounds "Islam is not a race!" even as they refer to "ragheads" and "sandn******" who need to go back to their own country, said country not being Australia, which is apparently reserved for whatever they have deemed to be the Australian race. Okay...

Anyway, they want you to know they have really good reasons for boycotting Halal food:

  • Halal fees fund terrorism (really? Any evidence of that? Well, don't just post it on your Facebook pages, contact the federal police). 
  • They resent having to pay an extra fee for Halal certification of foods, even though such a fee is so negligible as to be laughable - you'd have to buy over 100 jars of Vegemite to pay a cent towards Halal certification (would you bother to pick up a 5c coin you saw dropped in the street?). 
  • Halal slaughter is cruel (weren't you the ones calling leftists bleeding hearts when live cattle exports to Indonesia were banned after claims of animal cruelty? What about non-meat Halal food, what's your problem there? And while we're at it, do you boycott sweatshop clothing? surely you're also concerned about cruelty to women and children working in third world sweatshops).
  • They don't want to eat food sacrificed to a false God (Allah is simply the Arabic word for God; Arabic Christians pray to Allah - who is the same God worshipped by Jews as Hashem and Christians as God; the Catholic church has stated there is no reason for Catholics to not eat Halal food).
  • They don't want to support any religion (okay, well I'm assuming you actively boycott Christmas and Easter, work on Sundays, and...)
  • They object that we have to pander to a minority (you mean the minority who have a problem with Halal food?).
But strangest of all is when they try to pretend their fear of Muslim germs in the form of Halal food is some sort of human rights issue. "I have my own reasons for wanting to buy non-Halal food", they complain, if they've not already flounced off after their above reasons have been debunked, "shouldn't I have a choice?". They're deprived of this choice, and it's not fair; it's an Islamic violation of their god-given rights as Australians.

Well, if we have a right to our choices, here are some I'd like:

I'd like the choice to walk down the street or drive my car with the windows open without being hit with second hand smoke.

I'd like the choice to navigate public spaces without the fear of sexual harassment or assault. I'd like to know others have their choice to negotiate their lives without facing homophobia, bigotry or racism.

I'd like the choice to walk the streets, board a train, or sit at a cafe without having to see the filth of a Murdoch tabloid.

I would like the choice, when buying clothing, to have it clearly labelled as using sweatshop labour; when buying cosmetics, to know if they were tested on animals, when buying eggs labelled as free range, to know what standard that means.

I would like the choice to send my child to public school without having them exposed to religious instruction against my will.

I'd like to the choice, when filling my car with petrol, to know that the petrol was not actually funding terrorism; that our defence forces, funded through my actual taxes, are not purchasing oil from the very enemies we are supposed to be fighting. 

If I could have those choices, then maybe I'll get on board the anti-Halal civil rights bandwagon. If we could have those choices, maybe I'll accept that "choice" is what this is really all about. 

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