Muslims officially make up only 1.6% of the South African population, yet it is increasingly more common to find Halal packaging on common foods in supermarkets throughout SA. This Halal branding adds extra costs to the consumer, and these costs go directly towards funding Islamic Communities.


Christians have gathered together to garner support to oppose this Halal packaging, as we are unintentionally forced to support a religion that actively opposes ours.

The CRL Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, has been inundated with messages from Christians around the nation who strongly oppose this forced approach from supermarkets in SA, claiming that it violates their right to freedom of choice. Complaints also include the fact that shoppers are forced and manipulated into unknowingly supporting and funding Islam.

News24 reported that, “Some complainants charged that buying halal-certified foods indirectly forces Christians to adhere to sharia law, pay for the persecution of other Christians in Muslim countries, fund the building of mosques, and even contribute financially to terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State and Hamas.”

The complaints are being investigated by the CRL’s lawyers.

Stats SA figures from 2016 show that South Africa is home to 892 685 Muslims, 43.4 million Christians, 5.9 million people who claim to have no religious affiliation or belief, 2.4 million who follow traditional African religion, 561 268 Hindus, 52 598 atheists, 49 470 Jews, and 32 944 agnostics. This means that Muslims make up only 1.6% of the population.

The halal industry is estimated to be worth R45 Billion, and it is estimated that up to 90% of all food products in the country are halal certified.

“Currently 1% to 2% of the South African population is Muslim, while the majority of South Africans associate themselves with the Christian faith, yet consumers are forced to buy Islamic-labelled products … We view this as an unfair practice based on religious beliefs.” – A complainant from the Eastern Cape.

The Consumer Protection Act is supposed to “protect consumers against discriminatory marketing”.

Another from Riversdale wrote: “They don’t give us a choice. As a Christian believer I’m forced to buy products from a culture group that makes up only 1.6% of our population. I therefore have to finance a system that I do not support and I also do not know how the money is spent.”

A complainant from Laudium, Pretoria, wrote: “My right to purchase groceries according to my own religious beliefs has been violated. The majority of food items available on the shelves are halaal certified … I am deeply offended by the fact that I, as a Christian, don’t have a choice.”

“I’ve been eating Kellogg’s Corn Flakes since I was a child, but now I’m forced to eat halaal-certified Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, because that is all that’s available at my supermarket.”

Complainants claim they are made to pay for certified food which forces them to “contribute financially to the Islamic community”. 

A complainant from Johannesburg, wrote that while the right of religious communities to observe their own dietary laws was not in dispute, measures taken for the practical convenience of those adherents must not be at the expense of, or offensive to, those of other religions.

“Islam is overtly and actively anti-Christian. Whereas South Africa enjoys a high degree of tolerance among various religious groups and we value the cordial relations that exist between adherents of various faiths, it is deeply offensive to the conscience of any person to be forced to support a religion that is directly and fundamentally opposed to his own.”

A Cape Town resident complained that he couldn’t find non-halal takeaways in a local shopping centre and that besides meat and chicken, “even sweets, frozen vegetables, milk, butter, bread, juice, ice cream, and pasta are halal certified”.

Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, the Chairperson of the CRL, confirmed the receipt of countless complaints about Halal foods from concerned South Africans, and expressed that they are looking into the matter.

“South Africans should start asking food manufactures difficult questions, for instance, how much money they are paying for the halal and kosher emblems on food products,” she said. 

“People should know what it means to them to promote other religions as far as their own beliefs are concerned, because they are indirectly promoting something else. 

“Are Jewish and Muslim organisations trying to recruit more Christians to become Muslims or Jewish and is it in the best interest of people from different religious groups?” 

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said even bottled water was certified halal or kosher.

“If I purchase kosher- or halal-certified products, it means that I am subsidising another religion. I am paying indirectly for something that is not my belief. 

“We have raised this concern with the Muslim Judicial Council to determine how much money it collects on halal-certificated foods. We had conversations with the Consumer Council and we need to follow up on these issues,” she said. 

When asked for comment, a Pick n Pay spokesperson said that halal “certification costs are negligible and there is no charge passed on to our customers. Customers who do not wish to buy food that has been certified for religious purposes can find alternatives in our stores.”

 “The only difference is that halal meat receives a blessing. The cost of this blessing is negligible. Most customers have no objection to halal or kosher certification symbols on the products they buy.”

One of the main facts however is that the majority of the population is greatly misinformed and ignorant about the Halal processes, and thus simply accepts this packaging under the guise of tolerance.

We decided to do some further research. Under the official Code of Practice for Muslims in the West, which can be found online here: www.al-islam.org/a-code-of-practice-for-muslims-in-the-west-ayatullah-sistani/eating-drinking, it states the following:

  1. Question:We enter some super markets in Europe and find meat in tin containers produced by a European company with the writing on the package that conveys the sense of it being “halal” or “slaughtered according to Islamic laws”. Is it permissible to buy and eat such meat?

Answer: The writing [on the package] has no value if it does not lead to certainty [that it is actually halal].

This official response from the Muslim community leads one to believe, if the packaging cannot be verified, which it often cannot, the whole purpose of the packaging is useless. Why then are South Africans subjected to this?

A visitor displays a Halal hamburger at the Halal show which presents food products for Muslim clients which are prepared following Islamic dietary laws, in Paris on March 30, 2010. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau 

A very passionate secular man by the name of Robert Aitken recently contacted JOY! and expressed his utter dismay with the ignorance of the public in SA, and shared with us that although he is not a Christian, he vehemently despises the fact that supermarkets will go above and beyond to support the Muslim communities, yet will not even wish their shoppers a “Merry Christmas” or “Blessed Easter”, even though over 80% of the South African population professes to be Christian.

Robert shared the following with us:
After many phone calls and complaints about why I must subsidise one religion (Muslim) and not subsidise the Christian community, Clover has finally acknowledged that the Christian community also needs to be considered.

As you know, 90% of South African food is Halal with fees going to the Muslim community while the Christian community gets nothing. As a secular person I failed to understand why I am forced to have Halal and nothing gets done for the Christian community.

The Muslim community don’t need to have Halal food. Prophet Mohamed said that if there is no Halal, then they can purchase food from either a Christian or Jewish store and bless the food in the same manner as Christians do.

I have asked if they can get Christians to bless the factories and people with the same fees given to the Christian community.

This will be a first in the world.

Clover response.
Official business reply

Good day Bobby Aitken

Clover does not have individual production lines or factories to manufacture the products, should we not be able to meet the requirements with existing facilities or formulas, we will not add the logo. Clover serves as a service provider for consumers and for information from specific consumers, such as a logo for products that meet the requirements of the Heart Foundation, and for Diabetes, etc. Clover does not discriminate against religions, but merely acts as a service at the request of the different religions. Clover will do so for Christians if they would like to make a request and we can comply with existing facilities.

Kindest Regards,
Clover Consumer Care.
If you feel strongly about this issue, you can email the CRL here:
info@crlcommission.org.za


Written by: Gillian Fraser

11 COMMENTS

  1. This is brilliant! Praise the LORD that someone has finally stood up against this scourge on the earth… it is utterly pathetic that these people think they can get away with forcing us to buy stuff that supports the anti-Christ. However, what even more tragic is the amount of people calling themselves Christians who actually don’t care…

  2. Time for people to wake up and smell the rat. It took us a long time, we go out of our way NOT to buy halaal. I’ll not fund a religion that discriminates against Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus.

  3. I thought I was a lone voice in complaining and looking for non-halal foods. Please ask Christians to tell the shops and so get a more balanced view and dispel the ‘most customers have no objection’ idea. Maybe if we get more than the 2.6% they will have to take note.

  4. Gillian, you repeatedly go on about the costs to the consumer and say that the halal industry is estimated to be worth R45 Billion but give no response when Pick n Pay tells you that halal “certification costs are negligible and there is no charge passed on to our customers.” At no point do you explain how R45 billion is garnered in SA from the certification process let alone explain to us how this is used to fund extremists or the building of mosques.
    I get the impression from reading between the lines that the real objection from some of the Christians here is spiritual – that they have a hang-up about having an Imam bless their food. The person who complained as follows “Islam is overtly and actively anti-Christian. Whereas South Africa enjoys a high degree of tolerance among various religious groups and we value the cordial relations that exist between adherents of various faiths, it is deeply offensive to the conscience of any person to be forced to support a religion that is directly and fundamentally opposed to his own.” is expressing a very un-Christian attitude and should go and read what God teaches Peter in Acts 10 and 11. Anyone who rises up to defend Christianity from this or that supposed onslaught with physical weaponry or instruments of state has failed to understand Christianity. The offended and defensive nature of this the response I see here disturbs me for this reason.
    My response to this article is a big “So what?!” – unless of course you can show me that it significantly affects the price of my food.
    Another thing: I’ll bet a lot of Christians will complain about the harmless act of an Imam blessing their food but go on to violate their bodies by consistently eating and drinking the unhealthy, artificial, sugary, over-salted, colourant and preservative-laden processed rubbish the “world” offers to us as “food”.

  5. I will in future not buy anything with hahal on it because the Bible tells me that all food is blessed and sanctified by the God of the Bible so I don’t need Mohammad’s approval for what I eat.

  6. It is our democratic right that enough provision should be made for those who do not want to buy halal products. Christians need to unite and take a stand. We do not want to fund islam.

    We want to ask you to become part of our anti-Halal campaign by doing the following:
    Refuse to buy products with a halal sign!
    Spread the message (to churches, friends & family)
    Send or give letters to supermarkets, head offices & to the CRL.
    Vote & support ACDP (Apparently ANC & DA support Halal Certification)

    E-mail us for letters & more information
    Email: ucajhb@gmail.com LIKE the Facebook Page: United Resistance Movement

    UNITED CHRISTIAN ACTION

  7. Thank you for keeping us informed, but what are you or we doing about this. Every day more and more products are getting the label. It is getting increasingly difficult to buy food. Why are the churches in SA allowing this and not saying anything?

  8. Bla bla bla. If u don’t want to eat halaal then just don’t buy halaal instead of complaining. The world has far bigger problems to listen to your issues with halaal stickers that clearly there to indicate to Muslims what foods has pig in. Simple as that.

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