Australian Senator Pauline Hanson, who represents the ONE Nation party, has called on citizens to buy chocolate Easter eggs that do not have the Muslim “halal” seal of approval. This has been understood as an effective boycott against the Cadbury brand of chocolate, which is produced by the multinational Mondelez corporation. “Go and buy some non-halal Easter eggs and chocolate,” Senator Hanson said.
 
Hanson issued a video on her Facebook page, in which she criticized Cadbury for offering a halal certification. She explained the merits of Darrell Lea, an Australian manufacturer, and Swiss chocolatier Lindt.“We see these products that are halal certified - Cadbury chocolate for instance, halal certified,” she said. “If you want to get products that’s not halal certified, I would suggest Lindt, that’s not halal certified.
 
In the video, Hanson said that she bought her chocolate eggs at she bought them at Woolworths and that IGA. “Go and buy some non-halal Easter eggs and chocolate,” Senator Hanson said.
 
While Cadbury’s website notes its products have a halal certification, including Easter products, Lindt’s chocolates, which are manufactured in Europe and the US, are neither halal or kosher certified.
 
Halal certification indicates that the food is acceptable to eat under Islamic religious rules.
 
A spokeswoman for Mondelez International said the company is proud of its diversity. “We’re very proud to make chocolate to suit a diverse range of chocolate fans, and halal certification helps us do that,” she said.
 
The issue of halal foods continues to cause waves in Australia even while the government is taking steps to validate the practice. The Australian government, for example, is backing a new Indonesian law that requires that all meat sold to the Muslim country to be slaughtered according to Muslim “halal” requirements. After returning from talks in Jakarta, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo’s office released a statement saying, “Halal product assurance is important to Indonesian consumers.” As of October 2019, all meat sold in Indonesia will have to be halal certified 
 
Australia supplies 80 percent of Indonesia's beef, which is a significant part of the country’s $9 billion beef export industry. Currently, there are halal slaughterhouses that provide halal rituals. In most cases, cattle are stunned before having their throats cuts. Muslim law requires that they died from loss of blood. However, some Muslim slaughterhouses in Australia are exempted from laws requiring that the cattle be stunned before having their throats cut. Live cattle exports to Indonesia were temporarily halted in 2011 when animal rights groups produced videos depicting cruel slaughter methods.
 
According to Taj Hargey, a British Muslim who founded the Muslim Education Center of Oxford, argues that it is wrong for non-Muslim consumers to be sold halal meat unwittingly. "This is covert religious extremism and creeping Islamic fundamentalism making its way into Britain by the back door," he wrote in a column for MailOnline. "It is completely wrong that the food sensitivities of Britain's Muslims -- who amount to just 4.8 percent of the population, should take precedence over the other 95 percent."
 
Kirralie Smith, who has campaigned in the past as a member of the Australian Liberty Alliance, has joined Australian Conservatives Party, and is rumored to have ambitions to run again. In the past, Smith has suggested that halal certification of foods has funded religious and extremist activity. Smith runs the Halal Choices website, which asserts halal-certified foods are not clearly labeled and consumers could be unwittingly supporting Islam.
 
A related organization, Q Society, recently settled a law suit filed by a halal certifier. Court costs are expected to exceed $500,000 for Q Choice's legal defense. Q Society has argued that non-Muslim consumers should not be compelled to purchase halal food unwittingly or pay the extra cost of halal certification.
 
Eggs have long been symbol among Christians of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Eastern Europe, eggs are elaborately decorated with Christian symbols and given as gifts during Eastertide. Both the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are considered abhorrent in Islam.


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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