You are reading

Facebook Page Calls for Boycott of Halal Food in Singapore

Facebook Page Calls for Boycott of Halal Food in Singapore

  • Current Affairs
  • Features
Foreign interference in Singapores state of affairs isnt necessarily limited to subversive activities like funding political groups here, spreading influence through think tanks, or inciting hate at mass speaking events.

Covert attacks can simply launch from online platforms. Already, there is at least one Facebook page which, at worst, threatens the fabric of our society. At best, it’s a half-assed troll job.

Boycott HALAL in Singapore, which was set up in 2012, has been urging Singaporeans and residents in the country to boycott halal-certified food products and F&B establishments. It claims that the term halal is a construct of the Muslim population which discriminates against the majority who are non-Muslim.

Furthermore, it raises more than a few red flags by alleging that the fees paid by entities for halal certification are directed towards funding terrorism.

The Facebook pages description lists a website which has shared extensively misleading and grossly inaccurate articles about halal certification that border on Islamophobia. Like on the Facebook page, comments that disprove or disagree with the websites content are met with sharp rebukes and further falsehoods.

In a reply to a comment that the website was inciting hate, the admin replied: We are not promoting hate at all. We are saying that we want a reasoned choice of what we buy and eat In fact many people are following different religions which FORBID the consumption of halal meat and its bi-products which have been dedicated to a foreign idol Allah. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, Sikhs are forbidden by their religions to eat halal and are extremely offended by the fact that it is being sold to them by trickery, as it is not clearly labelled.

We are not Followers of Islam, so we do not require halal certification and we certainly do not want to find out that we have been unwittingly paying for it. This is not hatred in fact I suggest that the imposition of halal by stealth is an act of hatred and utter disrespect towards others that clearly do not require it.

The website lists Boycott HALAL as its official Facebook page, which according to its description is based in the UK, and frequently cross-posts from the boycott pages in Singapore and Australia. It is likely that all three pages are run by the same person, considering the similar style of content and voice in the comments section.

The pages did not respond to our queries.

Comments that disprove or disagree with the website’s content are met with sharp rebukes and further falsehoods.

Boycott HALAL demonstrates how easy and dangerous it is for a foreigner to spread radical influence online without even having to step foot on our soil, and by hiding behind a veil of anonymity. This is why the Singaporean government has been so uncompromising in its take on Facebook and deliberate online falsehoods.

Worse still, the name of the Boycott HALAL Singapore page implies that its Islamophobic views stem from the community here, when in fact it is merely a rebranded offshoot of a foreign-based zealot.

The Singaporean page periodically shares articles on how korban is a form of animal cruelty, as well as announcements of new F&B outlets in Singapore who have recently been halal-certified and thus should be boycotted.

Although the frequency of its posts has died down over the years, it recently rose to prominence again after it attacked Subway Singapore for applying for halal certification for all of its stores here.

These posts seek to capitalise on a slightly controversial business decision to instigate religious tensions here. But, much to the admin’s disappointment perhaps, Singaporeans’ love for bacon and salami does not overshadow their patriotism and respect for religious harmony.

While the posts on the UK and Australian pages have garnered significant support from readers there, fortunately the Singaporean page has gotten little traction. It has only around 1,300 likes, and most of the users who approve of the pages content are Caucasians who may not even live here.

In fact, much of the attention that Boycott HALAL Singapore receives is ironic. Posts condemning F&B establishments which have received halal certification are received with sarcastic thanks from the community for yet another halal eatery recommendation.

In a statement emailed to Rice, a spokesman for the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) says, Muis is aware of this page. Despite its low traction, Muis is monitoring the page because its postings appear designed to fuel anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia. Should such postings persist, Muis will report the matter to the authorities.

Have you come across other websites and Facebook pages that threaten the fabric of Singapore’s society? Email us at community@ricemedia.co.

Author

Benjamin Lim Contributing editor