Cape Town has just cemented itself as the Halal Hub of Africa by agreeing to host the 2018 Halal Week from October 15-18th. This event is hosted in collaboration with the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government, and Wesgro, and aims to highlight business opportunities presented by the halal market in the continent, with particular attention on the halal industry in the Western Cape.

Taken from the Cape Halal website, the key events include:

  1. Halal Products and Services Trade Exhibition & Business-2-Business Meetings
  2. Over 100 Western Cape Halal Businesses showcasing their Halal certified products
  3. Investment prospects in South Africa and Africa
  4. Halal Tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape, South Africa and Africa
  5. The Modest Fashion Market in Cape Town and the Western Cape and South Africa
  6. The Western Cape as a Muslim-friendly Film Destination
  7. Discussions and engagements on the tourism, trade and investment opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, and European Halal markets
  8. Investment and the role of Islamic finance in growing the Western Cape Halal industry

As Christians, it is imperative that we are informed with events such as this that are going on in our nation, as well as the repercussions that could ensue. JOY! has previously written an article on Halal food items, what these entail, and why Christians should gather in support to fight unnecessary halal packaging. You can read this article here:

Some key extracts from this article are copied below:

Muslims officially make up only 2.6% 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 2.6% 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 2% to 3% 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 2.6% 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”.

…read the full article here:

Written by: Gillian Fraser
Source: JOY! News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here