Adelaide butcher refuses to remove 'non halal' sign after it was found to be offensive

An advertising regulation body found that the sign implied Islamic dietary practices were "not Australian".

The sign in question.

The sign in question. Source: Supplied

A South Australian butchery has refused to take down a controversial window sticker which read "non halal certified" after the advertising regulatory body found it to be offensive and said it "incited hatred" towards Muslims last month.

Valley Butchers, in Adelaide, became the subject of a complaint to Ad Standards after adding the phrase to their store window, surrounded by images of kangaroos and emus.

In one complaint, quoted in the Ad Standards finding, the author said the signage "perpetuate[s] a culture of vilification towards religious minorities, that results in harm towards them."

"It pokes fun of a specific group of people based on religious belief."

In response, the butchers said the sign was not intended to cause malice and was simply stating a fact.

"We were getting asked quite frequently whether we are halal approved so I am just stating that we are not and that saves a lot of wasted time," they said.

The majority of the Ad Standards Community Panel agreed that the sign made fun of halal certification and was offensive and "demeaning to people who are of that faith and Muslim ethnicity", adding that there was no such thing as "non halal" certification.

They also found that the sign, coupled with the images of iconic Australian animals, gives the strong impression that people of a certain ethnicity or religion would not be welcome in the store. 

"Using the phrase ‘non Halal certified’ in conjunction with imagery of Australian animals was a suggestion that Islamic dietary practices are not Australian," the finding, released on 7 August, read. 

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Valley Butchers thanked people for their "support and encouragement" and committed to keeping the sign - which they later changed to "not halal certified" - on display.

"As long as we own the shop the sign won’t ever come down," they said, with hundreds of people commenting in support.

Valley Butchers have been contacted for comment. 

Published 17 September 2019 at 7:05am, updated 17 September 2019 at 7:23am
By Maani Truu