The last time Scallywag and I took a long-haul flight (Cape Town to London), we ordered Kosher meals. Our reason was not religious–we aren’t Jewish; we just wanted to be fed first, so we could take our Mickey Finns and be asleep by the time the cabin attendants had finished doing their “chicken or beef” routine with everyone else. It worked perfectly. I didn’t consider the fact that, had the plane been hijacked by al-Qaeda, we would have been first against the bulkhead. Perhaps next time I’ll order Halaal instead. The point is that it doesn’t matter a jot what logo or Imam’s or Rabbi’s signature appears on the packaging.
That’s why I was mystified by the brouhaha that broke out at Easter over a Halaal sticker that was affixed to the packaging of hot cross buns by a local retail chain. Some Christians got hot under the collar for some unfathomable reason. Here are some of the things they had to say
I hate woolworths… How can you do that to the Christians, I hope that God will have mercy on you. And dnt be surprised if your shops run bankrupt.. I will pray to my living God and you will see what he is capable of!
Nothing, so far. Either he’s ignoring you or he isn’t capable of much. Or perhaps he doesn’t exist.
When you losse your priniples, and your moral standing, you sell your soul, or become an athiest. Either way it explains the mess the world is in today. Are you aware of the latest muslim teachings in schools across Asia that Christianity is a threat to muslim religion that must be eradicated!!! and it is creeping down through Africa too, until one day it will arrive at your door, and you will wish you had shown a strenth and moral high ground while you still had the chance! Your excessive tolerance will lead to your termination.
Buns are the first wavelet in the coming Islamic flood that will sweep away the Christian religion! Yikes! I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of the comments by hot cross Christians are misspelled, ungrammatical and show no evidence of logical thought whatsoever.
Sanity comes from an unexpected quarter. This is what Father Chris Townsend of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference had to say
We live in a multicultural society and need more understanding and religious tolerance. Hot-cross buns are only a symbol and not a central tenet of Christianity…. Woolworths is not being insensitive to Christians. In fact, they are being sensitive to the food certification requirement to accommodate all communities by including the halaal and kosher marks. Christians don’t have the same food-marking requirements, so I don’t have a problem with the issue. The halaal stamp does not mean the food was prayed for by Muslims, but that it is okay for Muslims to eat.
When next we fly, I hope the Halaal authorities will be tolerant enough to provide bacon butties for breakfast.
Grumpy Old Man by Mark Widdicombe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.