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Home » Australian Politics » Coburg West State School and the continuing story of the Halal sausage sizzle

Coburg West State School and the continuing story of the Halal sausage sizzle

Coburg West state school

One of the very nice things about blogging is the way that you get to meet and interact with different people and sometimes the people who you read about in the news stories actually give you feedback on the posts that you have put up on your blog. Back in march I wrote this post about the insistence of the Coburg West state school Parents and Friends association serving Halal sausages at its functions. The controversy has not  gone away  which I learned from Diane Rees when she sent me this email:

Dear Iain,
I read your blog about the school that would only serve halal sausages at sausage sizzles. Well I am the parent who was the topic of conversation and just wanted to update you on the situation. The Parent and Friends Association (PFA) have refused to buy non-halal or even advertise in the school newsletter that they will only serve halal.

I am at a standstill with these ignorant, PC parents who make up the committee and the principal, David Kilmartin, has washed his hands of the whole debacle, saying its up to the PFA.
I wrote a letter to the PFA, outlining my views on the cruelty of halal and the fact that as a secular school, why are we serving halal. Muslims account for 9% of the total population in our area of Moreland, with an estimate of about 2% at our school, Coburg West Primary.

Basically, my kids don’t attend the sausage sizzles and have to miss out on the social aspect of it and I am so angry with the attitudes of some people at the school, I’m treated like a pariah by some parents, in fact one mother has banned her son from playing with my son because of our halal views, its just nuts!

Glad I blew off some steam there.

Regards
Diane

Discussing the issue with Diane it appears that The main problem that this issue can’t be resolved has to do with the president of The PFA one Mr Peter Sharples who seems to have  a very large dose of the Political correctness disease. Diane goes on to explain that she has been savaged because of her campaign against the use of Halal meat  at the school by stealth:

Iain,
thank you for replying and of course you have my permission to quote my email. I have also attached the letter I wrote to one of the PFA parents who has been badgering my friend, Louise, to meet with me over the halal issue. He read the letter and was fuming. He approached my friend after school yesterday and said that no way was he going to advertise in the school news letter that the sausages were halal. We are at a loss to fathom what his agenda is by not informing people that they are halal, its a bizarre situation. I have written a letter to the education department because I will not be held to ransom over a bloody sausage by some politically correct parent who has decided he holds the cards over what kind of sausages the school serves. You can imagine how frustrating it is, its comical really when the solution is quite simple. Another bugbear is that the school has probably 5 muslim kids, out of 500 and its supposed to be secular*. I haven’t had a reply to my letter from Peter Sharples from the PFA and the principal, David kilmartin is a waste of time, he just gives you this poker face and has passed it over to the PFA.

A few parents have commented that I’m being racist but they are ignorant as to what halal is, they assume its the praying and have no idea of the cruelty involved. Aside from the cruelty aspect, I am really annoyed that we are expected to eat Islamic food when they would not eat ours. What is wrong with me wanting to eat a normal sausage, I’m not Muslim, my family are Welsh Methodists, and religion aside why is everyone conforming to the minority in this country? We couldn’t go to Dubai and wander about in a singlet and shorts and eat pork sausages yet these people choose to live in our country and we stupidly pander to them.

A quick phone round of local schools yesterday resulted in every school, including the predominantly muslim school of Coburg North, saying that they served only non-halal and the muslim families brought their own food along, thats interesting!

Keep in touch
thanks for your interest
Diane

I suggest that readers might find the text of Diane ‘s letter quite interesting as it shows just how hard she has been trying to be reasonable and fair to all parties here.But also its clear that for Diane the issue here is a desire to ensure that all animals killed for meat are dispatched in the most humane manner possible, rather than any objection to Islam or its adherents.

24 October 2010

Dear Peter,
I am writing in response to a telephone call from my friend, Louise Davey, who has told me that you are interested in having a chat with me in regard to the halal sausage situation at Coburg West. I am studying a full time post grad, with exams in three weeks and have absolutely no time to spare with my friends, let alone time to discuss the PFA’s refusal to serve non-halal meat so thought I would put my views on paper.
I queued last week for sausages for my two children as Louise had spoken to Mr Kilmartin earlier in the day who assured her that non-halal would be on offer. I asked you if there were non-halal sausages and you said no, followed by a woman serving next to Louise telling me that you would have to have two barbeques to accommodate both.
The meat that my family eats comes from animals that have been stunned before slaughter in a humane and painless way. I find it morally unacceptable for myself and my three children to eat meat that is ritually slaughtered according to Islamic law. There are many studies and authorities that testify that the halal method is cruel. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) in the U.K. advises the British government on how to avoid cruelty to livestock and reports that halal causes severe suffering. With halal meat, Islam dictates that animals are to be killed by a Muslim and allowed to bleed to death. Their jugular vein and carotid arteries are severed whilst the animals are fully conscious and in my opinion this amounts to animal cruelty. Cattle can take between 2-3 minutes to die. There is no religious justification to this method of kill as many Islamic authorities now accept stunning prior to slaughter, so long as the animal is not killed. Nowhere in the Koran does it state that the animal has to be conscious before slaughter so the method in many countries is just cultural practice.
Its funny how we are horrified to hear of acts of animal cruelty such as that puppy last year, Buckley, having his ears cut off, fox hunting in the U.K. or a recent story in the Herald Sun about a horse that was slaughtered in his paddock in Melbourne, yet we tolerate the cruel slaughter of our livestock for food and when people like myself and Louise bring it to other peoples attention, we are seen as causing a fuss, I find it incredible!

I have the utmost respect for other peoples religious beliefs and totally understand their decisions to feed their families halal, or whatever food forms part of their beliefs. However, it is not my belief, both religiously and ethically to feed my family halal and I cannot understand why the school will only provide halal meat. Why am I expected to eat halal? Why can’t Muslims eat my preferred non-halal meat? There would be an uproar if the school advertised they served only non-halal meat, why are we then not outraged that the meat is only halal? The reason is ignorance, people have no idea what halal actually means and if people like me speak out against it, I am labelled as making a fuss and being racist.
I have had to tolerate the ignorant, bigoted parents of this school calling me racist and one Muslim parent actually banning her son from playing with my son because of our halal beliefs when I wrote a letter to the Herald Sun earlier this year highlighting the issue with the sausages. I work with a Muslim lady who finds it outrageous that we are not offered the choice of non-halal for our kids, why does the school not feel the same way?
A solution to this problem is to first of all, find out if parents actually know that the sausages are only halal. When I told some parents a while ago they were totally ignorant to the fact and just assumed the sausages would be regular non-halal. In fact many parents that I have canvassed have asked why is the school buying halal when it is predominantly a non-Muslim school? That’s a question I would like to have answered too. Another point to keep in mind is that most people don’t even know what halal actually means; they think it’s the praying over the meat towards Mecca, they have no idea of the cruelty involved. The survey should state what halal actually means and people should be given the choice. I would be happy for my children to eat “cruelty-free halal” if there is such a thing in Australia, I know it is widely available in the U.K. where 80% of halal is certified “cruelty-free“.
If the school, as I’m led to believe, is secular then why are you serving halal food? I would estimate that Muslims make up about 2% of the school population, yet the PFA insists on buying halal? Who made this decision to only buy halal? The school is multi-cultural and I stress MULTI – cultural and if the school is going to continue to serve halal then all cultures and religious denominations must be catered for otherwise you are discriminating.
I hope that you will take into account my views and hope that there will be non-Halal meat or certified “cruelty-free halal” on offer at Coburg West Primary at future BBQ’s. Unless it is advertised as so in the newsletter I will not waste my time again queuing at the next sausage sizzle.

Sincerely,

Diane Rees

Diane has done her homework and I admire her courage in standing up to the sort of PC nonsense that not even the Muslims in her community support. The most worrying thing of all is that the public are not being informed that all of the sausages being served are Halal. There is a malaise that comes from trying too hard to be accommodating to minority groups within our society it embarrasses the minority and ends up alienating the majority. I suspect that Peter Sharples thinks that most people won’t care and that by insisting on a Halal only sausage menu that he is being “inclusive”. If you read this post Mr Sharples then please illuminate us with your reasoning because it seems to me that you are doing more harm than good  for community relations with this strategy.

To Diane Rees I say keep up the good fight and don’t let this PC nonsense blight the experience of sending your children to what seems to be an otherwise good primary school.

Cheers Comrades

* my bold

 

 

 

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48 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s a petty story about pettiness. It all sounds so, well … petty! Public sausage sizzles have been off my list of things to eat for quite some time (you never know the quality of what you’re consuming or the hygiene of those serving them). My tip is don’t get upset about whether the sausages are halal, non-halal, pork, beef or just plain offal. Avoid them like the plague and only buy the low-fat, sealed ones @ Woolies, store them in the fridge and cook them on the highest possible heat.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greg Naylor, Iain Hall. Iain Hall said: Coburg West State School and the continuing story of the Halal sausage sizzle: http://wp.me/p1ZH5-2kV […]

  3. Iain Hall says:

    Personally I don’t buy Woollies processed sausages , low fat or otherwise Ray I put may faith in my local butcher who makes his own out of only the bets ingredients.
    That said there is a matter of principle involved here that should not be easily dismissed.

  4. gigdiary says:

    Ray, have you heard the term, ‘thin end of the wedge’? I’m sure you have. Surprisingly, I actually prefer your view on these social changes taking place today; that they’re a blimp on the radar, a hiccup, rather than a precursor of society to come. Your laissez-faire attitude to such social changes is, to date, a suitable stance for Australians to take, but will it be in the future?

    The UK and Europe aren’t so sure anymore. What starts as a halal sausage sizzle progresses to other aberrations that the over-pandering Left seem to think the Western world simply cannot live without. http://barenakedislam.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/uk-shopping-center-installs-muslim-squat-toilets/

    Mind you, after a halal sausage you’d probably need one of those.

    The other phrase that comes to mind is ‘enough is enough’. Really, 2% of the pupils are Muslim and they change the menu?

    Perhaps that’s really the petty issue, changing the menu for a minuscule minority who are more than happy to bring their own food to school.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    So the halal sausage is the ‘thin end of the wedge’, GD? I love it! (not the sausage, just the notion that it all starts there). Look, I don’t have a “she’ll be right” attitude to the Islamic ‘problem’, but what I do have is faith in our defemce & intelligence agencies to prevent any real security threats. It’s worked so far. If you’re just talking about cultural issues, well that’s where I think we differ. I really don’t think this matters one iota as far as affecting the so-called Aussie way of life.

  6. Greg says:

    Why would you name the principal?
    25-35 children whom he deals with each day are “at risk” . Children who are abused or neglected. His job his hard enough with out this crap you have poured on him.
    UnAustralian.
    Whinging pom.
    Shameful.

  7. Diane says:

    UnAustralian, Whinging pom, Shameful………..interesting Greg, facts are I’m not Australian so correct there and if being Australian means you have to loose your opinion and become politically correct then thats all right by me. Not a pom, I’m Welsh and Shame on you for not having a conscience about the cruelty involved in producing halal. Name the principal, why not? Where do you get the numbers from that he deals with 25-30 neglected kids a day? Is he dealing with these kids all day long and any other issue is irrelevant? Hard job, 16 weeks holiday a year, do me a favour!!!

    And Ray, what has a halal sausage got to do with a security threat, I think you have totally missed my point, its about cruelty and choice, its really that simple.

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Greg
    No school principal needs nor deserves anonymity they are the public face of the school that they administer and as such they should be held accountable.
    The principal is named because his name is relevant, on the public record and the public have a right to know. Frankly I don’t know how you think this piece puts anyone “at risk”. But if he had done his job properly rather than washing his hands of the whole issue this post would not have been necessary at all.

    Diane
    Welcome to my blog and I hope that this post tells the story in a clear and concise manner.

  9. Ray Dixon says:

    “Ray, what has a halal sausage got to do with a security threat”

    That’s what I was wondering too. As for your “point”, if they’re making you eat halal against your wishes then I agree you’d have one.

  10. Migration and the Changing Face of Education
    Globalisation means that we now all live, work or communicate with people who are different. In this global village, religious faith plays a central role in the way that people understand or from their culture and identity. Human being is a product of his culture, language and faith. There is a positive co-relation between language and culture. Parents have the right to raise their children in faith based schools. Those who object to this right display their contempt for parental rights and sadly intolerance for the religious convictions of others. It is not only Muslims but other communities have been trying to set up their own schools for their children. I set up the first Muslim school in 1981 and now there are 166 Muslim schools and only 11 schools are state funded. There are four Sikh state funded schools. Hindu state funded school was set up in Harrow last year and next year a Hindu state funded school would emerge in Leicester. Even Black community is thinking of setting up its own schools for black children with black teachers.

    A study by Bristol University reveals that a high level of racial segregation in Oldham schools and tension between communities resulted in recent riots in 2001. A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children outnumbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. The native parents do not want their children to be educated along with migrant children. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM. The solution is that those schools where Muslim children are in majority may be opted out as Muslim Academies. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy the social, emotional needs and demands of the bilingual Muslim children. Majority of them leave schools with low grades. They find themselves cut off from their cultural, linguistic and spiritual identities. Muslim children in state schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality.

    Immigration is an unstoppable face of modern society, and immigrants will need help integrating, but the host society needs to show zero tolerance to non-EU and EU citizens who clearly don’t like being here. The second generation of Muslim migrants is facing a huge challenge because they did not think even for a second before that someone would say, ‘You are not welcome. Native Brits feel that their culture and language is superior and every Tom and Harry must learn English and forget their own languages, cultures, literatures and poetry. It is the native Brits who need to learn and respect those who are different. Immigrants are also human beings with social, emotional and spiritual needs and demands. They are not just economics for the economic prosperity.

    British children in Spain come with this mentality, wanting to keep themselves to themselves and feel no obligation to integrate into Spanish way of life. The Brits are the most problematic minority group in Spanish schools. They are worst at learning the host language and integrating into school life than any other nationality in Spain’s state schools. They have negative attitudes towards integration. They carry a strong sense of English linguistic superiority. They were embarrassed to speak Spanish because the other students laughed at them. Brit children had very little or no concept of Spanish culture or social life. They watched UK TVs and English language radios. Their parents do not speak Spanish nor have Spanish friends. In English ghettos, Spaniards fear to tread. They have no interest in being part of Spanish society.
    Iftikhar Ahmad
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

  11. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    As Diane points out in one of the emails that I quote the PFA keep secret the fact that they are serving Halal sausages and they refuse to add any disclaimer to any of their promotional material to the effect that all meat served is halal. Thus it makes all who buy and consume said sausages unknowingly complicit in the cruelty of that method of slaughter.
    Now If Coburg West was a Muslim school or even one where a substantial percentage of the school demographic was Muslim it would be understandable if Halal was to be offered but as Diane also points out the number of Muslim students is less than two percent and they are generally willing to BYO if keeping Halal is very important to them.
    By serving only Halal and trying to do so by stealth (by refusing to advertise that fact) the PFA is forcing parents to eat halal against their wishes.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Which just goes to support my suggestion, Iain, that you put public sausage sizzles off your list of things to eat. Tell me, when you go to your local school fete or community gathering and they’ve got a sausage sizzle on, do you query the origin of the sausage before you buy one? And are they obliged to tell you? You take your risks with those things – buyer beware. Btw, how many friggin’ sausage sizzles does this school hold? Isn’t this just a petty anti-Muslim beat up?

  13. Iain Hall says:

    In answer to your questions yes and yes and yes.

    Sausage sizzles are pretty much standard fare at many school events up here and I see no reason to think that its any different at any other school down your way.

  14. Iain Hall says:

    I received this in my in box a short time ago from Iftikhar Ahmad

    Halal-only Menus

    RESIDENTS across Harrow have vented their anger about proposals to have Halal-only menus in primary schools in the borough. Meat is meat. What does it matter how it’s killed? These stupid parents should find other things to whine about. Halal meat is more hygienically processed anyway.The newspaper revealed exclusively how Harrow Council has employed a catering company to only prepare Halal meat – to serve youngsters in Harrow. This is nothing new to my knowledge, Tower Hamlets council been doing Halal meat in schools for at least 3 years or more.

    The Halal slaughter method (along with Shechita which is the name for pretty much the same method used by Jews) is not cruel at all. When the animal’s throat is slit, it results in a massive drop in blood pressure causing pretty much instantaneous unconsciousness. As long as the cut is performed correctly the animal will feel a mere instant of pain compared to the intense suffering they can go through in abattoir’s with the “normal” slaughter method. The link that has been made between this story and Britain becoming an Islamic State is a bit extreme. The majority of British people are atheist. But it doesn’t mean we can’t try and make life easier and better for people of all faiths and cultures. All children should be offered a choice. That way Muslims can eat what they want and non-Muslims can eat what they want.

    The Muslim community has been passing through a phase of fourth Crusades. The battleground is the field of education, where the young generation will be educated properly with the Holly Quran in one hand and Sciences in other hand to serve humanity. A true Muslim is a citizen of the world, which has become a small global village. We are going to prepare our youth to achieve that objective in the long run. A true Muslim believes in Prophet Moses and the Prophet Jesus and without them one cannot be a Muslim. My suggestion is that in all state, independent and Christian based school special attention should be given to the teaching of Comparative Religion and Islam should be taught by qualified Muslim Teachers to make the children aware the closeness of Islam to Christianity and Judaism which will help them to think about Islam, as “A Pragmatic and Modern Way of Life,” during their life time. Those state schools where Muslim children are in majority may be opted out as Muslim Academies.

    Bilingual Muslim children need to learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. The problem is that they learn English in the streets and in the playgrounds. British schooling does not teach English to migrant children. The teachers let them speak the same accent in the classroom. They have no courage to stop them or correct them. This is one of the main reasons why one third of children have difficulties with reading when they leave primary schools. Majority of such children are bilingual Muslims. They often speak “street” with its own grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. In other European countries and in the sub-continent argot and slang are not allowed into the classrooms. In Britain primary school teachers do not feel that it’s role to interfere with self-expression in any shape or form. They encourage children to read poems and stories written in ethnic dialects.

    There are couples of state schools in Harrow where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies so that non-Muslim children could enjoy their own meals in their own schools.
    Iftikhar Ahmad

  15. Ray Dixon says:

    We’re debating sausage sizzles! Oh well, it beats debating shoe-throwers and second guessing which political party they represent. Yes, they’re plentiful down here too, but my advice remains the same – eat them at your own risk.

    Btw Iain, your third “yes” corresponds to my question “Isn’t this just a petty anti-Muslim beat up?” Thanks for confirming that.

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    That third yes was said in error because I misread your questions
    The corrected answer to your third question (how many friggin’ sausage sizzles does this school hold?)is this:

    I don’t know 😉

  17. Ray Dixon says:

    Well, Iftikhar (from the UK) doesn’t make much sense, but I think what he’s saying is a long stretch from the ‘The Great Aussie Sausage Sizzle Debate’. I hardly think serving halal meat at a friggin’ sausage sizzle (which is an entirely optional culinary pursuit) is the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ in an attempt to convert Oz to a Muslim State.

  18. Iain Hall says:

    I don’t think that me makes much sense either Ray but he did take the trouble to send me that by email and it is a darn sight more relevant than the comment that he actually posted earlier. so I put it into the mix.

    I will say though that the real issue here concerns the efforts of the PFA to insist on serving Halal despite the fact that Muslims are a VERY small percentage of the school population and that the community is being deceived by the PFA refusing to publicly disclose the nature of the Snags on offer.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, my point is that I don’t think this is a big issue because, unless the school is holding more than two or three sausage sizzles a year (and if they are, then why and what for?), it’s hardly worth getting upset about.

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, isn’t it just a question of ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you’? Who (apart from you it seems) goes to a friggin’ sausage sizzle and asks the method used to kill the beast that makes up, oh, I dunno, probably less than 20% of what’s in the damn thing? If you’re really that concerned that you don’t eat halal sausages then don’t buy one. I’d be more concerned if the sausage was pork – which is very fatty and revolting!

  21. Iain Hall says:

    No Ray don’t you have a right to know what you are being offered when you buy food?
    That is why we have food labelling laws, and I don’t share your disdain for pork sausages, mainly because my butcher does a very nice pork snag that has a fairly low fat content and a high proportion of real meat.

  22. SockPuppet says:

    Did someone mention eating pork?

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    Of course you have “a right” to ask (if you must) if the sausages are halal, Iain. However, there are no labelling laws governing the serving of cooked food – that only applies to packaged food – and for all you know you’ve eaten halal before and not been aware of it, nor harmed by it. Btw, there are generally no fridges or handwash basins at school/community sausage sizzles either. I’d be more concerned about that.

  24. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    Of course you have “a right” to ask (if you must) if the sausages are halal, Iain. However, there are no labelling laws governing the serving of cooked food – that only applies to packaged food – and for all you know you’ve eaten halal before and not been aware of it, nor harmed by it.

    what you say may be correct but that does not mean that the intent and purpose of food labelling shouldn’t carriy through to prepared food.
    That said would you still be so sanguine about the public’s “right to know” if they were hiding the fact that the sausages may contain pork? And the complainants were Muslims or Jews?

    Btw, there are generally no fridges or handwash basins at school/community sausage sizzles either. I’d be more concerned about that.

    Having been involved in the food industry I am well aware of the need for good hygiene in the preparation and serving of food, but then so too are the parents of children who volunteer to run such things. When was the last time that you heard of anyone being poisoned by a sausage?

  25. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, my partner and I operated a restaurant here in Bright for 7 years before we went full time into holiday accommodation, so I know a hell of a lot about the food serving laws. There is no health or legal requirement whatsoever to label any cooked meat you serve, nor is there any requirement to disclose whether it’s halal or even its origins. There are only regulations governing food storage & handling. It’s very much ‘buyer beware’.

    And, being well aware of contamination risks, I would NEVER buy meat cooked by a street vendor.

  26. Iain Hall says:

    Would you eat at a friend’s Barbie Ray?

    I am not talking about a “legal” obligation as much as I am talking about a moral obligation to be honest with your customers

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    Well, it’s not the same thing, Iain, because at a friend’s barbie you are a guest and it’d be impolite to point out any unhygienic practices. You just have to cop it. Whereas you have a choice whether or not to buy from a street vendor or at a school sausage sizzle.

    As for being honest with your customers, well, if they’re so friggin’ pedantic as to ask the origin of the sausage then yes I’d tell them. And if they don’t like it then they don’t have to buy it. But there’s no “moral” obligation to tell them if they don’t ask. I mean, if they’re prepared to take the health risk in the first place ….

  28. Ray Dixon says:

    would you still be so sanguine about the public’s “right to know” if they were hiding the fact that the sausages may contain pork? And the complainants were Muslims or Jews?

    Sorry, Iain, I missed this one.

    If you buy a sausage at a sausage sizzle you are buying ‘a pig in a poke’ anyway. Geezus, if people are so worried about this then just don’t buy one.

  29. Iain Hall says:

    Well Ray I would argue that the “health risk” is precisely the same at a sausage sizzle as it is at a friends barbecue probably less in reality because school organisations like the PFA (the P&C up here) are just as aware of the need for good hygiene as any Pro who serves food as a business.

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, it’s not “precisely the same” risk. You see, unless the people selling these sizzled sausages have a fridge and a handwash basin nearby and regularly clean all surfaces and cooking implements (which I doubt), the school sausage sizzle represents a far greater risk of contamination than cooking food at home and/or that prepared in a properly run restaurant.

    We can’t, of course, be sure about all restaurant kitchens either, but at least they have the right facilities and a reputation to protect.

    We’ve got away from the halal issue but my point is that if you are going to eat a sausage cooked by some amateur volunteer in the open air with little or no ability to assure hygiene (and little or no training in that area), then whether or not it’s halal should be the least of your concerns.

  31. Barby Girl says:

    The issue is being lost…… this is about choice. In a non religious school, every one should be able to make a choice about the sausages they eat (Halal or non halal). And to serve halal sausages to the whole school with out actually advertising it to the school community so that it may be appreciated by the people they are being bought for, is well a little silly. No other school (of the 15 or so that phoned up) sells blanket halal sausages at their school! Only 2 even offered a choice, so please tell me why it is so hard for this school to offer a choice, and why is such a fuss being made over this issue?

  32. Diane says:

    Coburg West primary has numerous sausage sizzles each year, school fete, voting day, grade 5/6 sausage sizzle at the end of the year plus other times, enough to warrant my request for non-halal.
    I cooked on 4 sausage sizzles last year before I was aware the sausages were halal as I had no reason to think they would be as the school is secular with a tiny population of Muslims out of 500 kids. The PFA are particular with hygiene, with a few people cooking, different people serving and at no time is there cross contamination. Sausages are kept in the fridge until needed. I’m a microbiologist and no way would I allow my kids to each dodgy food that was not stored and cooked correctly. So the issue of hygiene aside, it all comes back to the sausage being halal only. I think it is fair to serve both, I have no issue with others eating the halal, that’s their choice and my choice is to eat non-halal.
    In response to Iftikhar Ahmed that halal is not cruel and the drop in blood pressure causes the animal to lose consciousness immediately, that’s untrue for cattle. Bovines have an artery posterior to the oesophagous that is not severed when applyng the halal method and therefore these animals are conscious for 2-3 minutes, that causes enormous suffering to the animal.
    The majority of British people are Christian and Catholic, not atheist so stop trying to inflame what is a simple debate on a sausage. Would you, Iftikhar, eat a non-halal sausage?????
    And yes I would not eat Kosher food either, killed the same way as halal.

  33. Iain Hall says:

    Love your new avatar Diane 😉

  34. Diane says:

    Iain,
    no other avatar would suit me ha ha. Just to be clear, its a non-halal sausage avatar ha ha

  35. Iain Hall says:

    well Its cute Diane!

    I wonder If you have heard anything from Peter Sharples?

  36. Diane says:

    nothing, as expected. Funny thing happened to my friend at the school yesterday, she also disagrees with the halal only situation and rung the education department on Friday to complain, anyway, the principal and Peter, being so mature and all, have decided to blank her when they see her, extraordinary behaviour. It’s as if they have taken it personally about the sausage complaint, I can’t believe how ridiculous it has become.

  37. Iain Hall says:

    Do you have an email address for the school/ principal Diane? if you do can you send it to me?

  38. Ray Dixon says:

    “I can’t believe how ridiculous it has become.”

    Neither can I.

  39. gigdiary says:

    Ray, do you ever get upset about anything, other than my supposed racist and fear-mongering comments?

    If a school decided to serve only kosher food I’d be upset, halal similarly. Why? Because the question is why should we pander to minorities in favour of the majority?

    These minorities chose this country, why should we bend over backwards to accomodate them when we have a perfectly workable society, one which they were attracted to in the first place, yet you leftards want to bend and shape it to fit them at the expense of our lifestyle, our right of reply, our right to express an opinion without being termed ‘racist’.

  40. Andy says:

    I cannot believe that in Australia we are having a debate on a secular school serving halal, has the world gone mad? Its not the muslim people who are causing a fuss, its the inane behaviour of the school that for some unknown reason insist on serving halal. If what Diane says is true, that the muslim population is a minority, then why is the PFA buying halal. Stop this ridiculous political correctness, its unnecessary and is not doing the muslim community any favours as the school’s steadfast resolution to serve only halal will inflame the situation. I don’t understand why the school refuses to serve non-halal, what are they trying to prove? Wanting non-halal for her family does NOT make her a racist, it shows she has a caring attitude towards how animals are treated. Some of you should take a leaf out of her book!

  41. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, the school is not “serving up muslim food” per se. It’s just selling halal sausages at the odd sausage sizzle – and I guess if no one buys it they’ll stop selling it. From what I’ve read here though, it’s nothing to get upset about and very few are.

  42. Diane says:

    Ray,
    only a few people know the food is halal as the school will not advertise the fact so they are eating halal in ignorance. Interesting to see how many people at the school would eat the sausages if they knew they were halal. I just want a choice, no big deal, just a choice and as petty as you think it is, the principle is important to me.

  43. Ray Dixon says:

    Don’t get me wrong, Diane, but I find it highly unlikely that only a few people would know about it. Don’t they have the Internet? Just send everyone an email.

  44. Diane says:

    Ray,
    I do not know the email addresses of the parents of 500 kids. Hopefully someone will read Iain’s blog and word will spread, who knows?
    How’s lovely Bright? We holiday at Porepunkah every year, beautiful part of the country, just steer me clear of those dreaded halal snags!

  45. […] am reminded of our debate about Halal sausages when it comes to this next topic because it seems that the execution of  Jeffrey Landrigan has […]

  46. Ray Dixon says:

    There’s a Lions Club sausage sizzle in the main street of Bright EVERY Saturday morning, Diane. I’m pretty sure they don’t serve halal sausages (probably never heard of it!). Good luck.

  47. Ren says:

    Diane, it’s a matter of principle and your’e justified in your concerns for the humane slaughter of the animal! As far as I can see, the topic is NOT about Muslims but rather your right to be able to make an imformed choice regarding what you and your family eat! Why your being condemned by some is hard to fathom????
    Ray! Move to Saudi Arabia – or Iran – visit Mecca! Oh that’s right u can’t legally do that coz ur an infidel!!!! Infact if ur caught there u get 12 months in prison just for stepping foot into Mecca…

  48. Stacey says:

    Keep up the good work Diane. Everyone should have the choice. I attended Coburg West Primary around fifteen years ago and I remember a group parents (primarily of Muslim faith) inforcing a ban on Christmas gifts and celebrations of any kind because it was pushing Christian beliefs on Muslims. Well if religious beliefs are not meant to effect others than why is Halah even being considered? If the new principal wants to be all PC then he better start planning celebrations and accommodations for all faiths throughout the year. I think he is scared of being labelled a racist by the ignorant. I myself am not religious and am in total support of slaughtering an animal in the most cruelty
    free way. I would not eat halal nor would I allow my children to, purely because I believe that if you are going to eat animals then the very least you can do is kill them in the kindest way possible. Thank you Diane for campaigning for choice.

    To Mr Ahmad. Your views are contradictory. It’s all about choice. The choice that you yourself want. ‘Meat is meat. How does is matter how it is killed?’ lol!! Well you obviously do and so do others. I have the same right to choose as you do and I think that animals should be killed responsibly and without suffering. Just the fact that you refer to animals as meat shows your lack of respect for them. They are a living creature just as you are.

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