An Adelaide butcher has been pressured to take down a sign after it was found to be “offensive and demeaning” to muslims.
The Advertising Standards Board heard a complaint against Valley Butchers in August over a sign at the store.
The sign read, “non halal certified” and features a picture of a kangaroo and an emu.
Foods which are halal are prepared in a way which adheres to Islamic law.
The board heard the sign “pokes fun of a specific group of people based on religious belief”.
“It is very intentional and obvious,” the complainant said.
“‘Jokes’ like this on a public shopfront perpetuate a culture of vilification towards religious minorities, that results in harm towards them.”
Valley Butchers said in its response the sign was only put up to save staff from telling customers products are not halal approved.
“In no way is it meant in a malicious way,” the butcher said.
“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.”
However, the panel found the sign breached the AANA Code of Ethics and that there is “no such thing as a certification that a food is ‘non halal’.”
“The phrase used on the window amounted to a statement that was ridiculing of halal certification and that this was offensive and demeaning to people who are of that faith or are of Muslim ethnicity,” the panel wrote in its findings.
The panel added the sign “would give a strong impression that people of a certain religion or ethnicity might not be welcome in the store”.
“The panel noted that had the sign stated ‘Not Halal approved’ or ‘Unfortunately, non Halal’ this would be less likely to have been considered discriminatory or vilifying signage,” it wrote.
The butcher is yet to respond to the panel’s findings. The sign was changed to “not halal certified”.
On its Facebook page on Sunday Valley Butchers wrote it won’t be removing the signage.
“It’s wonderful how loud as Australians wherever we are around the world our voices can be heard, as long as we speak as one,” it wrote.
“Secondly as long as we own the shop the sign won’t ever come down.”
An Ad Standards spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the penalty for a breach of the code is that the advertisement “must be removed and cannot be used again”.
The spokesperson added it can also be modified though “to change/replace the content that was found to breach the code”.
“It would appear from media reports that the advertiser has modified the advertisement in line with the determination of the community panel,” the spokesperson said.
“If we receive complaints about the modified content of this advertisement we would create a new case to be assessed by the community panel.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.