An Islamic sheikh, who was sent into hiding over his support for an anti-Islam campaigner, has said halal-certification is threatening the Australian way of life.
Hiding out in Adelaide under police instruction, Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi has said halal certification on chocolate Easter eggs is not necessary.
Imam Tawhidi said in a Facebook post: “Muslims would never eat products with Jewish terminologies or Christian cross”.
“Stamping Australian products with Islamic terminologies is an insult to 98 per cent of Australians, and is a threat to their way of life,” he wrote in the long social media post.
“I, as an Australian Muslim, feel very insulted when the culture I have adapted to for decades is now being changed.”
Earlier this month, Imam Tawhidi said that Islamic schools in Australia "are a problem and they need to be either shut down or changed completely".
Fearing reprisals, the Adelaide-based Imam said he was escorted into hiding by police.
Already facing considerable backlash, the controversial sheikh said that Muslims could easily find out if a product is Halal by checking the ingredients.
Halal certification is designed to ensure products are permissible in Islam, making it easier for manufacturers to export food to Indonesia, however the Adelaide based Sheikh thinks it is an unnecessary practice.
“Why are these chocolate bars involved in religious interests or profit for Islamic businesses?” he added.
“Why do Muslims walk into Woolworths and Coles (public Australian businesses) and expect Halal certified products?
“If you want Halal certified products then you must open a private Muslim market.”
The post comes just days after One National leader Pauline Hanson publicly encouraged Australians to turn their back on the halal-approved Cadbury chocolates this Easter, telling them to instead buy Lindt.
Meanwhile, a union official has condemned Ms Hanson's call for people to only buy non-halal Easter eggs, saying it could threaten jobs at Cadbury.
"Any reduction in chocolate sales this Easter because of Senator's Hanson's irresponsible comments directly threatens the jobs of our members and we call on the public to ignore her," Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union secretary John Short said, adding that factories in Victoria and Tasmania employ 1,100 staff.
Newsbreak – April 16