Covert attacks can simply launch from online platforms. Already, there is at least one Facebook page which, at worst, threatens the fabric of our society. At best, it’s a half-assed troll job.
“Boycott HALAL in Singapore”, which was set up in 2012, has been urging Singaporeans and residents in the country to boycott halal-certified food products and F&B establishments. It claims that the term “halal” is a construct of the Muslim population which “discriminates” against the majority who are non-Muslim.
Furthermore, it raises more than a few red flags by alleging that the fees paid by entities for halal certification are directed towards funding terrorism.
In a reply to a comment that the website was inciting hate, the admin replied: “We are not promoting hate at all. We are saying that we want a reasoned choice of what we buy and eat … In fact many people are following different religions which FORBID the consumption of halal meat and its bi-products which have been dedicated to a foreign idol – Allah. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, Sikhs are forbidden by their religions to eat halal and are extremely offended by the fact that it is being sold to them by trickery, as it is not clearly labelled.
“We are not Followers of Islam, so we do not require halal certification and we certainly do not want to find out that we have been unwittingly paying for it. This is not hatred… in fact I suggest that the imposition of halal by stealth is an act of hatred and utter disrespect towards others that clearly do not require it.”
The website lists “Boycott HALAL” as its official Facebook page, which according to its description is based in the UK, and frequently cross-posts from the boycott pages in Singapore and Australia. It is likely that all three pages are run by the same person, considering the similar style of content and voice in the comments section.
The pages did not respond to our queries.
Comments that disprove or disagree with the website’s content are met with sharp rebukes and further falsehoods.
Worse still, the name of the “Boycott HALAL Singapore” page implies that its Islamophobic views stem from the community here, when in fact it is merely a rebranded offshoot of a foreign-based zealot.
The Singaporean page periodically shares articles on how korban is a form of animal cruelty, as well as announcements of new F&B outlets in Singapore who have recently been halal-certified and thus should be boycotted.
Although the frequency of its posts has died down over the years, it recently rose to prominence again after it attacked Subway Singapore for applying for halal certification for all of its stores here.
While the posts on the UK and Australian pages have garnered significant support from readers there, fortunately the Singaporean page has gotten little traction. It has only around 1,300 likes, and most of the users who approve of the page’s content are Caucasians who may not even live here.
In fact, much of the attention that “Boycott HALAL Singapore” receives is ironic. Posts condemning F&B establishments which have received halal certification are received with sarcastic thanks from the community for yet another halal eatery recommendation.
Have you come across other websites and Facebook pages that threaten the fabric of Singapore’s society? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.