Cadbury's Chocolate: "Food Offered to Idols"?

Ignorance may be bliss, but it can also be pretty stupid at times. I had a phone call a couple of week’s back from a woman who was concerned about letting her children eat Cadbury’s chocolate. Why? Because it was certified “halal”. Someone had told her that Christians should not eat anything that is “halal” because it has been “prayed over to idols”.

Then today I received an email from a friend who wrote:

A Catholic women told me that one of the Pentecostals told her that Cadbury’s chocolate was Hallal- therefore it should be boycotted by Christians because it was “offered to idols”. I told this good woman to rewind and have a think… one this Moslems DO NOT do is worshop idols (for goodness sakes!!). I am frankly very pleased to hear that my chocolate had been prayed for… I don’t know about you.

So this was obviously more than just one person’s concern. So I googled “cadbury chocolate halal idols” and Google came up with 3,170 results. To call it an “urban myth” hardly does it justice. It is more like one of Dawkins’ “memes”, which are supposed to be responsible for religious ignorance.

Here is a full entry on WikiAnswers:

Why is there a halal symbol on cadbury chocolate?

I checked out Cadbury today at Woolworths!!! No more Cadbury’s for me!!! I will check everything from now on… It is also on my Bega Cheese. The symbol is so small you can hardly ready what it says.

This is absolute fact. Before Lorraine went shopping Monday I showed her this email. She looked at the products in the shop mentioned and they had the symbol hidden on the back of the packaging and in a very weak colour that was hard to see. Leggo’s Pasta Sauce has the logo on their bottles. ..


This is a Muslim Association that collects money from the Australian Food Industry for this symbol so that Muslims will purchase the product. Yet we are told the Muslim population are only one and a half percent of Australia’s total! On a recent radio talk-back show a well known host was alerted to this practice.

He hit a stone wall when trying to find out HOW MUCH money was paid to this organization and WHERE the money went.

It was explained that by buying those marked products at least you are supporting a religion that is actively trying to destroy the Australian way of life or at the other extreme the money MAY be supporting terrorism. Many Australian Companies are paying this money including BEGA, CADBURY and many other well known companies. Check before you buy. DO YOU KNOW WHERE THAT MONEY IS GOING?

Until you know, support those companies that support the Australian way of life.

This is so wrong on so many different levels. As I wrote back to my friend, Cadbury’s chocolate is “halal” in exactly the same way that your roast pork is NOT “kosher”. No prayers have been said over the chocolate; the certification simply means that no pig products were used in manufacturing the chocolate. The need to state this isn’t as odd as it sounds, some thickeners – in cream, for instance – are made from pigs trotters, which makes those products inedible for Jews as well as Muslims. The only time prayers can make a difference to whether food is halal or not is in relation to meat, which requires the saying of the formula ““Bismillah, Allahu Akbar” – or at least “Allah” – meaning “God is
great” in Aramaic.

What’s the problem with that? Nothing, unless you happen to think that the God who the Muslims pray to (the God of Abraham, the God of the Jews, and hence, incidentally, the God of the Christians) is “an idol”. It might help to point out that Arabic Christians use “Allah” for the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ too, but I suspect not. A little bit of knowledge about the rise of Islam and the specific identity of Islam as a religion that has been “anti-idolatry” since its inception might help, but again I suspect not. There are many Christians who wish to say that the God Muslims seek and intend to worship is “not the same” as our God. It is true that some of attributes Muslim’s ascribe to the Deity are different from the attributes we ascribe to Him, but then, the attributes of God in Jewish theology is different from the attributes of God in Christian theology too, and no-one is suggesting that they worship “an idol”.

For a complete statement of the case against eating Cadbury’s chocolate because it is “food offered to idols” (cf. 1 Cor 8 and 10), see here on The Salt Shakers website. If you decide not to eat chocolate that has been certified “halal”, I won’t be offended. As St Paul wrote: “We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.” Or as I say, all the more chocolate for me!

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16 Responses to Cadbury's Chocolate: "Food Offered to Idols"?

  1. Peregrinus says:

    There is a substantial overlap between kosher and halal food requirements, although they are not identical (or entirely consistent). But they are sufficiently similar that some Jews, if they cannot get kosher products, will in relation to at least some foods prefer halal products to uncertified products, and vice versa for some Muslims.

    And in each case the system of certification is similar; the food has to be prepared under the supervision of a competent religious authority, which then certifies it as halal or kosher, as the case may be. Fees are paid to the authority to cover the costs of supervision and certification, but they are comparatively modest. If the cost was material, food companies would hardly pay to certify food produced for the Australian market as either halal or kosher. The notion that religious certification is a mechanism for funding Islamist terrorism (or Zionist oppression, or whatever your poison may be) is bigoted conspiracy theory paranoia of the highest order.

    The notion that it’s OK for people to boycott halal products if they want to makes me uneasy for two reasons.

    First, the argument for doing so, at least as set out in the WikiAnswers piece, is naked religious bigotry. Assent to religious bigotry may be something we tolerate to some extent, but it is never simply OK. In this instance, it is also tacit assent to beliefs and attitudes which contribute to real oppression of Muslims.

    Secondly, the “praying to idols” argument set out in the Salt Shakers piece (which is relevant only to halal meat) seems to me blasphemous. Muslim prayers are offered to God, and to deny that God is God and to describe Him as an idol is blasphemy. This may be blasphemy arising out of ignorance, and we must concede that it is at least possible that in some instances this ignorance is not culpable. Still, ignorance about God is never something that is OK for anyone who takes the Great Commission seriously. At the very least, I think we have to say that the belief that God is an idol is an objectively wrong belief about a very important truth.

  2. Joshua says:


    As I discussed with you earlier, this ludicrous misinterpretation reminds me of something related by Sir Edmund Gosse (1849-1928) in his memoir Father and Son (1907) about his extremely religious upbringing in a Plymouth Brethren family (; it partially inspired the 1988 novel Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, where the incident recurs. Here are the two pertinent passages from Gosse:

    “All these matters drew my thoughts to the subject of idolatry, which was severely censured at the missionary meeting. I cross-examined my Father very closely as to the nature of this sin, and pinned him down to the categorical statement that idolatry consisted in praying to anyone or anything but God himself. Wood and stone, in the words of the hymn, were peculiarly liable to be bowed down to by the heathen in their blindness. I pressed my Father further on this subject, and he assured me that God would be very angry, and would signify His anger, if anyone, in a Christian country, bowed down to wood and stone. I cannot recall why I was so pertinacious on this subject, but I remember that my Father became a little restive under my cross-examination. I determined, however, to test the matter for myself, and one morning, when both my parents were safely out of the house, I prepared for the great act of heresy. I was in the morning-room on the ground-floor, where, with much labour, I hoisted a small chair on to the table close to the window. My heart was now beating as if it would leap out of my side, but I pursued my experiment. I knelt down on the carpet in front of the table and looking up I said my daily prayer in a loud voice, only substituting the address ‘Oh Chair!’ for the habitual one.

    Having carried this act of idolatry safely through, I waited to see what would happen. It was a fine day, and I gazed up at the slip of white sky above the houses opposite, and expected something to appear in it. God would certainly exhibit his anger in some terrible form, and would chastise my impious and willful action. I was very much alarmed, but still more excited; I breathed the high, sharp air of defiance. But nothing happened; there was not a cloud in the sky, not an unusual sound in the street. Presently, I was quite sure that nothing would happen. I had committed idolatry, flagrantly and deliberately, and God did not care.

    The result of this ridiculous act was not to make me question the existence and power of God; those were forces which I did not dream of ignoring. But what it did was to lessen still further my confidence in my Father’s knowledge of the Divine mind. My Father had said, positively, that if I worshipped a thing made of wood, God would manifest his anger. I had then worshipped a chair, made (or partly made) of wood, and God had made no sign whatever. My Father, therefore, was not really acquainted with the Divine practice in cases of idolatry. And with that, dismissing the subject, I dived again into the unplumbed depths of the Penny Cyclopaedia.” (Chapter II)

    “Of our dealings with the ‘Saints’, a fresh assortment of whom met us on our arrival in Devonshire, I shall speak presently. My Father’s austerity of behaviour was, I think, perpetually accentuated by his fear of doing anything to offend the consciences of these persons, whom he supposed, no doubt, to be more sensitive than they really were. He was fond of saying that ‘a very little stain upon the conscience makes a wide breach in our communion with God’, and he counted possible errors of conduct by hundreds and by thousands. It was in this winter that his attention was particularly drawn to the festival of Christmas, which, apparently, he had scarcely noticed in London.

    “On the subject of all feasts of the Church he held views of an almost grotesque peculiarity. He looked upon each of them as nugatory and worthless, but the keeping of Christmas appeared to him by far the most hateful, and nothing less than an act of
    idolatry. ‘The very word is Popish’, he used to exclaim, ‘Christ’s Mass!’ pursing up his lips with the gesture of one who tastes assafoetida by accident. Then he would adduce the antiquity of the so-called feast, adapted from horrible heathen rites, and itself a soiled relic of the abominable Yule-Tide. He would denounce the horrors of Christmas until it almost made me blush to look at a holly-berry.

    On Christmas Day of this year 1857 our villa saw a very unusual sight. My Father had given strictest charge that no difference whatever was to be made in our meals on that day; the dinner was to be neither more copious than usual nor less so. He was obeyed, but the servants, secretly rebellious, made a small plum-pudding for themselves. (I discovered afterwards, with pain, that Miss Marks received a slice of it in her boudoir.) Early in the afternoon, the maids,—of whom we were now advanced to keeping two,—kindly remarked that ‘the poor dear child ought to have a bit, anyhow’, and wheedled me into the kitchen, where I ate a slice of plum-pudding. Shortly I began to feel that pain inside which in my frail state was inevitable, and my conscience smote me violently. At length I could bear my spiritual anguish no longer, and bursting into the study I called out: ‘Oh! Papa, Papa, I have eaten of flesh offered to idols!’ It took some time, between my sobs, to explain what had happened. Then my Father sternly said: ‘ Where is the accursed thing?’ I explained that as much as was left of it was still on the kitchen table. He took me by the hand, and ran with me into the midst of the startled servants, seized what remained of the pudding, and with the plate in one hand and me still tight in the other, ran until we reached the dust-heap, when he flung the idolatrous confectionery on to the middle of the ashes, and then raked it deep down into the mass. The suddenness, the violence, the velocity of this extraordinary act made an impression on my memory which nothing will ever efface.” (Chapter V)

  3. Matthias says:

    I always thought that ‘halal ‘ and kosher had almost the same requirements .
    As Joshua and Peregrinus have pointed out this article is wrong. I can see where SALT SHAKERS is coming from ,for there is a school of thought in Fundamentalist protestantism that believes that Allah is a Arabic tribal god and not the God Who we worship. If anyone reads some of the sayings and prayers of the Sufi’s such as Ibn Arabi, Al Hillaj and Rumi,you can see that they are addressing the same God as Jews and Christians,a point the late Sayid idries Shah-a descendant of Mohammed,and a leading expert on Sufism makes plain.Shah believed that Sufism was the bridge between islam and Christianity and cited Sufi saints who had Christian followers and who insisted that they stay Christians
    I also believe that this is in the same vein as what i saw as a young man, when many in the Proddy dispeensationalism camp- one that i knew and saw at close quarters- talked about the alignment of planets in 1980 or 1982 and the Return of Christ.
    The article by Edmund Gosse , only reinforces my distaste for the Plymouth Brethren-Open or Exclusive varieties .I have also had experience of this group and attended one chapel where it was almost exclusive-cold shoulder of fellowship, and a pained expression on their faces when my mate and I introduced ourselves,and even more painful when we said we were Church of Christ.
    Let’s also remember that it is this group which produced John Nelson darby-the father of dispensationalism and the anytime rapture .

  4. Son of Trypho says:

    The kosher and halal conditions are quite different – kosher requirements are theoretically stricter, so much so, that most observant Muslims will eat kosher but no observant Jews will eat halal.

    As to boycotts – the CCC 840’s talks about Islam generally. My reading of these would be that a Christian should not support Islamic works (because their faith, though in the same God, is imperfect and probably caused by Satan cf. CCC843-844) and in this case a boycott would not apply unless Cadbury was a specifically Islamic company.

    The idol thing is just another Protestant error. Rebuke them, then move on and pray for them. After all, most of them aren’t going to reason things out – if they would/could, they wouldn’t have been wilful heretics for the last 500 odd years.

    • Peregrinus says:

      Hi Son of Trypho

      I don’t think the Catechism bears out the view that the faith of Muslims “though in the same God, is . . . probably caused by Satan”. The Catechism in fact affirms that Muslims are included in the plan of salvation, and speaks in entirely positive terms about their faith. It says nothing about attributing their faith to Satan.

      The only reference to Satan comes not to faith but to religious behaviour, in which “men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them”. And this point is made with no reference to Muslims, nor in the section which discusses Islam, but in subsequent section which discusses non-Christian religions in general. It’s in support of this point that the Catechism quotes Lumen Gentium:

      ” Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator.”

      This is a comment about reason, not about faith. And, in LG as in the Catechism, it is not made with reference to Muslims. Indeed, if we are honest with ourselves, it could be made with reference to many Christians and Catholics who, while professing faith in God, too often serve Mammon.

      I don’t think there’s anything in the Catechism about not supporting “Islamic works”, and I think we’d need to think carefully about what that phrase means before we’d agree. There’s no reason, for instance, why a Christian cannot support an Islamic charitable endeavour. There would be a problem, no doubt, with supporting “Islamic evangelism”. (Obviously it wouldn’t, strictly speaking, be evangelism, but you know what I mean.) However, since Islam is not an evangelising or proselytising religion, this isn’t something that would come up very often.

      And I’m not sure what you mean by a “specifically Islamic company”. One owned by Muslims? One whose enterprise is motivated by Islamic beliefs, or meets a market created by Islamic beliefs?

      If a Christian meat packers secures (and pays for) the services of an agency which certifies halal meat so that he can sell his meat into markets which demand halal-certified meat, he is fairly obviously supporting an “Islamic company” – namely, the certification agency. But I don’t see any objection to this.

      • Son of Trypho says:


        Thank you for your reply.
        The area that I referenced in the CCC is subtitled under “The Church and non-Christians” (839-845) – hence I believe that 843 and 844 refer to Muslims as well as any other non-Christians. Please correct me if I am wrong. It does not specifically address Muslims like 841, but they do make up, generally, the category of non-Christians.

        The bit about Satan is my own deduction – how else do we explain an angelic visitation to Mohammed which teaches him things which are directly contrary to the beliefs of the Fathers?

        I perceive two options – one is diabolical inspiration which corrupted true beliefs and spawned a type of heresy (which could explain the belief in the virgin birth, the docetic understanding of the crucifixion, the pseudo-Ebionite conception of Jesus as a prophet etc while maintaining an Abrahamic God and elements of the Truth). Does not the Scriptures themselves suggest that Satan could quote Scripture to further his ends?

        The other option is that Mohammed was a knowing fraud who made up his message from a hodge-podge of religious things that he had learnt in his travels and utilised this to mobilise a militaristic movement.

        I’m inclined to the former because I believe in Satan.

        As to supporting Islamic charities – I am strictly against this because one would be assisting an imperfect belief system which potentially could take others from the true faith. There are plenty of Catholic charities to choose from, and besides one should start at home first anyways when it comes to charity.

        I do appreciate your views though, I hear that Cardinal Kasper’s job is going soon, perhaps you might want to put in an application?

        • Peregrinus says:


          The area that I referenced in the CCC is subtitled under “The Church and non-Christians” (839-845) – hence I believe that 843 and 844 refer to Muslims as well as any other non-Christians. Please correct me if I am wrong. It does not specifically address Muslims like 841, but they do make up, generally, the category of non-Christians.

          It refers to all non-Christians, including e.g. Jews. Which I think should lead us to a degree of caution; it doesn’t provide a greater warrant for thinking the faith of a Muslim to be satanically inspired than it does for thinking the faith of a Jew to be satanically inspired. And, as I pointed out, while the comment occurs in a discussion of non-Christian believers, exactly the same comment could often be made about Christian believers. I think you are making a big – and unjustified – leap from “men may be deceived by the Evil One” to “Islam (or any other faith) is probably caused by Satan”.

          The bit about Satan is my own deduction – how else do we explain an angelic visitation to Mohammed which teaches him things which are directly contrary to the beliefs of the Fathers?

          I perceive two options – one is diabolical inspiration which corrupted true beliefs and spawned a type of heresy (which could explain the belief in the virgin birth, the docetic understanding of the crucifixion, the pseudo-Ebionite conception of Jesus as a prophet etc while maintaining an Abrahamic God and elements of the Truth). Does not the Scriptures themselves suggest that Satan could quote Scripture to further his ends?

          The other option is that Mohammed was a knowing fraud who made up his message from a hodge-podge of religious things that he had learnt in his travels and utilised this to mobilise a militaristic movement.

          I’m inclined to the former because I believe in Satan.

          I think you’re oversimplifying this. There are not only two options. The Qu’ran is an account of what Mohammed understood God to have revealed to him. In so far as it records things about God which are true (e.g. that God is all-loving, that God is the creator of all there is) there is no need to assume that this is a diabolical revelation which just happens to be true. In so far as it records things which are false, there are other explanations than “diablolical revelation” or “outright fiction”; human weakness is such that we do not always correctly discern or understand what is revealed and – except in so far as our fallen nature is ascribed to the intervention of Satan – the immediate intervention of Satan is not necessary to explain this.

          I do appreciate your views though, I hear that Cardinal Kasper’s job is going soon, perhaps you might want to put in an application?

          Certainly not. I’ve got twenty-five euro riding on Kurt Koch in that particular race!

          • Son of Trypho says:

            The faith of the Jews is a separate issue, as an erudite scholar like yourself would be well aware of. They are not classed with the other non-Christian religions eg. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism because of their ties to Christianity which are unlike any of the other non-Christian religions. Unless you are suggesting that Islam and Judaism have similar ties and/or relationships to Christianity?

            Insofar as diabolical inspiration – I would suggest that yes, there are plenty of examples within Judaism which could arguably be inspired by Satan eg. the Reform movement, eg. gemetria and kabbalah mysticism, kapporot rituals all come to mind immediately. (And I write from a former Jewish perspective)

            I don’t think I have oversimplified the issue about Mohammed’s revelation at all. Muslims believe that Mohammed was visited by an angel which taught him their faith. Later, Mohammed had messages provided to him by God directly.

            Do you believe that this is true? This is the only way that you could argue that he misunderstood issues – if it had some validity in the first instance eg. it came from God eg. it was revealed to him from God as you imply.

            I reject the claim that this faith came from God as Christians know Him – precisely because it teaches us things that are different from what the Fathers taught – a different Gospel if you prefer. It deliberately denies the divinity of Christ and puts forward a false prophet as a figure of emulation (a type of anti-Christ if you like).

            Similarly, unless one is to reject the influence of the divine in this world (in both holy and unholy senses) one is hard put to explain the success of a religion which has grown to numbers greater than Catholicism in the world today without diabolical assistance.

  5. Joshua says:


    Um, “Islam is not an evangelizing nor proselytizing religion”? Were you being facetious?

    I think history would tell us differently! Certainly Islam is just as proselytizing as Christianity, if not more so: we Christians reject past examples of forcible conversions, and some of us have qualms even about converting non-Christians, whereas Muslims, in all fairness, don’t worry quite so much on account of either concern.

    I know for a fact through a friend of mine in the Sydney/Wollongong area that the Muslim student organizations at university are sedulous in promoting Islam as the religion to join, and take especial delight in pointing what they see as the incoherence of the Christian belief in the Trinity, as also in pointing to modern biblical scholarship as vitiating the more naively accepted view of the Bible as inerrant, etc. (remember, this in the context of Sydney Anglicanism and related Protestant milieux), whereas they trumpet the complete verbal fixity, etc. of the Koran as making it much the superior – “You want sola scriptura? well, our book is much better than yours!”

    • Peregrinus says:

      Hi Joshua

      Evangelism is a core doctrine and practice of Christianity, in a way that it certainly is not of Islam. Muslims have no mandate to “go and teach all nations”, and there is no suggestion in the Qu’ran that Islam, or participation in Islam, is necessary for salvation. In this very important sense, Christianity is evangelical in a way that Islam is not.

      And I think this shows, if we look at history. Until comparatively recently, where Christian states absorbed Muslim populations, within a relatively short time the Muslim population had disappeared – converted, or exiled. We can see this in the Crusader states, in Spain, and later on in the progressive acquisition of Ottoman territory by the Hapsburgs. In relatively modern times, this stops, and we have European states colonising, e.g., North Africa without making any attempt at conversion. But I suggest this is due not so much to Christianity as to the influence of modernism, and enlightenment ideas.

      Contrast the experience of the Islamic world. In the early to mid-twentieth century, Baghdad (to take just one example) had about 20% Jews, 20% Christians, a few Mandeans, etc and the rest Muslims. Which is to say that, after considerably more than a thousand years of Islamic political rule and cultural and social domination, just over half the population were Muslims. And Baghdad is not unusual. Consider the survival of indigenous Jewish and Orthodox communities in Palestine, Orthodox and Maronite communities in the Lebanon and Syria, Copts in Egypt, Zoroastrians in Persia/Iran, Hindus and Buddhists under the Mughal rulers of India, Orthodox Christians in Greece and the Balkans, Catholics in Hungary . . .

      Yes, these minority communities were separated out and discriminated against, most notably by being barred from engaging in anything that smacked of evangelism. But there was no suggestion that they were under any moral obligation to convert, or that the Muslim rulers should encourage or require their conversion. There were, of course, many conversions; this may have been out of conviction, or out of a desire for the advantages of belonging to the favoured, mainstream and established religion, or some combination of the two. On occasion there could have been conversions forced for political reasons. But the fact remains that substantial minority communities survived throughout the Muslim world for centuries, even for millennia. Their buildings survived; their community institutions survived; their cultures and in some instances even their languages survived. The contrast with the fate of Muslim communities under Christian rule for most of this period is striking. If Muslim rulers really did consider it to be their duty to proselytise their non-Christian subjects, we have to conclude that they were extraordinarily inefficient at it.

      As for Muslim student organisations in the Sydney/Wollongong area, I think we have to allow for the zeal of the adolescent, and the defensiveness of the ethnic and cultural minority. But even allowing for that, most of what you describe points to these guys asserting the superiority of their religious beliefs over others. Most people believe that the religious beliefs they hold are better than the ones they don’t hold; that’s why they hold them. But that’s not the same thing as proselytism, encouraging (as opposed to simply welcoming) conversion, or teaching or believing that either missionary activity or conversion are necessary. Islam simply does not have the core focus on evangelism that Christianity has; nor is evangelism at the centre of Muslim practice.

  6. Louise says:

    I think I’m even more tired of Muslims than I am of Gays. Which is saying something.

    However, the whole “food offered to idols” seems pretty ridiculous.

  7. PM says:

    Matthias reminds us that ‘a school of thought in Fundamentalist protestantism that believes that Allah is a Arabic tribal god and not the God Who we worship’. Ironically, that brand of ‘Christianity’ often seems to be trying to reduce the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ to a nasty and vindictive ancient near eastern tribal god.

    The same tendency may also have been at play in the expulsion of the Jews and Muslims from Spain at the end of the fifteenth century. The Spanish Inquisition was concerned with limpieza di sangre (‘purity of blood’) in a way that was quite foreign to its Roman counterpart.

  8. cmnunis says:

    I honestly don’t see the logic behind this fuss. I grew up in Malaysia, and save for pork and whatever we can consider to be non-halal, other common meats like lamb, chicken, and beef were typically halal. I didn’t care if it was halal or not – as long as it tasted good enough to eat, it was all good. And better still, the halal meat actually tasted bloody good.

    I am further reminded about Matthew 15:11 where Jesus says “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.'” If I had any friends who said that, this would be my only answer.

    • Louise says:

      The main difference is that “halal” is something very foreign to Australia. I’m not particularly impressed that it’s being forced onto our society. It doesn’t belong here – that’s all.

      I agree that there is no religious reason that Christians ought not eat halal food.

      And better still, the halal meat actually tasted bloody good.

      Or “un-bloody” good?!

      • cmnunis says:

        Of course, “restrictions” in itself is something not familiar to Australian culture. I was just talking about my indifference towards both Halal and non-halal meats. As for them trying to impose halal meat here, I’d just say that if they really need halal meat, they should invest in getting an outlet and facility of their own. These who complain are of the bigger sin because they did nothing to address their issues. That is the thinking that the Prophet encouraged anyway.

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