For a Canada-based company that sells halal meat—meat butchered according to the requirements defined in the Koran—using the internet to combat Islamophobia might sound like an unusual campaign to undertake.
But that is precisely what Zabiha Halal has done. The company, a leader in the halal food industry, launched a video-based social awareness campaign this year aimed at tackling anti-Muslim sentiment.
Called “Dear Canada,” the campaign is an offshoot of the company’s effort over the past three years to combat Islamophobia by having Canadian Muslims share their experiences as immigrants or members of the minority faith that is often maligned in the media.
“We started the campaign to allow Canadian Muslims a voice to share their own stories in their own words,” Zabiha Halal’s marketing director, Sarah Khetty, told Strategy, a Canadian online magazine that focuses on marketing issues in the country.
“But over the years, as the campaign has evolved, and especially given the events in London [Ontario] last year on June 6th when a Muslim family was attacked, we felt it was important this year to bring the campaign to a different space and talk about Islamophobia.”
Khetty was referring to the June 6, 2021 killing of four members of a Muslim family in London, which prompted authorities there to release a report aimed at countering Islamophobia. The report recommended a series of steps, including the creation of an anti-Islamophobia advisory council and spreading social awareness about the contributions Canadian Muslims make toward society.
Zabiha Halal’s “Dear Canada” forum features a variety of Canadian Muslims who narrate their experiences of what it’s like to be a member of a minority faith in the land of their birth or their adopted country.
“Dear Canada,” says one of the narrators—a woman wearing a head covering—in a video that can be found on the halal meat company’s website as well as on YouTube, “I see from the corner of my eye, people, you know, whispering and looking at me.”
“He waved at me, and I smiled and waved back at him,” says another woman whose head is also covered in the traditional Islamic sign of modesty. “And he said to me, ‘You’re a f’n freak.’….My five-year-old at the time, he started to cry.”
“It’s time for our voices to be heard. Our community cannot remain silent and we cannot stand alone. Join us in the fight against Islamophobia,” is the message on the Zabiha Halal website. For more information or to support the campaign, visit their website or Facebook page.
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