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  1. 1


    I can tell you had some fun with this. I must admit to the outcry being discussed at length and not without giggles over a piece of matzah not too long ago.

  2. 2

    Caryn Gootkin (in other words)

    Wait for the follow up next week – more giggles, I promise. 

  3. 3


    I think you miss the point in the debate Caryn. It is not about hotcross buns – it is goes much deeper than that. It may have just manifested itself through hotcross buns. AMPS2011 shows that 4 out of 5 South Africans are Christian – so why do Muslims have preferential treatment in this country? Would they purchase any goods which had a cross on it (symbol of Christianity)? I think not. So have all the fun you want but don’t jump up and down screaming when  every school, supermarket,etc. has to abide by Muslim customs and traditions.

  4. 4

    Deon Botha

    I love the catholic church’s response: We have more important things to debate than a couple of hot cross christians

  5. 5

    Caryn Gootkin (in other words)

    I don’t think I’ve missed the point at all. As Christians don’t have dietary laws they are free to eat and drink what they choose. Adherents of some other religions may only consume what has been certified to be in accordance with their dietary rules. It makes absolutely no actual difference to Christians whether the buns they eat have Halaal or Kosher symbols on them. The only difference is that with those certifications, many others can eat them too. Sounds a bit selfish to deny that, don’t you think?

  6. 6


    Hot cross buns have a cross on them. That’s why they’re called hot CROSS buns.

  7. 7


    I re-iterate my point: this is much more than hotcross buns and dietary laws. Just you wait and see!

  8. 8

    Mandy Collins

    Here’s a little something I wrote on my blog ( for my fellow Christians:

    When I first heard that fellow Christians were
    protesting about halaal stickers on Woolworths’ hot cross buns, I have to say,
    I nearly fell off my office chair laughing. Then my jaw dropped as I read the
    objections – the sheer stupidity and blatant intolerance left me reeling.


    I don’t usually advertise my faith in public
    forums, because frankly, it’s no-one else’s business. And I’m never going to be
    the kind of Christian who belongs to the Holy Rolling Bible Punching Worldwide
    Seventh Day Jehovah’s Witness Church of the Latter Day Christian Scientists of
    the order of Transcarpathia, and beat you over the head with either a Bible or
    my faith. In the parlance of the day, that’s just not how I roll.


    But most of the commentary on the debacle has been
    either by people of other faiths, or those of no faith at all. I said very
    little except to remark on Twitter that fundamentalist Christians were their
    own worst enemies, a view I still hold with regard to fundamentalism of any
    kind, and within any faith.


    So here’s a response from one Christian. I don’t
    claim to speak for any others, so please don’t take my views out on your
    perfectly decent Christian friends.


    I address my response to the others – the intolerant,
    petty, small-minded ones who are making a mountain out of a tiny lump of dough.
    Stop being such blithering idiots. If this is how you interpret standing up for
    your faith, I think you’d better go and read your Bible again, because you’re
    missing the point.


    The entire thing is made even more stupid because,
    like most other symbols associated with Christian festivals – Easter eggs,
    Christmas trees and Yule logs – hot cross buns have pagan origins. Some simple
    research will tell you that buns marked with a cross were probably first eaten by the Saxons in honour
    of the goddess Eostre (most likely the origin of the name ‘Easter’, and the
    cross is thought either to have symobolised the four quarters of the moon or
    the four seasons (thank you Wikipedia).


    So the irony of it all, dear fundamentalists, is
    that you are vociferously defending a pagan symbol against a faith that has far
    more in common with Christianity than you realise, sold by a secular store
    (that really shouldn’t have caved, in my estimation).


    And when you carefully select your buns next year
    from the pile not bearing halaal stickers, will it really make any difference?
    What if they’re secretly halaal and Woolworths just doesn’t tell you? Why
    doesn’t the pagan symbolism bother you as much as the halaal sticker?


    If you’re still not convinced, here’s a better
    question, one you love to ask: What would Jesus do?

  9. 9

    Deon Botha

    Michelle, I suggest you start stockpiling ammunition and canned food. The heathen hordes are coming. What is this world coming to? The end of civilization as we know it. 

  10. 10

    Caryn Gootkin (in other words)

    I wait with bated breath. I’m with Deon on this one, I’m afraid. 

  11. 11

    Caryn Gootkin (in other words)

    Thank you, Mandy, for putting forward what I think is probably the view of most rational Christians. 

  12. 12

    Afrika Mhlophe

    Thanks Caryn for creating a space for us to debate this issue further. To deal with the issues you have raised about my column let me start by saying I am well aware of the modus operandi of reactionary fundamentalist Christians but I am also aware how liberal Christians operate. Both positions can be problematic. How is Woolworths luring Muslim customers? They do so by making food products acceptable to Islamic religious and dietary laws. It is the same way that our commercial banks have sharia banking to cater for Muslim clients. On the surface there nothing wrong with this except that food producers pay a surcharge to the certification bodies whose cost is probably passed on to the consumer. The consumer being all of us and not just Muslims. If there was a section in the store dedicated to Muslim clients there wouldn’t a problem but as it is now almost all the food we consume has a halaal symbol. Halaal is not just a quality standard like SABS but the food prepared is dedicated to Allah and animals slaughtered are made to face the Ka’aba (a shrine in Mecca where there is a black stone). People who are not Muslims are not allowed to handle food that is prepared for Muslims. This is part of my response to EBI Lockhat of the South African National Halaal Authority, who responded to my article raising issues of tolerance and understanding: 

    Would Muslims been happy if everything in their local supermakerts is certified with a Christian or Jewish symbol? Surely religious tolerance should not mean that other religions should usurp their principles upon people of other faiths.  These certification bodies are private companies whose profits are used to advance and propagate Islam. The people who think this is just about food are making a mistake. This is about the dominance of one religion over the whole population and this, by the way, is the main agenda of Islam – world domination. People should be discerning and do proper research before thinking this is just a big joke. There is a school in this country which had 2% Muslims in attendance but due to the lethargy of other parents saw mainly Muslim parents occupy the SGB. After they election they voted to ban prayer from the school. I know that other Christians want to have our faith malleable to others but to what expense? I won’t defend hot cross buns because they are not Christian but the buns have helped to expose this hypocrisy. If we separate food from religion then we won’t have this controversy. 

  13. 13

    Caryn Gootkin (in other words)

    It gets worse, I’m afraid, Afrika. Read my follow up on Thursday.

  14. 14

    bryan hurd

    I am catholic and the church lost their way some time ago,hey lets do this get a muslim to eat non halal,they wont ,but a Christian who objects is an idiot not the muslim or the atheist writer/s

  15. 15

    bryan hurd

    Jesus said many times not to eat foods that are ritualized,a Christian who does not know the Bible mmm ,a muslim who insists on eating halal is ok,but a Christian who doesn’t want to eat halal,throws u off  your chair  wow.

  16. 16

    bryan hurd

    Amazing how Christians {if they are } support the muslim right to beat halal,not saying its stupid,but a Christian well???

  17. 18

    bryan hurd

    What bible do u have….karl marxs cook book wow

  18. 19

    bryan hurd

    U  need to be afraid,u support muslims eating laws ridicule Christians….I hope I am not behind u at the pearly gates u going hold up the Que.

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