March 03, 2004


Want bacon with your Kentucky Fried Chicken? At certain stores in Melbourne, you canít order it:

Four KFC restaurants have taken bacon off the menu in favour of Muslim-friendly products.

The Endeavour Hills, Fawkner, Keilor Downs and Flemington KFC outlets have all dumped bacon from fillet burgers.

At Endeavour Hills, "sold-out" stickers have been placed over bacon products on its drive-through menu.

ĒSell-outĒ is more like it. What would the Colonel say? Human rights co-ordinator for the Islamic Council of Victoria, Bilal Cleland, isnít swayed by KFC's pandering:

"We hope that people are not taken in by this scheme. Just because you take the bacon out of the burgers doesn't make the food halal," he said.

"There has to be authentic certification that the food is halal and I haven't seen any evidence of that."

He said that all the meat, including chicken, must be certified as halal before it was acceptable to Muslims.

Wait until he finds out whatís in those eleven secret herbs and spices.

(Via Little Green Footballs)

Posted by Tim Blair at March 3, 2004 10:35 PM

It's looking more and more like this isn't our country any longer.

Of course, if you listen to the average Leftist, it never was.

Posted by: Mike Jericho at March 3, 2004 at 10:49 PM

Oporto's is better anyway. Mmm, Otropo burger...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 3, 2004 at 10:50 PM

Well it's not like KFC uses real meat anyway. It would be more like bacon-flavored then actual bacon. There's probably more actual pork in their chicken nuggets.

Posted by: JohnO at March 3, 2004 at 11:00 PM

I miss my KFC Cheese 'n' Bacon fillet burger..........No bacon here in Japan either. Maybe Shintoists have something against it.

Posted by: Schizm at March 3, 2004 at 11:18 PM

Hmm. Reads like the opposite of this news item.

Posted by: Craig Mc at March 3, 2004 at 11:43 PM

Don't they feed the pigs to the chickens then bloil them into a semi-dessicated slurry of powdered bone and entrails and beaks and snouts to grind into a chickenpork stock to mix with salt to flavour the reconstituted textured vegitable protien they vacuum mould into nuggets? What's wrong with that? Eat our nuggets, you filthy barbarians!

But that's muslims. Always whining. It was the same when KFC lauched their Kuffir Kone 99cent soft-serve icecream dessert, and need I remind you of the bitching that emininated from the Australian Islamic Council at the lauch of Mcdonald's controversial "Fuck Islam" Burger?

Posted by: Amos at March 3, 2004 at 11:54 PM

Maybe they can introduce a Jihad & Cheese sandwich and advertise it as an explosion of flavor.

Posted by: JohnO at March 4, 2004 at 12:04 AM

and who the hell is forcing these people to eat at KFC? no one! if it ain't "halal," just don't eat there. problem solved.

Posted by: samkit at March 4, 2004 at 12:04 AM

What kills me is the Imam's denunciation of the move. None of the, "Nice try, KFC, but it isn't Halal, you know." Nope. "Muslim soldiers! The infidel is trying to trick you into eating non-Halal by kowtowing insufficiently to our sensibilities!"


Posted by: Brian Jones at March 4, 2004 at 12:40 AM

Doesn't sound as if it's Kosher either. What about Jewish patrons? If they make it so Muslims can eat there, seems they should include the Jews as well. What about other faiths? Do they also require special adjustments to enable their followers to eat at KFC? Doesn't KFC care about other faiths?

As someone has said .. just don't eat there if doing so violates your religious, or other, beliefs.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at March 4, 2004 at 01:34 AM

Putting a political spin on what was probably a cost cutting decision.

Posted by: aaron at March 4, 2004 at 03:02 AM

The Colonel lied! Pigs fried!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Posted by: david at March 4, 2004 at 03:02 AM


At my KFC in Wisconsin, we've always used something called "Reddi-bits" that is this unnatural deep red color. Soy product.

Posted by: Andyzero at March 4, 2004 at 05:14 AM

Such naifs you all are. The imam is obviously trying to put the squeeze on KFC by forcing them to pay him or one of his cronies to certify the place as halal.

He probably read Jesse Jackson's biography and wanted in on the ethnic shakedown business. And they say Islam doesn't promote the entrepeneurial spirit!

Posted by: R C Dean at March 4, 2004 at 05:43 AM

Am I the only one who found the Christians' claims of religious discrimination the most ridiculous part of this whole thing? I mean, last I heard Christianity did not require that you eat bacon, and if anyone wants a bacon-burger they are free to patronize restaurants that serve them. I can't wait to start picketing the local McDonald's for anti-semitism for callously refusing to serve falafel. Or is the principle at work here that KFC doesn't have the right to serve what they want in their own restaurants?

I can't speak for Islam, but in Judaism the mere absence of pork isn't enough to make a dish kosher; there are all sorts of other things you have to do (it has to be slaughtered the right way, for instance). So the imam's position sounds perfectly reasonable.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at March 4, 2004 at 06:36 AM

as an ex-KFC manager (aaah the uni days), this topic is rather dear to my heart. Basically it is a very dumb decision by KFC, and a rather ungrateful response by the spokesman. The phrase 'we hope people are not taken in by this scheme' suggests the idea is some sort of secret plan by KFC to trick muslims into buying their food, rather than seeing it for what it is - a rather ham-fisted attempt by KFC to pander to what is an increasing percentage of the population in those suburbs.

Posted by: Paul Dub at March 4, 2004 at 07:23 AM

Right, it sounds dumb, but unless it was actually the result of pressure I don't see anything sinister about it. As a wise man said, if you don't like it don't eat there.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at March 4, 2004 at 07:38 AM

I agree that it's all right there in that phrase, "taken in by this scheme". Yes imam, KFC is scheming against you.

Fucking morons.

Posted by: Amos at March 4, 2004 at 08:02 AM

Do they offer the option of plastic turkeys? Or big lunches?

It's a free market. If more people like the move than dislike it, then profits will go up. If more people dislike the move than like it, profits will go down.

Posted by: Andjam at March 4, 2004 at 08:40 AM

Are you looking forward to the institution of the Islamic Republic of Australia, Matt?

Posted by: Ghost of 3LO at March 4, 2004 at 09:09 AM

Yes, the government should regulate the fast food industry to prohibit it from adjusting its products in response to consumer tastes.

What side of politics are you from again?

Posted by: Mork at March 4, 2004 at 09:18 AM

Matt wrote: 'Am I the only one who found the Christians' claims of religious discrimination the most ridiculous part of this whole thing?'

Matt is right and doesn't deserve the stupid comment from Ghost of 3L0.

I saw the original story in the print edition of the Herald Sun - almost a fortnight ago. It was accompanied by a photograph of the woman quoted in the story shown standing outside the KFC, scowling, as if she were blowing the whistle on the KGB or something. She was clearly one of those very stupid fundamentalist Christians - and apologies for the generalisation to all you Christian fundamentalists, but you must admit, some of you are exceedingly low in intelligence and can be taken in quite easily.

I mean, just read her words:

Endeavour Hills Christian Joan Hansen has vowed to boycott all KFC restaurants until bacon returns to the menu.

"I like bacon and I think it's a bit rude that they're kowtowing to a minority," she said.

Mrs Hansen said she felt sick when she first heard the news. "I'm just scared of where it's heading," she said.

Some one feels sick because a fast food chain changes its chicken burger recipe? She feels scared of where it's heading? Like, wholemeal buns? Free-range chicken?

OK, she's a halfwit and she was put up to it, but
claims of religious persecution need to be founded on something more than the ingredients in a burger.

As for the Imam, what did you expect him to say? If the story was presented to him as KFC making a cynical play - i.e, removing the bacon but not ensuring the rest of it was halal - for muslim market share, he would say that. Obviously. The whole story was mischievous to say the least.

Posted by: ilibcc at March 4, 2004 at 09:47 AM

But I wanted to open a Porn shop that sold alcohol and had an organic piggery out the back in Saudi Arabia and I got 300 lashes for my efforts. What about my entrepreneurial rights!?

Posted by: Dog at March 4, 2004 at 09:53 AM

"Am I the only one who found the Christians' claims of religious discrimination the most ridiculous part of this whole thing? I mean, last I heard Christianity did not require that you eat bacon, and if anyone wants a bacon-burger they are free to patronize restaurants that serve them."

Did not find the claim that ridiculous. They *are* being denied what they'd like to have because of religious reasons.

Yes, they could patronize another restaurant. So could the others.

Seems that one group or another is going to be discriminated against if it's impossible to cater to all groups from one establishment.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at March 4, 2004 at 09:53 AM

Chris, if it is "discrimination" for a private business to fail to offer products that a particular group would like to buy, then it kind of empties the term of most of its meaning, don't you think?

Posted by: Mork at March 4, 2004 at 10:31 AM

If KFC were really serious then they would setup a seperate Halal section in their restaurants and cater to all tastes. To me this smacks of "Look at us and how tolerant and progressive we are". We've had a significant Jewish population here for many years and no-one at KFC ever tried to cater for them did they?

Like many people I like bacon in my burgers and to remove it to (supposedly) try to please a particular ethnic/religious group (or any single group in the community)is a slap in the face. I would feel 100% the same if they did this and claimed it was done for the Jews.

If I was a Muslim I would be offended too. Look how much crap they are copping for a piece of social engineering that they had nothing to do with and doesn't meet their dietary requirements anyway!

P.S. I am an athiest, not a christian

Posted by: Huddo at March 4, 2004 at 11:27 AM

Mork: it doesn't look like Muslims were ever customers of KFC's anyway, at least not Muslims who are serious about following their religion's dietary prohibitions. So I am not sure that this falls under "wise business decision," to piss off your main customer base in order to placate a set of customers that was always small to non-existent. This smells to me more like the results of harassment by some Concerned Activist™, who has no actual ties to the Muslim community other than seeing them as helpless childlike foreigners he/she can patronize. Anyone remember that big fuss last year or the year before over "hot cross buns" in England? Some goody-two-sandals decided that selling hot cross buns to children during Easter was insulting to Muslims, so they banned the dish or renamed it or something stupid like that. This prompted a local Muslim person to say something like "Will you people leave us alone?" (Meaning the Concerned Ones, that is.) That's what this reminds me of.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 4, 2004 at 12:10 PM


Would the basic point of your post be that the move doesn't make sense since they don't go all the way and make the food certifyably halal?

One possibility is that some individuals may not demand their meals be strictly halal but don't want to blatantly break food rules by eating pork. This link quotes a Jew who doesn't keep strictly kosher but avoids eating pork:
"I do not personally keep a strict kosher diet ... Like many Jews, I like to eat out in restaurants, but I abstain from ordering dishes with pork or bacon or shellfish.

Posted by: Andjam at March 4, 2004 at 01:46 PM


You only are complaining about this move because it's affecting people who want bacon, right?

As opposed to objecting to KFC attempting to adapt to religious culinary requirements, considering that you recently criticised a certain airline company for failing to adapt to religious culinary requirements not so long ago...

Posted by: Andjam at March 4, 2004 at 01:50 PM

Sure, Andrea, that's possible.

But wouldn't you agree that it's inherently more likely that KFC management is in a better position to judge the best interests of their business than a pair of bloggers with no business experience to speak of.

But, by all means, go ahead and launch your boycott.

Posted by: Mork at March 4, 2004 at 02:16 PM

Yes, KFC decides to change its menu to pander to muslims and some halfwit here starts attacking fundamentalist Christians.

It works like this - if KFC wants to serve halal food or kosher food or whatever the hell else they want - they should be allowed to. As long as they serve non-halal, non kosher food to people who dont eat it.

I dont see why now everyone cant eat bacon just because some loudmouth 0.2% of our population doesnt want to. They are making EVERYONE abide by their own religious laws - which is ludicrous. I aint eating no halal, non bacon crap.

Posted by: goangod at March 4, 2004 at 02:26 PM

What about the vegetarians?????

Have they been sought out as an extra form of cashflow by the KFC boffins.

Something stinks here - but I'm not quite sure that the obvious candidates for derision are actually to blame!

Methinks more thought is required!!

Posted by: Tom at March 4, 2004 at 02:31 PM

If you want to eat bacon, goangod, then buy a fucking pig.

No-one is under an obligation to provide you with bacon or any other damn thing!

Posted by: Mork at March 4, 2004 at 02:38 PM

Mork is right, this is the free market responding to a consumer demand, I thought we supported that?

Posted by: Amos at March 4, 2004 at 04:59 PM

Mork, what are you talking about? I'm not launching any boycott. And you know, I think that I am quite within my rights to speculate about the motives of a company's actions as anyone -- what makes what you have more of a right to an opinion than me? Are you the head of Kentucky Fried Chicken? (More likely you're a bitter, underpaid cashier.)

As for Andjam, I don't even get what your problem is. My point was simple and easy to understand.

I don't think there is any more to this really than a company bowing to some legal pressure from someone with more clout than a mere customer. Muslims are not obligated to eat any any fast-food joint, any more than anyone is obligated to eat at a Mediterranean restaurant -- and yes, Mork, there are several such in my town. Right along with several barbecue restaurants where pork is a main feature of a menu. I'd like to see some activist try to get pork banned in Orlando -- I imagine he'd get a nice Disney tote to carry his ass (that's "arse" to you foreigners) home in.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 4, 2004 at 08:30 PM

Of course you have the right to express an opinion Andrea. You just don't have the right to have it taken seriously.

Posted by: Mork at March 5, 2004 at 08:20 AM

That holds for you to, idiot. Or do you really think anyone here takes you seriously?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 5, 2004 at 11:46 AM

OK, so I grew up in a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Pittsburgh. There was a deli there that served both cheese and meat--not slaughtered by a shochet--but no pork products. Of course their food wasn't kosher.

At one point they were asking for a survey on whether they should start selling pork products. The only ballot I saw (I didn't fill one out) said, "No, for religious reasons." I don't think they did start carrying pork.

I can imagine an Orthodox rabbi cautioning his flock, "Remember, it's still not kosher." Because he wouldn't want people who only observed the rough outlines of the law, as in the link andjam supplied.

It would have been ridiculous to say that they were making everyone abide by their religious laws. No one was forced to eat there. As Mork says, are you going to regulate the fast-food industry to ensure that they serve products that don't conform to dietary laws.

If anyone had said to me, "Do you look forward to the Jewish Republic of America" or "It's like it's not even our country anymore" I would never have spoken to them again. If I was in a forgiving mood. That's straight-up bigotry, folks; Muslims have a right to live in Australia, and if KFC tries to cater to them YOU CAN BUY BACON SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Incidentally, I agree with Andrea's first post--this sounds like a dumb decision by KFC management prompted by some silly sensitivity concerns that doesn't even start addressing Muslim dietary concerns. (Like my college dining hall serving noodle Kugel during Passover.) But it's KFC's own decision to make, I would think, and not a signal of incipient imposition of sharia. Even the imam doesn't approve.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at March 5, 2004 at 12:49 PM

Hey Matt, I agree with you, a comment about a future "Jewish Republic of Anywhere" would be straight-out bigotry. Because there are no Jewish Republics... On the other hand, there are already some well-known Islamic ones - The Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan.

From the beginning, Islam has historically spread by the conquest of territory and people. Why should we assume that this process has concluded? Why should we assume that Australia will never be a target?

I'd like to share with you some wise words from Australia's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali, -

' "perhaps we will find one day an Islamic revolution, and Islamic ideology in Western countries. Don't be surprised if one day you hear the muezzin calling for prayer and saying, 'Allah is great' from the top of the White House." '

Like he says, don't be surprised.

Posted by: Ghost of 3LO at March 5, 2004 at 03:07 PM

Here's the final word: KFC removes bacon to cater to Muslims. Muslims angered because process isn't 'halal'. Muslims are pissed, bacon-lovers are pissed, no one is happy. Good job, KFC.

Posted by: MD/V at March 9, 2004 at 05:00 AM

Yeah those darn folks forcing their wishes on us again.

Its Just a jump to the left.

Not like those nice Jewish folks.

And then a step to the right.

And it's good to know occasionally Jews, and Muslims can get along. I mean heck, they even eat the same foods once and awhile.

With your hands on your hips.

But seriously, people should be able to eat what they want. And buisnesses should be able to pick their clientele. If theres that much demand for it, a new restaurant will open.

You bring your knees in tight.

I mean heck. I have one danged good idea for a restaurant that I think will catch on fast. If I could just find an educated guy to back the idea. A real educated Australian maybe.

But it's the pelvic thrust, thrust, thrust.

Heck. I'll name the place FAB. That stands for Fat Aussie Burgers. No it's not the secret sauce, but the family recipe ya gotta love.

That really drives you insane.

Gotta love them greasy Aussie Burgers. Whats in these anyways?

Lets do the timewarp again.


Posted by: IXLNXS at March 9, 2004 at 05:12 PM