It's almost Christmas time. Peace on Earth, season's greetings, love and family and all the rest. It's a time for coming together, to share love, and to put aside differences.
It's also a time when you can mercilessly troll people in the guise of gift-giving, as one plucky politics fan has done, by sending Pauline Hanson a jar of halal Vegemite with a personalised label emblazoned with the word "halaal" (yes, they put a third "a" there, and we'll explain why in a second).
Hanson, the leader of One Nation and arguably the nation's highest profile anti-halal campaigner, said she received the gift on Thursday. There's an entire section on One Nation's website devoted to outlining their opposition to halal certification, calling halal "a tax/surcharge that funds ISLAMIC SCHOOLS AND MOSQUES" and that it "is also believed is that [halal certification] funds terrorism." There is no evidence provided on the website to back up that claim.
Vegemite is halal certified. The iconic Aussie spread was targeted for going halal last year, with a social media campaign pushing for the company to remove halal certification, but it remains certified. One Nation's halal web page lists other companies who have been certified halal, including Kellogg's and Cadbury, but Vegemite didn't make that list.
Hanson herself has said she will be pushing for a ban of halal certification in parliament next year, as well as banning the burqa and Muslim immigration entirely. We hope she eats the halal Vegemite and sees that, actually, it's not that bad. Give it a go, Pauline!
However, Hanson is not the only Aussie politician to get a halal Vegemite surprise. Labor senator Sam Dastyari, who has multiple times expressed his love for halal snack packs and sat on a recent inquiry into halal certification, said he too received one.
Dastyari said he wants to track down the person who sent the jars, saying he would "invite them around for Halal toast". If you know who sent them, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Obviously "halaal" isn't how we usually see the word spelled, but that may have been intentional, rather than a mistake. It was pointed out to us that a website where the jars of Vegemite can be personalised doesn't actually accept the word "halal" on its labels.
Sure enough, we checked out that Kmart website and the claim checks out. Try it yourself.