Zabiha Halal looks for allies against Islamophobia with ‘Sharing Halal’

Who: Maple Lodge Farms’ Zabiha Halal brand, with Riddoch Communications for strategy and creative; Alfredo Films for production (directed by Adeel Shamsi).

What: “Let’s Stand Together,” the fifth instalment of the Halal food brand’s “Sharing Halal” campaign, with a goal of “challenging and dismantling” Islamophobia in Canada.

When & Where: The campaign launched on May 15, and is running across online video and social. There’s also a dedicated website at

Why: Zabiha Halal has made tackling Islamophobia one of the key planks of its brand platform in recent years. It launched the “Sharing Halal” initiative in 2019 to showcase the diversity of people and the perspectives held by the country’s Muslim community.

This year’s campaign includes a survey of 1,521 Canadians conducted by Leger, which found that nearly one-third (31%) of non-Muslim Canadians have no interest in being an ally to Muslims despite a recent rise in anti-Muslim hate in communities like Markham, Ont. and Edmonton.

The survey also found that half of non-Muslim Canadians (49%) recognize that they have some misconceptions about Muslims; and only one-in-seven (14%) non-Muslim Canadians claim to have a strong understanding of what it means to be an ally to the Muslim community. In addition, only 55% of Canadians are comfortable speaking out against anti-Muslim hate when they see it happening in their community or workplace.

How: As in previous years, the campaign features candid conversation around what it is to be Muslim in Canada, with this year’s video, “Let’s Stand Together,” featuring conversations between Muslims and non-Muslims as they explore Islamophobia. There are four sets of people from a variety of backgrounds—including a married couple, co-workers, friends, and neighbours.

The two-minute anchor video was directed by Adeel Shamsi, who was raised in a Pakistani Muslim household and brought his own insight and perspective to the project. Shamsi made a creative decision to place the cameras far away from the stage and use a zoom lens to focus in on the participants’ faces, a tactic that led to more candid conversation as they soon forgot that the cameras were there.

The video drives to the website, which features profiles of the eight people featured in the video, as well as a series of videos focusing on their specific conversation. The site also houses another set of videos in which Muslims speak about how their lives would change if Islamophobia was eliminated in Canada. The site also invites visitors to sign a pledge stating that they will stand together with the Muslim community, speak up against acts of hate and intolerance, and educate themselves on their biases and privileges.

And we quote: “Islamophobia continues to be a very real issue in this country and our survey findings indicate a significant allyship gap when it comes to supporting the Canadian Muslim community. Many well-intentioned Canadians struggle with not knowing how to be an ally to the Muslim community, and we hope our ‘Sharing Halal’ campaign can help by providing the tips and resources they need to be effective allies.” — Sarah Khetty, marketing director, Maple Lodge Farms

Chris Powell