The Latest Threat To America: The Sharia Turkey

As Americans travel to Grandma’s house to over stuff themselves with tryptophan-laden turkey, a new danger awaits them:

You may think that when you buy a Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving you’re as American as apple pie. But, you’d be wrong. In fact, you’re the victim of a “stealth halal” conspiracy.

In a column on The American Thinker, anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller explains that halal meats are already prevalent throughout most of the meat industry, but now they have even infiltrated the popular frozen turkey producer Butterball.

A citizen activist and reader of my website wrote to Butterball, one of the most popular producers of Thanksgiving turkeys in the United States, asking them if their turkeys were halal. Wendy Howze, a Butterball Consumer Response Representative, responded: “Our whole turkeys are certified halal.”

Geller’s anti-Sharia cohort Robert Spencer called this revelation “shocking” on his Jihad Watch blog — and touted the “Boycott Butterball Turkey” Facebook page, which so far has 758 “likes” and encourages supporters to “keep calling and writing. All halal should be labeled.”

Spencer’s not the only one to be outraged.

The site Bare Naked Islam provided this “WARNING” for its readers: “ALL ‘BUTTERBALL’ TURKEYS ARE HALAL-SLAUGHTER CERTIFIED. JUST IN TIME FOR THANKSGIVING. I have just learned that the turkeys so many Americans enjoy for the holidays are certified Islamic-blessed, halal-slaughtered birds.”

And anti-Islam, anti-bear activist Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association tweeted this warning on Tuesday: “Be advised: every single Butterball turkey sold in America this Thanksgiving has been sacrificed to Allah first.”

As reluctant as I am to even quote someone who would put the words “thinker” and “Pamela Geller” in the same sentence, I feel it necessary to pass this news along to all of you. Resistance is futile.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. John Burgess says:

    I’d actually be surprised if Butterball’s production line was certified halal. (Of course, the question of who does the certification is hanging out there.)

    Halal, like Kosher, is both a process and a religious sacrifice. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the process met either Halal and Kosher requirements, but the religious part? Call me doubtful.

    Something that did surprise me in my world travels was to see Kosher butchers in Tunis. Muslim customers were perfectly happy to buy their meats as they saw Kosher as meeting all the Halal requirements.

    Geller, as usual, gets her panties in a twist and pulls the Islamophobes with her. By their words, you will know them.

  2. sam says:

    The inestimable TBogg is really the go-to guy, here: We Will All Be Muslims Before The Niners & Ravens Kick Off.

  3. Eric says:

    I suspect that Butterball turkey – along with every other mass-produced poultry product – have been coincidentally halal for many, many years. The method of slaughter used generally has the live birds hanging from a conveyor where they pass a blade that slits their throat (or removes the head entirely) and draining the blood. I’d bet that all it took to be certified was inspection of the process by an imam.

  4. John Burgess says:

    @Eric: Actually, true halal butchering requires the recitation of the bismillah with the slaughter of each animal. That’s why I doubt that Butterball is actually, truly halal.

    The process is compliant, but the prayer?

    Similarly, Kosher butchery requires a blessing, but perhaps only of the facility. The salting of meat, including poultry, is distinguishing from halal butchery.

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    @John Burgess:

    I have a few friends who work in this industry. While I can’t speak for butterball in particular, most places that are kosher or halal certified have a religious representative inspect the plant once every 1-6 months, and they follow a certain procedure. I too am extremely doubtful that their is an Imam praying over each turkey as it is slaughtered.

    I do believe most turkey processing plants do, in fact, follow both kosher and halal guidelines (which are usually the same thing). If my fuzzy bar trivia night memory serves me correctly, Israel is the largest per capita consumer of turkey.

    Now, the greater question is:

    If I eat a Halal turkey, that does make me muslim, right? That’s the only way I can see that there is any fuss about this at all.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    And now I see you’ve addressed the process vs. blessing thing. I stand corrected.

  7. According to Wiki:

    “Thus an animal slaughtered by a Christian who did not mention anything at the time of slaughter would be permissible to some, while other scholars would hold it impermissible.”

  8. Franklin says:

    @Neil Hudelson: “If I eat a Halal turkey, that does make me muslim, right?”

    Well, duh.

  9. Dustin says:

    Boy, wait until these people find out that the overwhelming majority of the meat in this country is processed this same way and it has nothing to do with religion.

  10. @Dustin:

    There is one distinction, for beef and pork, the animals are normally stunned before slaughter, which is forbidden for both Kosher and Halal slaughter. I actually prefer non-kosher, non-halal meat, not because of any religious objection, but that I think they cause unnecessary suffering to the animals.

  11. Good news for Pam Gellar: halal requires that the person preparing food be sane, which means any turkey she makes is definitely non-halal, whatever was done it at the slaughterhouse.

  12. James H says:

    Anybody think we could get Geller to overreact to muslin fabric?

  13. Janis Gore says:

    I’ll worry when the Butterball ladies start wearing hijab.

  14. mantis says:

    If I eat a Halal turkey, that does make me muslim, right?

    Automatically, yes. And no take backs.

    Anybody think we could get Geller to overreact to muslin fabric?

    Easily. Hell, I think we could get her to start a boycott of mussels if we tried hard enough.

  15. Moosebreath says:

    “Resistance is futile.”

    Especially if less than 1 ohm.

  16. Moosebreath says:

    “Hell, I think we could get her to start a boycott of mussels if we tried hard enough.”

    How about Mussleman’s applesauce?

  17. de stijl says:

    I have two theories:

    1. Ms. Geller is chasing a high. She got attention and TV face time during the Park 51 / “Ground Zero Mosque” silliness and she wants another taste. It could be conscious and cynical, or it could be subconscious – attention feels good.

    2. She is naturally moon-barking crazy who went mecha-uber-moon-barking crazy after 9/11.

    Bonus alternate theory: she got discombobulated by the word “Turkey” and confused it with the country.

  18. @de stijl:

    Given that Geller was like this long before Park 51, I go with 2 by default

  19. John Burgess says:

    If eating halal makes one Muslim, then eating something Kosher must make one Jewish. We can recapitulate the Palestinian affair within our own bodies!

    But wait… If I also ate something ritually prepared by Hindus, Buddhists, Daoists, and Animists, that must have an effect, too… Whitman was correct! I contain multitudes!!

    When’s the next Caption Contest? This is better than sleeping in some hotel…

  20. de stijl says:

    As-salamu alaykum! Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

  21. Restless says:

    Oh no…first Dunkin Doughnuts and now THIS

  22. Dakota says:

    Christians are prohibited from eating animals sacrificed to idols.

    I know some Christians (African) who will not eat halal meats, not knowing what kind of prayers were said over them at slaughter, others (Arab Christians) who will eat nothing else, saying the method of slaughter makes higher quality meat.