Tisdale, Sask., has bid farewell to “Land of Rape and Honey” and unveiled a new slogan to reflect its changing demographic – “Land of Rape and Halal”.
The slogan and a new logo will appear on signs and stationery, the culmination of a year-long process to refresh the town’s controversial brand.
With the sudden influx of Muslim immigrants, the town has opted to symbolically embrace its new residents with the modernized slogan.
“The ‘Land of Rape and Halal’ brand will be a prominent component as Tisdale adjusts to its new reality,” the town said in a news release.
The regions’ honey producing industry has been shrinking for years, making the previous slogan less applicable than it used to be.
To local produce marketer Paul Gertrand, the change makes logical sense.
“I don’t think I seen a honey stand in two, three years,” he said, pausing to adjust the piece of wheat in his mouth. “But just last week my daughter was beaten up by six guys at school for wearing a tank top. Times, they are a’changin’! Best we embrace it.”
Halal is Arabic for permissible. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Koran.
Getting meat Halal-certified involves cutting through the animal’s jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe, and draining the animal of blood while it is still alive and while a Muslim recites a dedication, know as tasmiya or shahada.
Several local chicken producers in the region have already gone Halal, and three local pork slaughtering plants have completely shut down out of respect for the newly arriving Saskatchewan residents.
New Tisdale resident Aalam Mohammad appreciates the warm welcome and slogan change.
“It definitely makes me feel welcome in the town,” he said, his burqa-covered wife walking five paces behind him. “Saskatchewan is my new home and the welcoming nature of its residents is overwhelming.”
The change in slogan comes just one week after a fertilizer bomb was found outside of the local Catholic church, and two weeks after 76-year old Ethel Cummings was found beaten and raped outside of the Tisdale & District Golden Age Centre.
Tisdale, a town of 3,200 people, is about 211 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.