A controversial imam has filmed himself munching on non-halal chocolate in a bid to convince fellow Muslims they can dispense with Islamic eating codes.
Australia-based preacher Mohammad Tawhidi published the video today (18 July), the latest in a string of provocative challenges he has made towards Islamic orthodoxy.
In the video, Imam Tawhidi is seen entering a convenience store and deliberating over the many chocolate bars on offer.
He decides against a Mars Bar because it is halal certified, meaning that the food has been prepared in accordance with dietary laws relating to the slaughter of animals used for gelatine in chocolate.
Then he picks up a Cherry Ripe, a Cadbury product that is popular in Australia. He says: "No halal certification here, none of that nonsense here."
"Alright let's go buy them and I'll eat them in front of you. I will go for a Kit Kat next time – I just need to get out of here before the radicals start coming."
It is unclear who is referring to when he says "radicals" and this may be a joke. The imam then heads outside and begins to eat the Cherry Ripe.
"It tastes better when there's no halal stamp. Because I can still eat it without offending anyone or forcing people to pay for my halal logo," he says. "This is the Australian way of life and I'm proud of it."
"I don't need to force people to abide by my Islamic terminologies and my way of life. Because you're not annoying anyone and you're not bothering anyone either.
"So what's all this conversation about, why do we have to annoy people. Enjoy your chocolate and live a happy life."
Tawhidi has made a reputation as an outspoken Muslim and has been highly critical of orthodox interpretations of the Quran.
The Iranian-born Shia is not recognised by the Australian National Imams Council. But this does not delegitimise him; there is no central Islamic authority that decides who can lead prayers in mosques.