Islamic leaders in Australia are urging parents to help raise funds for a company which wants to make a series of “halal cartoons” as an alternative to Peppa Pig, telling followers that Allah will reward them if they do.
The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) posted a video to its Facebook page urging parents to donate to production company One4Kids, which makes Islamic themed children’s programmes, to fund a cartoon titled Barakah Hills, pitched as a “halal” alternative to popular pre-school show Peppa Pig.
Aiming to raise AUD$20,000 (£12,000), the company said the show’s “main objective is to show children what it is like to be a practising Muslim as well as a good citizen in their community”. The cartoon is set in a predominantly Muslim town, the BBC has reported.
One4Kids producer Subhi Alshaik told the BBC he enjoyed Peppa Pig but that “apparently there are messages in there that turn kids into brats”.
“I’m a fan of Peppa Pig like many people are… Muslim, non-Muslim, pig haters, pig lovers,” he said.
“We thought, maybe we should produce an alternative that is about everyday life. Why not have a show that is similar to Peppa Pig?”
In a video posted to the ANIC Facebook page, ANIC head Sheik Shady Alsuleiman urged people to donate the funds required to ensure that Muslim children are given “another alternative” to mainstream programming which is in line with Muslim values.
“These days, in this modern age, our children have been embedded and very well occupied watching different cartoons on TV and it’s our responsibility not to stop them from watching but give them another alternative,” he said in the video.
Promising followers that they would be rewarded in the next life as well as this one if they donated, he added: “This is an opportunity not only for us to invest in this ‘dunya’ [earthly matters] but also in the hereafter because this is considered part of your donation […] Your donation will never ever reduce in worth [as] Allah will continue giving your rewards even after your death.
“When you have more of those cartoons out there, for every child from now until the Day of Judgement to continue watching these cartoons, Allah has the power to reward you for that.”
However, he denied reports that he believed Peppa Pig to be a “corrupting influence”, saying in a statement posted to Facebook: “Today is the first time I came to know of the program.”
The campaign to replace Peppa Pig comes after a well publicised hoax which declared Peppa Pig ‘haram’, or unclean and forbidden because it featured a talking pig.
Breitbart London reported on the joke, which took in the Muslim Council of Britain who said that people who objected to the show could “simply refrain from watching the show and purchasing Peppa Pig memorabilia”.