Meet the halal haters

The bullying of Australian business

A small but noisy group of anti-Muslim campaigners are targeting Aussie businesses in their obsessively stupid warfare against Australian Muslims.

stooges

Despite labelling themselves as hateriots “patriots”, their latest strategic move as they rattle and bob across the media landscape is the undermining and trashing of Australian small business – specifically those businesses which want to cater both to Australian customers and to potential markets in our region.

No matter that Australia, without the trading opportunities available in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, will travel on the road to becoming an isolated, dull, backward, intolerant, inward-looking enclave of the suspicious, the xenophobic and the down-right crackbrained.

Much like this run-down white supremacist enclave in South Africa.

 

To those pig ignorant droogs who shut down a South Australian business because it had halal certified yoghurt selling to Emirates (Airlines)—what stupid, stupid people! If they really think this money goes to terrorists, they should stop buying petrol

                                                                   –  Malcolm Farr Political Editor News.com.au

Now here’s ABC 7:30’s report from November last year.

Transcript
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Across Australia, a vicious campaign against halal-certified companies is gaining momentum. A halal product is one that doesn’t contain any traces of pork, blood or alcohol, meaning it’s OK for Muslims to eat. Many products are halal-certified, even Vegemite. But anti-halal activists say they’re fighting back against creeping sharia law, claiming the label is a tax on non-Muslims and the money for certification goes towards terrorism. Here’s Alex Mann.

ALEX MANN, REPORTER: Six months ago, Fleurieu Milk & Yoghurt Company gained halal certification to supply a $50,000 yoghurt contract with Emirates Airlines.

NICK HUTCHINSON, FLEURIEU MILK & YOGHURT COMPANY: It was a requirement of Emirates. We had to pay a $1,000 fee. It opened up a business market to continue to become viable. It was a necessary step.

ALEX MANN: What do you understand halal to mean?

NICK HUTCHINSON: To be honest, up until a couple of weeks ago, my understanding wasn’t great on halal certification. We knew it was a fee we had to pay around $1,000 a year that allowed Muslims to consume our products on Emirates Airlines. Now, since then I’ve done a bit of research and so forth and we now know that halal certification doesn’t need to be – you don’t need halal certification for milk and yoghurt if it doesn’t contain gelatin, which ours doesn’t.

ALEX MANN: Keeping food and drink halal means no pork, blood or alcohol can be allowed anywhere in the production process.

The trouble began last month when Nick Hutchinson received an email asking to confirm whether his company had halal certification. His response was posted and shared across a network of anti-halal Facebook sites, unleashing a barrage of online hate.

FACEBOOK POST
(male voiceover): What a crock of s**t. Cease halal certification now. You want halal? Go live in a Muslim country. Simple.

FACEBOOK POST II (male voiceover): It is sharia law that says these rag heads must eat halal food. We don’t have sharia law here, therefore no halal products are required in this country!!!! It’s all a scam to raise funds for terrorism!!!!!

FACEBOOK POST III (female voiceover): Screw halal and all who make it.

ALEX MANN: What exactly were people saying to you?

NICK HUTCHINSON: The money goes towards terrorism, the – it’s impacting on Australia’s well-being, our standard of life is being taken over because you’re paying these fees, allowing people of Islamic heritage to rule us. It come out of nowhere and happened quite quickly, because with one copy and paste onto these sites, you’ve gone from nobody knowing you’re a halal certified to 100,000 people that are extremely against it. And when they work together, they can impact quite heavily on small businesses such as ours.

ALEX MANN: Within two days, Fleurieu Milk & Yoghurt Company decided to ditch its certification, forfeiting its contract with Emirates.

NICK HUTCHINSON: Yeah, it sucks. I hate saying it, but there’s no other way to describe it. We gave in and decided that the negative publicity and the bullying outweighed what we were gaining from the halal certification.

ALEX MANN:
The attack against Fleurieu was part of an organised online campaign against companies with halal certification.

KIRALEE SMITH, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, HALAL CHOICES:
Hi, I’m Kiralee Smith, founder and director of Halal Choices. I love the freedom we have this nation. … Don’t be shouted down. You’re not a racist or a bigot because you have concerns about fundamental Islam or halal certification. Talk, share and discuss this important issue with your family and friends.

ALEX MANN: Across Australia, a loose collection of anti-halal, anti-Islam and nationalistic groups has been targeting halal-certified food companies. The groups identify businesses and direct users to swarm their social media sites.

MIKE HOLT, RESTORE AUSTRALIA: First of all, this is Australia. We are not Islamic. We’ve also been – we’ve had this imposed on us without our permission. Did you ever vote in a referendum to allow halal certification of just about everything in the supermarket? I didn’t. If they don’t change their ways and start acting as patriotic Australians, they deserve what they get. It’s market forces.

ALEX MANN: Mike Holt is an anti-mosque campaigner and a former One Nation candidate. He works with the other boycott groups to target companies like Fleurieu Milk.

MIKE HOLT: We are targeting various groups. We’ve been targeting Byron Bay Cookies. One thing you have to understand is Restore Australia works legally and we do not agree with abuse or threatening people, but we have no control over our supporters. There are people out there who get very, very passionate about this and they have made threats, which is unfortunate, but these companies have brought it on themselves.

ALEX MANN:
The biggest anti-halal group, with more than 35,000 followers, is Boycott Halal in Australia. It claims certification costs push up prices and that the money for certification goes towards funding terrorism.

BOYCOTT HALAL IN AUSTRALIA FACEBOOK POST (male voiceover): One halal product = the next bullet that kills or maims. If you buy halal, you are indirectly funding terrorism.

NICK HUTCHINSON: One lady phoned me and asked if I was happy that we contributed towards the 9/11 attacks where she lost a few family members. Outrageous claims, something that – yeah, never expected, but yeah, it’s quite ridiculous.

TRISH DELANEY, BOYCOTT HALAL IN AUSTRALIA: Companies ask for feedback, but it appears they don’t like negative feedback, alright? I mean, I think it’s fair to say that people from all walks of life should be able to ask, “Are you halal certified?” It’s not a hard question.

ALEX MANN: Trish Delaney is one of Boycott Halal in Australia’s resident keyboard warriors. She spends up to four hours a day online co-ordinating the campaign.

TRISH DELANEY:
Myself, lots of the 34,000 people have written to the Government and asked the Government to please, do something about this and label it so that people can know that they have a choice. We don’t mind or have anything against people eating halal food. We don’t want to pay for it. We don’t need it and we don’t want to pay for it.

ALEX MANN: So why do you say that we’re paying for it?

TRISH DELANEY:
Because of the fees attached to the certification. Some companies say, “No, we absorb the costs,” and we say, “Well you’re not much of a business because businesses don’t absorb costs, they pass it on to consumers.”

ALEX MANN: On the NSW north coast, Byron Bay Cookie Company knows all about anti-halal campaigning. For months the company has suffered under the same sustained abusive campaign that targeted Fleurieu Milk Company.

KEITH BYRNE, BYRON BAY COOKIE COMPANY: When we’ve got the likes of our shop here in Byron Bay and we have a receptionist who has taken some of the phone calls which could – which were quite abusive and also emails that were quite abusive. That’s when we had to say, “Hold on a second, we now need to get some more support on this,” and we did have to actually bring in the police at that stage.

ALEX MANN: In spite of the opposition, he’s decided to keep his certification.

KEITH BYRNE: Cookie Company is exporting to 40 countries worldwide. So, it’s a huge benefit to us and it means that we can not only sustain our existing workforce, but we’ve expanded that over the last years and we’re now one of the biggest employers now in Byron Bay, with 65 people. We decided to keep the certification because if we were to not have that certification, that would mean that we could lose multiple global contracts, which would mean I’d have to downsize my operation here in Byron Bay. That would mean I would lose employees.

ALEX MANN: Nick Hutchinson warns that boycott campaigners are damaging local companies.

NICK HUTCHINSON:
If they were to take us down, being a local – all our profits remain in SA. If our businesses disappear, you’re being run by companies in Japan or in Europe and these multinationals and is that better? Is that – our money going back there, is that a better option? Well, I’m sure most people agree it’s not.

LEIGH SALES: Alex Mann reporting.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The Q Society – small secret society of sad suburbanites

Blogger Andy Fleming examined this weird little group in his Overland article in March 2014 .

The Q Society, responsible for bringing out and hosting international bigots like the floridly excitable Pamela Geller, the pseudonymous self-styled religious expert “Robert Spencer” and the languid Dutch blond Geert Wilders permeates the anti-Muslim movement like a noxious smell.

Wonder if the Qs have secret handshakes, blindfolds and stuff? Or goats? Or funds which they direct to the Three Stooges featured above?

And here they are pretending to be normal. We know better.

Just so you know who hates you

779944-180213-the-q-society-of-australia

Andrew Horwood   Debbie Robinson   Susan Horwood

34 thoughts on “Meet the halal haters

  1. Very interesting article – I think it really demonstrates how fervently people (both the business elites at the top and the “battler” rednecks at the bottom) are denouncing Islam out of fear / xenophobia / intolerance cultivated by our government and media.

    The fact that people have responded so aggressively to something that, from a business standpoint, doesn’t seem particularly contentious, really worries me.

    It’s also scary that these tired old prejudices- anything Muslim is terrorist; denouncing Islam is “patriotic” – are still not being challenged at the top.

  2. people in this great country made this country what it is , with the help of people from lots of other countries who came here to make a better life for themselves and the all had their religious beliefs but also made themselves AUSTRALIANS in eveyway and did not even try to change the Australian way of life and it’s customs or way of dressing or having food killed in a certain way or wanting curtain things certified in food products. Come to this country by all means have your religeus belief but most important fit in or FUCK OFF!!!

    • So I take it you would be in favour of us adopting the customs, habits, culture and religion of the Gaidagal (Eora) people who were the first inhabitants encountered by the First Fleet?

      No? Didn’t think so.

    • I’d love to hear how and when exactly Don has been told he needs to changeh is style of dress. I want to hear specific examples.

      and presumable, Don has been telling the Jewish population for decades now they need to fit in and fuck off and forget all this Jewish, kosher stuff, right? Hate to see a double standard now, would I?

  3. The Alter Ego Speaks: The Dolt who drew top spot on the ballot card at the fed election in 2013, FAILED TO CAPTURE MORE THAN THE DONKEY VOTE. He received the least number of votes of the 8 candidates in Fairfax – a lowsy 0.84% of the vote! It must have had something to do with his personal charm and charisma.
    The Dolt received ONLY 709 votes from the 89,176 votes cast. It would not be
    uncommon for the donkey vote to be estimated at more than the percentage polled by The Dolt (donkey vote estimates .5pc-2pc) . That number of Dolt votes is extra-ordinarily low. We are sure it was the charm factor…and the anti Islamic, xenophobic racism thing. Did ANYONE intentionally vote for The Dolt?

  4. I have found many people don’t have a problem with halal products, so long as they have a choice, and are not being forced to pay for it. But when it is forced on people, as it is now, and people are forced to pay extra because of the extra costs involved, that is what people are upset about. It is a religious tax that is placed upon people who are not part of that religion. Would anyone else not have a problem with that, especially as you are not part of that religion?

    Also many products that have the halal certificate do not need it, such as milk and dairy products, toothpaste, and even Coopers beer, as muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol, so why would a beer, which contains alcohol, need to be halal. There are also pork products that are halal, and yet muslims are not allowed to eat pork, so why make halal pork?

    Also where is the money being raised going to, what accountabilty is there of the funds, and what is it being spent on? These are serious questions that people would like to know, as all we are told is that it goes to cover costs and other things that go to promote islam. So why have there been many saying that it also funds terrorist groups, and strong links to known terrorist groups like hamas and isis.

    And another serious question, how did muslims know what was halal before the certificate came about to tell them what was and wasn’t halal? And now there are reports that many halal groups are using bully tactics and blackmail to stop or force other groups out of the lucritive business, and not even doing proper checks, just granting a certificate after being paid a high fee for doing nothing.

    And why is that everyone has to bow down to a minority group, and only have halal meat and products served in our schools are shopping? other religious groups are not allowed certain foods, like the Jews and pork, but they don’t expect or force everyone else to submit to their needs, so why should a minority group expect everyone else to do so to suit them.

    These are serious questions that need to be asked and answered, and while they are being asked, the answers are not coming and are being cryptic when they do.

    • But when it is forced on people, as it is now, and people are forced to pay extra because of the extra costs involved

      What “extra costs”? How is it “forced”? Name one business where you have been “forced to buy halal-certified products.

      I hope you don’t eat Turkish kebabs because the meat in those is halal.

      It is a religious tax

      it is not a tax. The ATO is the only taxing authority where food is concerned. It is merely a certification which tells Muslims that the food is fit for them to eat. Just like the kosher certification.

      Do you have problems with kosher food?

      Would anyone else not have a problem with that, especially as you are not part of that religion?

      I’m an atheist. I have no problems with either kosher or halal. In fact I used to seek out restaurants that served both. Jewish restaurants are thin on the ground outside Sydney and Melbourne, but Middle Eastern restaurants abound. Malay, Indian and Thai serve halal meat.

      …even Coopers beer, as muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol, so why would a beer, which contains alcohol, need to be halal

      Because some Muslims do drink alcohol.

      There are also pork products that are halal, and yet muslims are not allowed to eat pork, so why make halal pork?

      Errr…no. You are confusing halal with free range and/or old breed pigs.

      Some countries require that dairy products be halal certified. This affects the export market. I am sure you would like to see the Australian dairy industry able to enter new export markets – or would you?

      Also where is the money being raised going to, what accountabilty is there of the funds, and what is it being spent on?

      Halal certification proceeds are often donated to charities.

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-11/halal-terrorism-funding-claims-absolutely-wrong/5881380

      https://newmatilda.com/2014/11/21/welcome-strange-logic-kirralie-smith-anti-halal-truther

      That’ll do for starters. I charge extra for hunting down factual information

      there are reports that many halal groups are using bully tactics and blackmail to stop or force other groups out of the lucritive business

      There are reports that anti-halal groups are using bully tactics and blackmail to stop or force Australian businesses not to seek certification.

      And why is that everyone has to bow down to a minority group, and only have halal meat and products served in our schools

      Because Muslim kids attend our schools and should be able to have suitable food available at school canteens. Just like other kids do. BTW the food at public schools with Muslim and Jewish students offers kosher and halal choices and all Jewish schools in the country are kosher.

      why should a minority group expect everyone else to do so to suit them.

      Why should a bunch of Fascist bigots at groups like Boycott Halal and Halal Choices dictate to ME what I and others like me can eat or not eat?

    • Key quote:

      “These are serious questions that people would like to know, as all we are told is that it goes to cover costs and other things that go to promote islam. So why have there been many saying that it also funds terrorist groups, and strong links to known terrorist groups like hamas and isis.”

      Hi Paul. I’m JM. I’d like to know what you do with your wages. I know you’ll like to tell me you use it to cover costs, such as rent and food, but then why are many people telling me you use your wages to hunt and kill puppies?

      No, I’m being serious here. If you use your wages for good tihngs, why are people you don’t know that you have never met, telling me you use them for bad things?

      Do you see what I did there?

      Second key quote:
      “And now there are reports that many halal groups are using bully tactics and blackmail to stop or force other groups out of the lucritive business, and not even doing proper checks, just granting a certificate after being paid a high fee for doing nothing.”

      And I have received reports that instead of receiving payment for doing your job, you instead threaten to kidnap people’s puppies unless they give you money. Don’t you agree there are serious questions to be asked about your conduct with such reports emerging from someone who is not named, or identified in anyway?

      I look forward to you responding to these serious allegations, and hopefully without any cryptic responses which deny the allegations.

  5. It’s a small vocal group dictating to everyone. A Bigots by definition is someone fixated with one single view. Bigots unfortunately also think they are right and that everyone needs to go along with their ideas.
    I don’t want this small vocal group dictating to everyone and bullying people into needing halal certification when progressive Muslims tell us that halal is not needed and negated by saying a small prayer before eating.

    • Evidence of anyone being bullied into needing halal certification. Give it a shot, see if you can find any.

      Meanwhile, I can think of multiple cases where groups have been bullied to try and stop them getting halal certification.

  6. @Charlie : “It’s also scary that these tired old prejudices- anything Muslim is terrorist; denouncing Islam is “patriotic” – are still not being challenged at the top.”

    Scary yes – but given the current political party in charge and the way it gained power by whipping up xenohobia and arguably outright racism and hate against innocent refugees among so many other things sadly unsurprising.

  7. what if you dont want a religion that you don’t believe in having food that you like to eat prepared according to Islamic law

    • Easy, buy non-halal products. I am an atheist and while I don’t care much for christmas (admittedly I do have a coupla bevvies and pass out a few gifts) imagine your outrage if I were say “why should I have a religion I don’t believe in shoved down my throat every year”. Of course you will say Australia was built on Judeo-Christian values, despite Australia being a secular nation.

  8. Some people are physically ill when they have something with gluten in it. Some people are morally ill when they have something impermissible (haram). If you cater for more or less markets that’s the problem of the producers and consumers why take this to a religious level? There could already be a lot of out of pocket expenses at corporate or even government levels.

    • WTF is “morally ill”?

      Sounds like magical thinking.

      You either consume halal food (or kosher) because you wish to follow religious teachings or you choose not to.

      You don’t let Chinless Dolt, the Magic Christian or The Limp Imp tell you what you can eat.

  9. @MindMadeUp Abuse does not prove your argument. It rather just gives the impression that you are in fact the hater.
    Just as your nick name suggests you are no less bigoted that those you criticize. When you generalize all critics of Halal Certification as bigots you simple go beyond rational reasoning.

    *I accuse you of Ignorance of the meaning of Halal and its Importance and relationship with Sharia
    *I accuse you of Ignorance of Halal Certification.
    * I challenge you to prove the scriptural basis for Halal Certification. Then you can lecture us about why the government should not protect Australian producers (and consumers)against coercive tactics by Islamic entities working with the Halal Certification Industry to FRAUDULENTLY extract moneys from us .

    Just because you fall for the ITS OUR RELIGION says so. WELL don’t think its worth looking at what their religion really tells them?

    These Halal Certification Entities that demand certification of Naturally Halal products and services are committing not just fraud (deceitfully appropriating funds) but the worst possible sin in Islam.

    The Quran says that it is forbidden that one should claim what is lawful (halal) is intact not lawful (Haram)
    To demand certification of something that is Lawful is tantamount to claiming it is unlawful without certification and this is contradicting Allah’s word in the Quran

    Here is what the Quran Says. (the sting in is verse 117)

    Sahih Internationa l 6:116
    And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, “This is lawful and this is unlawful,” to invent falsehood about Allah . Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.

    Sahih International 16:117
    [It is but] a brief enjoyment, and they will have a painful punishment.

    Please stop getting hysterical and perhaps you should ask into the motives of the Halal rectifiers, over and a above the bald face financial greed.

    Peace bro.

    • When you generalize all critics of Halal Certification as bigots

      Funny thing is they are.

      I challenge you to prove the scriptural basis for Halal Certification

      I don’t need to. If a Muslim can be bothered doing so he/she is welcome to. I wouldn’t bother though because you are just another bigot hiding behind what you think is a fine declamatory style of argument.

      We will leave you to your reading.

    • I’ll stop believing that anti-halal certification groups are not completely bigoted when they:

      A) have a reason to object to halal which in no way uses the term “creeping sharia” or “invasion”, and
      B) have similar criticisms to the remarkably similar, yet far less controversial kosher certification process.

      Come on, Say No 2 Mo, if this isn’t you being hateful and fearful of Muslims, why are you, and the other anti halal certification members featured here not similarly critical of kosher certification, which also costs businesses money to apply, also is applied to items which may not need kosher certification, and also is important to a minority of Australians?

      Again, any example of coercive tactics where businesses are being forced to up have halal certification? I can see organisations which are threatening and harassing organisations to stop halal certification, but haven’t seen any examples like you are suggesting. Have you made them up?

      And to be clear, are you saying you know more about Islamic law regarding halal certification , enough to accuse halal certification bodies of frauds and a violation of Islamic law, compared to the majority of Muslims who have no objection to halal certification at all? That’s a pretty big claim to make. I mean, I have studied Islam for a long time, but wouldn’t say I know more about the religious practices than someone who has lived it for their entire life.

  10. An Open Letter To The Australian Members Of Parliament

    Halal certification, or preferably religious certification, has numerous issues surrounding it, however this letter is intended to highlight concerns that specifically relate to labelling.

    We have built a nation that has thrived on both democratic and free market principles. However those free market principles are struggling of late with regards to Religious Certification. If I were to walk into each of your offices, place twenty typical products in front of you and ask that you identify which of those products were certified, you would not be able to. It would of course be a loaded question as all of the products would be certified, yet none would be labelled as such. In other instances a label may exist however would be difficult to identify without the aid of magnification, or in extreme cases would only be identifiable once the packaging was opened. This is not characteristic of a free and transparent market.

    The issue is of course a two sided coin. I recently spoke with a Muslim lady that complained she had to drive miles to find Halal meat. The irony there is that approximately 80% of red meat slaughtered in Australia is Halal Certified and slaughtered under Islamic rules. The meat that is destined for export is labelled, however the meat that is destined for the local market is repackaged through wholesalers, then distributed through supermarkets and butchers. Rarely is it labelled for the consumer, despite being previously certified. The irony is that this Muslim consumer in her search for Halal meat, most likely drove past many outlets that sell the very product she was after – yet due to the current relaxed labelling laws she would have no way of knowing.

    There is a great deal of false information on both sides. As an example I’ve had many debates with people convinced certification only applies to meat, which is a bit hard to accept when you’re staring at a can of halal certified fruit. Others argue that Water and Air are Halal which clearly indicates a complete lack of understanding as to what the issues actually are.Then of course people argue that we have a choice, just don’t buy it! But how is there choice without disclosure? The two are mutually dependant on each other, without disclosure choice does not exist.

    The fact is most of us that argue for better labelling, simply want our own rights respected in the same way the Muslim community does, rights which we are all entitled to but currently denied. Australia has a multitude of laws that apply to labelling ranging from country of origin to ingredients or ownership. It seems that every aspect of labelling for goods and services in Australia is covered by at least one guideline or piece of legislation, all except of course those goods and services with a religious affiliation. As an atheist I’m curious to know why religion isn’t included?

    Labelling of goods and services with a religious affiliation should be on a 3 tier basis;

    1) Companies should be able to declare that a product or service is suitable for a specific religion. While they are already able to do this, there is no encouragement or recognised logo to help achieve this. Many products naturally comply with many religious requirements, despite this many are obligated to pay for certification. This action needs to be discouraged.

    2) Companies would be required to disclose through a clear label whether a product contains ingredients that have been certified in accordance with a specific religion, to allow the consumer to further investigate that product should he/she choose.

    3) Companies would be required to disclose through a clear label if a specific product, service or business is certified and to which religion. This is clearly the most important of the three. It is the one you need to give the greatest consideration to.

    Most media are quick to jump on the racist bigotry angle and question the logic behind linking Halal Certification to terrorism. Most media would prefer to grab the headline rather than objectively report the subject. As politicians you’re required to look beyond the headline. Speak to people, understand why tens of thousands of people are so upset. Ask why a person that prefers a company that has no religious affiliation such as Halal is labelled racist or a bigot, but a person that avoids a product made in China isn’t. This request for clear labelling is not unreasonable, indeed Indonesia recently introduced laws similar to what is being asked of you here. A tin of Milo as an example is certified through the Islamic Council of Victoria, yet the tin carries no such logo to indicate that so most consumers would never know. The same Tin of Milo in Indonesia however, by not displaying the Halal logo, would be subject to significant penalties. Why does Indonesia lead us with regards to labelling laws?

    There is objection to change of labelling laws such as these in Australia, we have seen examples of this in the UK where changes to their labelling laws were recently voted down in parliament by a very small margin. However we have also seen that despite being voted down, the objections to certification have not been silenced at all, quite the opposite. While improved laws will no doubt have an impact on some businesses, those that will gain the most will be the consumers, Muslims, Jews, Christians and Atheists alike. What is certain is that the numbers that oppose the current structure of labelling, from all sides, will only continue to grow. It is unlikely this issue will subside until it has been properly fixed, the only question is which of you will stand up for us?

    • Halal certification, or preferably religious certification, has numerous issues surrounding it, however this letter is intended to highlight concerns that specifically relate to labelling.

      No it doesn’t. Kosher labelling has been around forever.

      However those free market principles are struggling of late with regards to Religious Certification.

      In your dreams.

      Unlike ingredients, additives and preservatives, a product label like halal or kosher neither adds nor subtracts from the quality of the food.

      It’s a bit like communion wafers. Doesn’t matter how many times the priest mutters over them they still taste like cardboard.

      Companies should be able to declare that a product or service is suitable for a specific religion

      Inappropriate. No business would do so.

      … to allow the consumer to further investigate that product should he/she choose.

      How about campaigning for more readable labelling. At the moment if you want to ascertain what ingredients are in a product you have to walk around with a magnifying glass like some retail version of Sherlock Holmes. You will find that most consumers are more interested in what ingredients are in a product and the amount of salt, sugar, preservatives, kilojoules etc are there than if the product is religiously certified or not.

      This is not characteristic of a free and transparent market.

      Obscure or ambiguous nutritional labelling is not characteristic of a “free and transparent market”.

      Most media are quick to jump on the racist bigotry angle and question the logic behind linking Halal Certification to terrorism

      For once the media are on the right track. It IS all about racism and bigotry.

      Ask why a person that prefers a company that has no religious affiliation such as Halal is labelled racist or a bigot, but a person that avoids a product made in China isn’t.

      There are good reasons to do with sustainability, food miles, freshness etc to pick a local product. It isn’t necessarily about racism or bigotry. And surely your far right bigots would be all for “Made in Australia”.

      Why does Indonesia lead us with regards to labelling laws?

      Milo in Australia is exactly the same as the product imported to Indonesia. Indonesia requires a halal label because most Indonesians are Muslims and wish to ensure that the product is religiously certified. Other countries mandate differential labelling for Australian products according to their local laws. Some countries (certain Pacific countries) do not.

      Live with it.

      … the objections to certification have not been silenced at all

      Only because you bigots keep yammering away about it. It does not affect normal Australians.

      …the only question is which of you will stand up for us?

      None of us will. And I can hear the pollies laughing now as they drop your missive into the round filing container.

  11. I’m fashionably late to this conversation, but anyway….

    >>”I have found many people don’t have a problem with halal products, so long as they have a choice, and are not being forced to pay for it.”

    This is one of the more curious arguments by anti halalists. The implication is that Australian companies choose to pay for halal certification, then deliberately raise prices to compensate themselves. It begs the obvious question, if there is no financial benefit from certification, why do they bother to pursue such a business model?

    The truth is that assumed beneficial economic factors dictate such business decisions, and companies do not certify to provide a social service to minorities at the (financial) expense of their other customers. Some companies (such as Cadbury and Purina) publicly state that their certification expenses are not passed on to consumers. As does The Australian Chicken Meat Federation:

    “Does the customer pay more because of the Halal requirements?

    No. To meet Halal requirements imposes minimal additional costs on processors which are more than compensated for by the additional market that can be serviced. Consequently, neither the Muslim customer buying certified Halal products nor the customer buying product that is not certified Halal is paying any more for chicken meat.”
    http://www.chicken.org.au/page.php?id=150#G22

    >>”Also many products that have the halal certificate do not need it, such as milk and dairy products, toothpaste, and even Coopers beer, as muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol, so why would a beer, which contains alcohol, need to be halal. There are also pork products that are halal, and yet muslims are not allowed to eat pork, so why make halal pork?”

    I’m not aware of any pork products which are certified halal. A link demonstrating so would be useful. Coopers beer is not halal certified. Coopers Brewery has a thriving export business in malt extracts which are sent all over the world for use in the food industry. Consequently Coopers has both halal and kosher certification for these extracts.
    http://www.halalexporter.com/listing/coopers-brewery-ltd.html

    Milk and dairy products are naturally halal. They are also naturally gluten free (for example). The issue is cross contamination during the production process. Halal certification, gluten free certification etc. act as consumer guarantees of the absence of unwanted additives. Certification provides a point of differentiation from competitors, and is a marketing tool used to increase sales (particularly exports).

    >>”Also where is the money being raised going to, what accountabilty is there of the funds, and what is it being spent on? These are serious questions that people would like to know, as all we are told is that it goes to cover costs and other things that go to promote islam. So why have there been many saying that it also funds terrorist groups, and strong links to known terrorist groups like hamas and isis.”

    The implication of your allegation is of course that our Federal agencies (ASIO, ATO, AFP etc.), are either unaware or unwilling to investigate, uncover or prosecute terrorist funding from businesses openly operating in Australia. The basis for your claim of certification funding terrorism, is that “there [have] been many saying” so. I’d hazard a guess that these “many” like to make shit up. But if you do have any actual evidence of such wrongdoing, be sure and let the authorities know. I’m sure someone will be interested.

    And if you’re worried that the products and services you consume may benefit Muslims, and therefore “Islam”, I suggest you sell your computer immediately. It was undoubtedly produced in a factory which runs on petroleum products. The plastic polymers it’s in part made of, were likely sourced from oil. Every keystroke on your plastic keyboard is probably indirectly ‘funding Islam’.

    >>”And another serious question, how did muslims know what was halal before the certificate came about to tell them what was and wasn’t halal?”

    It depends which Muslims you’re talking about. Some Muslims in Australia may have only bought from local Muslim butchers, and avoided processed foods whose ingredients they could not personally verify as having halal integrity. Muslims living in countries where halal is the default or norm would probably buy local rather than foreign imported food goods whose halal integrity is unknown.

    >>”And now there are reports that many halal groups are using bully tactics and blackmail to stop or force other groups out of the lucritive business, and not even doing proper checks, just granting a certificate after being paid a high fee for doing nothing.”

    I’m not aware of such reports but that issue is not specifically one of halal certification or not, but rather of illegal or unethical business practices which may (to whatever extent) be found from time to time in any industry. The cost of halal certification in Australia is very comparable to the cost of kosher certification in Australia. And both are voluntary.

    >>”And why is that everyone has to bow down to a minority group, and only have halal meat and products served in our schools are shopping? other religious groups are not allowed certain foods, like the Jews and pork, but they don’t expect or force everyone else to submit to their needs, so why should a minority group expect everyone else to do so to suit them.”

    Noone is forcing anyone to eat anything. Muslims in Australia do not ‘expect’ non Muslims to eat halal. I don’t give a toss what other people do or don’t eat. What individual schools decide to serve (probably on the basis of cost effectiveness) is a matter for them. Supermarkets offer plenty of choice for anyone looking to specifically avoid halal certification.

    >>” It is a religious tax that is placed upon people who are not part of that religion. Would anyone else not have a problem with that, especially as you are not part of that religion?”

    It seems the only people with this problem are bigots, the hysterically uninformed…..oh and lest we forget the lessons of history, anti Semites.

    “The bizarre claim by right wing extremists that kosher certification markings on food product labels (“kosher certification” “K,” etc.) cost consumers extra money and represent, in effect, a “kosher tax” to make rabbis rich, is a striking example of the propaganda used by anti-Semites to trick the uninformed into accepting conspiracy charges and stereotypes about Jews.

    Other anti-Semitic allegations regarding kosher designation on foods include charges that “the kosher food racket” benefits Jewish organizations while only a small segment of the American population desires such markings, and that even the meanings of the labels are guarded secrets deliberately kept from non-Jews to trick them into paying the “kosher tax”

    – The “Kosher Tax” Hoax: Anti-Semitic Recipe for Hate

    http://archive.adl.org/special_reports/kosher_tax/print.html

  12. What about my right to choose to eat food that HAS NOT been KILLED INHUMANELY. It is now almost impossible to ensure that I eat non Halal food. While it seems to be everyone’s priority to ensure people can elect to eat Halal certified, the rights of the vast majority to elect to eat, in particular, meat products from humanely killed animals is forgotten – as are the rights of our animals. Watch a Halal killing of an animal on youtube and you will see why it is important that people are given this choice. We are ignoring the majority and ignoring animal welfare to appease a minority who kill animals in a sickeningly cruel manner in the name of a religion – a religion that by the way creates and fosters cruel killers of humans and animals alike. Shame on the ADF for their recent changes to the menu for soldiers. Of all organisations, I thought this would be the one that would have the courage – COURAGE – to defend the Australian values they fought so hard to protect in the last more than 100 years. I am not a bogan – and do not care for any of your name calling – I am a ordinary educated citizen who is proud of our achievements in animal welfare and now dismayed at the sudden (and apparently unnoticed) backward steps we have taken in the name of Halal. People made such a fuss about Aboriginal people killing and eating turtles – are they also bogans?

    • Halal is no crueller than any other current method of butchering animals for meat. You are free to choose not to eat animal products as many before you have done but don’t bang on about “Australian values” because the minute we see these words we can smell a bigot.

  13. Thanks for writing this post with some logic and reason on the issue. The bullying behaviour by the anti-halal extremists are unethical and unjustified and based purely on bigoted, religous hatred. That’s all. Their illogical questions trying to pose as ‘genuine concern’ for cost or other nonsense is just veiled noise to cover the bigotry. Let’s look at the cost issue though with some reality and context. If a business pays $1500 or even $3000 for certification, this cost would be ‘passed on’ indirectly the same as any other business cost, in any other business. It’s not a conscious choice by business to either include or exclude a fixed cost from pricing. If a business donates to the catholic church or Seventh Day Adventists and claims it as a deductible donation then that ‘cost’ will be equally be ‘passed on’ indirectly as just any cost of business. Where’s all the outrage from this group about supporting the catholic church and therefore paedophiles?? None, because their outrage is bigoted against one religion only. Back to the cost issue though. Divide the halal certification fee by the number of units a business sells. So if you’re a milk manufacturer selling 10 million litres a year, the cost of halal certification that consumers (oops bigots) should be outraged about, that would be passed onto you, would be around 0.0003 cents per litre. You would therefore have to buy 10,000 litres to be ‘supporting halal certification’ to the massive amount of 3 cents. Yep, outrageous indeed. But as we know, it’s not consumer choice that is the issue here. It’s nothing to do with the certification cost. The vile social media and bullying these people engage in is appalling and it’s pleasing to see a blog dedicated to reason. Bring on the defamation case with Kirily Smith. That will shut them up in public at least.

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