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.

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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

ABC 7.30: Facebook group reveals ugly side of Defence Force culture

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

7.30

7.30 presenters
Broadcast: 29/02/2012

Reporters: Hayden Cooper and Nikki Tugwell

While the Australian Defence Force tries to clean up its image following recent sex scandals, a private social media group of former and current soldiers shows some sections of military culture are still deeply offensive.

Transcript
CHRIS UHLMANN, PRESENTER: Sexist, racist and abusive: that’s the tone of hundreds of offensive messages posted on an internet chat site used by current and former Australian soldiers. The site and its confronting contents, uncovered by 7.30, suggest a campaign by the top brass to clean up the culture of the Australian military has a long way to go.

Last year it was the Skype sex scandal; before that, sexual misconduct by sailors. Now, a private Facebook group of more than 1,000 former and serving Defence force members provides another disturbing insight into the soldier’s world.

This report from Hayden Cooper.

HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: Over six decades of war and peace the Royal Australian Regiment has built a proud history. It’s a professional fighting force, seven battalions of soldiers, the backbone of the nation’s Army. But the culture in the RAR is at times misogynistic, racist and homophobic.

DAVID MORRISON, CHIEF OF ARMY (Last night): At the core of our identity is a strong combat culture. We must preserve this because it’s vital to our success, but we also need to concede that this culture has tended to exclude women and some ethnic groups who are under-represented in our ranks.

HAYDEN COOPER: In the online world, Australian soldiers stick together. This is a closed Facebook group. Gatekeepers ensure only current or former RAR soldiers are let in. The content shows why. This is a world in which Muslims are “rag heads” who should be shot, Australia is no place for immigrants, and, “All women,” as the post says, “are filthy, lying whores”.

LAUREL PAPWORTH, SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST: There’s an element of a gentleman’s club to the closed group, except they’re not acting very gentlemanly.

HAYDEN COOPER: There are more than 1,000 current or former soldiers in this group. The site is extremely busy and acts as an online meeting place. 7.30’s been given access by one concerned member who wants to remain anonymous.

LAUREL PAPWORTH: They seem to be doing a one-upmanship here where one puts in a negative comment and the next person comes in and has to say something even worse.

HAYDEN COOPER: Laurel Papworth has advised defence forces overseas on social media strategy.

LAUREL PAPWORTH: It’s actually pretty gutless of them because they would not be putting up those kind of jokes if their mum could see it and their sister and their wives and boss and their maiden aunt. So they know that they’re not doing the right thing and they’re joining a closed group so they can misbehave.

HAYDEN COOPER: Putting aside the pornography and racist material, the comments by the group’s members are perhaps more telling.

STEPHEN SMITH, DEFENCE MINISTER: Your role in the Defence force will be determined on your ability, not on the basis of your sex.

HAYDEN COOPER: When the minister announced last year that more women would go into combat, the Facebook group went into overdrive as soldiers responded.

(Excerpts from postings on the Facebook group)

(male voiceover): “Well if you had a nice, soft, warm put f*** buddy in the shape of a woman you could have got rid of all that stress. LOL”

(male voiceover): “f*** fodder for the enemy, new break contact drill, leave female soldier behind wearing bikini lol”

(male voiceover): “Don’t worry about what the enemy will do to them. After a few weeks in the bush, most blokes’d f*** a black snake with a festered arse!!”

(male voiceover): “your right about that if she’s half good looking with big tits give’s ya something to keep you awake on piquet duty, just hope she’s not a noisy f*** or the enemy will know where you are.”

(male voiceover): “Let’s face it, the RAAF get the best looking ones, the Navy get second dibs and the Army as usual get what’s left.”

(male voiceover): “Vote 1, ugly chicks in every diggers gunpit!!”

(male voiceover): “If your on Ops and get rubbish, who carries the tampon and sanitary napkins bag?”

(End of excerpts).

HAYDEN COOPER: So is this a surprise to members who have experienced Defence force life?

NAOMI BROOKES, FORMER ADFA CADET: I’ve heard it before. And if I was shocked – no, it’s pretty commonplace.

HAYDEN COOPER: Naomi Brookes spent a year at the Defence Force Academy before deciding it wasn’t the place for her. The trigger for leaving was the way a friend was treated by her peers after being raped.

NAOMI BROOKES: And they would say things – oh, I think one of the ones that really made me angry was about a week after it had happened and someone in my div said, “Oh, she should get over it already,” and calling her words that I don’t like to repeat.

HAYDEN COOPER: And then when the Skype sex scandal was revealed, similar attacks took place on various social media sites.

NAOMI BROOKES: They would say things like, “Oh, she’s such a slut; she deserved it. She was asking for it,” that sort of mentality where the blame is really placed on the woman. Comments like the ones on the Facebook groups aren’t all that unusual and because they’re not all that unusual as time goes on they seem less and less obscene, and so it feeds back into itself. And throughout the year that I was there, those sort of comments became more commonplace because it wasn’t seen as unacceptable.

LAUREL PAPWORTH: There is probably systemic ignoring of this kind of behaviour. It’s, you know, “Guys will be guys. Just ignore it, as long as they get the job done,” and I’m not sure that that’s a – an appropriate response to this kind of bad behaviour online.

HAYDEN COOPER: Lieutenant General David Morrison has been the Army Chief for eight months. He’s pushing ahead with efforts to bring more women and more minorities into the services.

DAVID MORRISON (Last night): Will it cancel out and negate any unfortunate incidents in the future? Unlikely. Human nature is human nature irrespective of whether it’s lived in uniform or without.

HAYDEN COOPER: In this case, the Defence hierarchy was alerted to the Facebook group and its contents eight months ago. A member of the group wrote to the Chief of Defence and the Department Secretary. He also took his concerns to the minister’s office more than once. It raises questions: why has nothing changed and what should be done? Catherine Lumby advised the NRL when it first set out to overcome abusive attitudes.

CATHERINE LUMBY, UNIVERSITY OF NSW: The Australian Defence Force is really I think just started the process of cultural change and they’ve got Elizabeth Broderick, who’s a terrific person, to head that up. And I think that this shows that these attitudes are there, there are problems and they’re going to have to commit to really long-term change. And I think we shouldn’t be caning them for that. I think we should be supporting them in that process.

LAUREL PAPWORTH: We make a lot of demands on our military. On one level we want them to be big, strong, rugged men that can go in and be adversarial with an enemy. And on the other hand, they have to be big, soft gentlemen that don’t ever say the wrong thing. And I think that that’s a very teenage girl approach to bad boys. It’s unrealistic.

HAYDEN COOPER: The online group does serve a decent purpose like fundraising for serving soldiers and the administrators have warned members repeatedly to avoid overtly racist or sexist material. Finding the right balance, though, seems difficult, both for the soldiers involved and for the entire military.

NAOMI BROOKES: Everyone still has a right to their private lives and if that’s how they choose to conduct themselves in their private lives it’s difficult for Defence to intervene in social media. But I think in terms of the attitudes that they have and their own sense of dignity, one should hope that Defence would have the capacity to engage in training and to make it clear that there are standards of behaviour for members in Defence and hopefully that should have run-on effects for mediums like Twitter and Facebook.

HAYDEN COOPER: Naomi Brookes is embarking on a new life after her previous career fell short of expectations, but she hopes that for others the experience can be better, despite these very clear signs that true cultural change is elusive.

NAOMI BROOKES: It’s come to the point where it needs external pressure from greater Australian society in order to make that change, because if Defence is left to deal with it, again, I don’t believe that the necessary cultural shift will happen.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Hayden Cooper with that report, produced by Nikki Tugwell. 7.30 approached the Chief of Army, the Defence Minister and the Opposition Defence spokesman for an interview. They all declined.

Late this afternoon we received a lengthy response to our questions from the Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison. He thanked the ABC for, “highlighting these serious issues in a bid for them to be dealt with”. He said his staff in Army headquarters are already taking steps to determine if any serving members are linked to the offensive comments. Where they have been, he said, “I intend to take action to deal with them to the extent that our policies and the laws allow”.

Read the responses to this story from the Department of Defence and the Minister for Defence.

Source

All media © ABC News

Elsewhere

Military analyst reflects on ADF issues

Racist Facebook page with more than 1000 members probed by Defence

UPDATE

Angry outburst after ADF posts made public