HALAL Certification Australia, what is it all about?

What is Halal certification and what does it cost the consumer.
 
A full list of Halal certified produces in Australia is linked below, there are also thousands of other products that are Halal compliant http://www.halalchoices.com.au/product_lists_halal.html
 
Another list here, also covers items that contain Halal certified produce, in fact the more I dig, the larger this list becomes     http://www.halalchoices.com.au/product_lists_halal_ingredients.html
 
Unlike the older and more complex Kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) designed to serve the small observant Jewish community, Halal certification schemes are widely imposed on non-Muslims. 
 
Certification schemes began in the 1980s and are funded by consumers through a multi-level system of one off and recurring fees, paid by suppliers to Islamic organisations.
 
It can easily be described as a hidden Islamic tax on goods and services in Australia, and it continues to grow beyond its original intention, only going to prove this statement.
 
The extent of this Islamic ‘tax’ becomes clear when we understand who contributes to these schemes:
·         All four major dairy companies
·         Over 75% of poultry suppliers
·         Over 60% of abattoirs processing sheep
·         More than 50% of abattoirs processing cattle
·         Most General producers like Simplot, Unilever, Nestle, Kraft, the list is long indeed.
 
The global market for halal-certified products and services is estimated to be worth more than USD2.3 trillion, expanding by 20% per year. These schemes are not limited to food alone, with products and services ranging from halal certified cosmetics to water, trucks, warehousing and sharia finance there is no limit to the schemes. Plans are in place to certify every step of the market from suppliers of animal feed, to food processing and eventually the transport to your supermarket and even shopping bags, affecting us in the same way an increase in GST would for instance.
 
One of the issues that arose whole collating this information is that many companies are facing intimidation to become certified, and not one of those that relayed this message were willing to have that fact made public, in fact several websites and writers are presently being sued for defamation, for even writing on the issue of Halal in Australia, so it has become a very powerful movement.
 
Companies who believe non-Muslims do not care, pass on the extra cost to consumers. Few products are labelled as certified halal, when in fact most meat and dairy produce bought in supermarkets, or when eating out, are now halal certified for a fee.
 
I can find no other religious groups or lobby groups imposing such a broad, tax-like scheme on the supply chain anywhere else in the world.
 
Halal in its strict sense ought only involve meat. Much of the non-meat food supply is intrinsically halal, and thus does not require certification, including milk, honey, fish, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and grains. Yet many producers and suppliers of such products are still paying for halal certification through lobby group pressure and export control.
 
White milk does not need to be certified. They don’t mark their labels and now many companies are removing the certificates from their website because of negative feedback, further undermining free choice ”Purina Fancy Feast cat food is now on the list of halal-certified foods which makes no sense to me at all, having never met a religious animal.
 
We even find Easter eggs with Halal certification, yet those following the Muslim religion, do not celebrate Easter, begging the question “Why are Easter eggs Halal”
 
For a product to be Halal, it must be as a whole, and in part:
  • ·         Free from any substance taken or extracted from a Haram animal or ingredient (e.g. pigs, dogs, carnivorous animals, animals not slaughtered in compliance with Islamic rites);
  • ·         Made, processed, manufactured and/or stored by using utensils, equipment and/or machinery that has been cleaned according to Islamic law (e.g. not cleaned with alcohol); and
  • ·         Free from contact with, or being close to, a Haram substance during preparation, manufacture, processing and storage (e.g. blood, alcohol, poisonous and intoxicating plants and insects such as worms and cockroaches).
Animal welfare and Halal
 
Australia was quick to amend its animal welfare laws to entertain Halal slaughter methods, under a proviso that all animals are stunned before slaughter, this point was agreed to by the Muslim community initially, but as Muslim slaughter men were the only ones allowed to conduct halal slaughter, things started to change.
 
Stunning started to be ignored, and when the government officials questioned this, the Muslim lobbyists fought back, resulting in exemptions being granted in secret by our own government
 
All around Australia today and in growing numbers are abattoirs that are permitted to slaughter in the Halal method with-out stunning, letting the animal bleed to death slowly, in total ignorance of all animal welfare legislation and protections.
 
When our government pander to such requests by allowing exemptions to minority groups that undermine national law, it becomes obvious that open public debate has become necessary.
 
When one tries to follow the money, all links are down, hidden or deceptive, painting a picture of secrecy, one of the people at the top of the Halal certification chain in Australia that appears to know what is going on is,  Mr Mohamed El-Mouhley, when interviewed by Today Tonight, his replies were arrogant to say the least;
 
“If you don’t want to eat halal: Live on Pork and wine, because even water is halal”
 
 Going on to say;
 
“You are eating halal day and night, When you go to Woolworths you’re eating halal. When you go to Coles you are eating halal. When you go to Franklins you are eating halal”

The dismissive attitude of Mr El-Mouhley to the rights of Australian consumers, is typical of worldwide lobbying trends used by Muslim leaders as they expand across the globe, which undermines our democratic process, something already openly shunned by most practicing Muslims.
 
The point that makes a Mockery of all this, is the very fact that the Koran (The Book) does not dictate any of this, where a simple prayer before eating/cooking is allowed.
 
There are lots of things I prefer in life, like all Australians there are many things we would prefer, changes we would like to see,  the only reason we don’t get what we want, is because we have no voice, our representatives can’t hear us.
 
It is this issue that divides us, not a minority’s religious beliefs, and one that makes clear, putting a side our national identity from the immigration debate, is a failure.
 
The Halal issue has come about for several reasons,  firstly the Muslims have learned to lobby well, even playing the race card, where this is religious issue, not a race based one. 
 
The more they lobby, the larger their income becomes, and our government only fear well-funded lobby groups and their corporate sponsors, rather than the people, simply because they have become accustomed to controlling electoral results though structural biases, rather than needing to inspire the electorate through genuine representation.
 
I have no objection to religious observance, the freedom of religion protected by our constitution, but that is not what we are seeing here, this is all about giving an inch and taking a mile, rather than equity of any form, Australians ought not be forced to financially support a minority, nor should they forgo their own rights of free choice simply because their representatives are ignorant.
 
Any minority group will do their best to provide for their communities, but I suspect this issue is bigger than that, as Muslim immigration has so many more facets that this one issue, but in every respect, it all goes back to democracy, where the majority ought to rule, not the best funded or the loudest.
 
Yes I kept it short and sweet, if you need more info, Google away, I left out photos, because they all offended me.
 
Mark Aldridge
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