… so now wipe the Halal Tax
Toasted cheese with a dollop of Vegemite was my favourite late night snack, but I leave off the Vegemite now that it’s owned by the American company Mondelez International and sports a little “Halal Certified” notice. No worries, my Aussie owned and made Bega cheese still bubbled under the griller while the jug boiled for a strong cup of tea.
That was until I noticed this funny little Arabic hieroglyph on the back of my Bega cheese packet too. Bloody hell, first my Vegemite and now my Bega cheese! No worries, I’m happy with plain toast.
I wasn’t game to go through the whole fridge or I’d have starved.
Trying to find Aussie tucker on the shelves is hard enough but trying to find tucker that is not Islamically sanctioned is near impossible, and it’s meant to be.
An insidious and illegal protection racket called “Halal Certification” has worked its way through our food chains without us knowing a thing about it.
Australian manufacturers and importers of food and drink are actually paying Islamic halal certifiers up to $30,000 per month for the honour of displaying this little Arabic sign.
So, who are these Islamic bastards who are adding to my grocery bill? Well, the “Indonesian Council of Ulama”, MUI, (which also orders Fatwa rulings) is the Mafia style Islamic body organising the multi-million dollar racket that forces Australian companies to pay outrageous amounts to have their food certified as halal.
One major Aussie meat processor, who refused to be identified, claimed he had been told to pay $27,000 a month for halal certification, which of course was expected to be passed on to the consumer.
Mr Stephen Kelly, an executive of the Japanese-owned Nippon Meat Packers in Queensland, said last year that MUI had banned his abattoirs from selling meat into Indonesia because he had dealt with MUI’s opposition for certification.
MUI’s opposition is the Australian certifier, “Halal Food Services” (AHFS), who had undercut MUI’s price for certification and the Indonesian company apparently calls the tune when it comes to blackmailing Australian food companies.
From what I can discover there are halal certifiers in all countries with South East Asia being regulated from Indonesia and the governing body’s world headquarters are encamped in Saudi Arabia. There are State branch halal authorities operating in Australia
Islamic websites claim all money (estimated in the billions) goes to building Islamic schools but where it actually goes after leaving Australia I shudder to guess.
The funny thing is a couple of years ago Aussie shoppers woke up to the scam and began avoiding halal certified food, so all these little Arabic motifs started disappearing.
Thinking this might lead to some sort of Fatwa I called a few food manufacturers. None was prepared to speak to me, except Arnott’s, who said they were attempting to resist some “standover tactics”.
One distributor, who asked not to be named, was prepared to offer an opinion: “They really don’t care if the halal sign is there or not, they only insist it’s on the exported product and as long as the supplier pays the monthly fee everything’s sweet. If they refuse to pay, then their exports are at risk.”
Local clerics arrange for Muslims to flood Aussie food processors with intimidating letters and phone calls threatening that unless they pay fees to become halal certified, some, “pretty bad stuff will happen”.
When contacted last year over the scam, the Federal Department of Agriculture said it had, “no power over religious certifiers”. But another spokesman said, and get this one:
“The Australian Government values our close relationship with MUI and will continue to work together with them to overcome issues that affect the mutually beneficial trade in red meat to Indonesia.”
I have asked the Dept of Agriculture if they have an update on their response to halal certification, but am yet to receive a reply. I have also left phone messages with Barnaby Joyce but it seems halal certification is an uncomfortable subject.
An Islamic Council response?
“Hope this will clear the misconception of Halal issue for all intent and purpose.
“The Halal Food Authority promotes animal welfare, adherence to food safety, food hygiene and quality in compliance with the teachings of the Islamic jurisprudence and faith.” Blah blah blah, as soon as they got to the animal welfare bit I knew it was a load of Islamic camel droppings.
So it’s up to you Tony, no new legislation needed, no Senate shit, just an appreciation of what is already thoroughly illegal and what is hurting Australian shoppers. Of course it may also hurt relations with our lovely Islamic friends.
Or is that the real problem?