The truth about halal certification
THE TRUTH ABOUT HALAL CERTIFICATION by Larry Pickering
Part 1 (of a 12 part series)
Phew! It’s very bloody hot around here. I know it’s not the weather, so it must be that halal certified curry I just ate. Golly, something tastes very funny with my Mussaman beef and my Vegemite too, and my Cadbury’s chocolate bars… and all my Nestle stuff!
Hang on. I’ll just go look in the fridge and pantry.
My milk tastes fishy too, so does my yoghurt, and my ice cream, sour cream, whipped cream, cheese, bread, pizza, pies, sushi, water, flour, muffins, butter, breakfast cereal, pancakes, crumpets, coffee, dried fruits, nuts, honey, mayonnaise, vinegar, barbecue sauce, cooking oil, eucalyptus oil, chili pepper, vitamins… just about every bloody thing!
Wait a minute. Let me check the bathroom. Even my mouthwash, toothpaste, cosmetics… everything from my kitchen to my bathroom… even plastic containers, leisure products and holidays, it’s all halal certified.
So what’s going on here then?
News sites, the Federal Parliament, Facebook posts, web blogs, TV and radio talkback are sizzling with chatter about halal certification – the involuntary Islamic tax we all now pay at the supermarket checkout, cafes, bakeries, fast food outlets, restaurants, and beyond.
Even lawyers have their pistols cocked at ten paces on instructions from halal adversaries.
What was once limited to meat slaughter has now crept into all products associated with my life, including non foods items to basic services, in what has been described as ‘Shariah creep’.
Opportunistic moneymen have identified a gap in the market where ‘infidel idiots’ are primed for exploitation.
But Australians in their millions are now looking very, very closely at that funny little symbol with the squiggly lines on their supermarket items and restaurant menus.
Australia’s best known household brands are among hundreds of food items, now funding halal certification schemes to the benefit of Islamic agenda and personal wealth by fortune hunters.
Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, IGA, Franklins, Food Land, Cadbury, Nestle, Kraft, Kellog’s, Allowrie, SPC Ardmona, Sanitarium, Paul’s, Harris Farm, Parmalet, Tip Top, Helga’s, Purina, Bega, Blackmores, Ingham, Steggles, Lilydale, Sara Lee, Buttercup, Saxa Salt, Johnson & Johnson, Capilano Honey, Leggo’s, Sunbeam, Maggi, Top Taste, Mainland, Vegemite, Marmite, Promite, Nutella, CSR, Masterfoods, Dairy Farmers, Meadow Lea, Vittoria Coffee, Fountain, Devondale, Dilmah Tea, Dolmio, White Wings, Eta, Wrigley’s, and Four ‘N Twenty are just the tip of a Titanic-sized iceberg.
Fast food outlets, and restaurants like McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks, Burger King, Red Rooster, KFC, Subway, The Cheesecake Shop, Krispy Kreme, Wendy’s, Mrs Field’s Cookies, Nudie, Nando’s, Le Wrap, Curry Express, Salsa’s Mexican, Garlo’s Pies, Dougie’s Flamed Grilled and retail butchers and chicken shops like Red Lea Poultry are either certified by group, store, or by individual item and many others including independent and chain sushi stores, pie shops, kebab shops, cafes, pizza shops, bakeries, ice cream shops, burger shops, poultry shops, grills, pubs, theme parks and restaurants are all financing the halal certification tsunami to the extent of $12 billion a year, and that’s only what we know of. Now that equates to any proposed GST increase!
The Government is also losing the same amount in company tax deductions and very few certifiers pay tax as it is claimed to be a religious related income.
The certifiers have now got our kids’ kindergarten canteens in their sights with the intent to halal certify every school canteen in the nation by 2018. Even our national airline QANTAS is halal accredited, requiring all food suppliers be halal certified.
The controversial certification fee has become a local and global industry upsetting both non-Muslim consumers and devoutly religious Muslims, who are dismayed and angered that unscrupulous moneymen are profiting from misrepresenting Islamic teachings.
Certifiers can set up a private business, approach producers and food outlets, tell them an appealing but misleading story about Islamic law, sell them a stamped certificate, get them to sign a confidentiality agreement, and bingo! The royalties start pouring in.
It’s money for jam, halal certified of course.
The IFGST (Islamic Food, Goods and Services Tax) seems to have recently ambushed the wider general public, although it’s been around a while. Its origins were benign enough but over time halal certification has morphed into a malignant cancer pervading our entire economy.
Mad-as-hell consumers are furious that they have been unwillingly entrapped in a dodgy money scheme of which they want no part. They vent their objections everywhere – on social media, radio, blogs and news sites, which are met by return online fire with abusive name calling by at least one litigation happy Egyptian halal moneyman.
Our politicians are trying to come to terms with consumer outrage while remaining hoodwinked by the self-serving moneymen saying it’s all about exports. But that’s not at all the true picture.
The swelling tide of anger is about the redistribution of big bucks from domestic consumers’ wallets into the pockets of the halal certifiers, who laugh all the way to the bank.
There is no single halal certifying body in Australia, as there is in other countries. Here there is a growing list of 33 certifying outfits all with varying motives, from expanding Islam to expanding private bank accounts. They madly compete with each other in a growing turf war. The end consumer (and beleaguered taxpayer) bankrolls it all.
Consumer law has unquestionably been breached (misleading and deceptive conduct) and it’s only a matter of time before authorities step in and legal action is commenced. The push is now on to regulate an unregulated national scam.
While consumers have been snared in a religious money-go-round, deeply devout Muslims also are watching in anger as they see their faith being hijacked for profit.
Hapless food company executives have been caught up in the crossfire between expanding their halal market and eroding their local customer base from a growing ‘boycott halal certification’ movement.
Halal certification fees, which amount to no more than the unscrupulous exploitation of Islamic beliefs, is big business… and it’s getting bigger.
This is the greatest con ever inflicted on Australian consumers using religion as ammunition.
Grossly uninformed and lazy media have failed to lift the lid on the deception and only now are they being forced to recognise a serious problem.
HALAL AND HARAM
Halal is an Arabic word meaning ‘permissible’ or ‘lawful’. The opposite of halal is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited.
It is not required in any Islamic teachings, nor is it in Shariah law, that a fee be paid to ensure food is halal. In fact almost everything is already halal, and with very few exceptions.
The following products are already halal:Milk (from cows, sheep, camels, and goats)HoneyFishPlants which are not intoxicantsFresh or naturally frozen vegetablesFresh or dried fruitsLegumes and nuts like peanuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts, etcGrains such as wheat, rice, rye, barley, oats, etc.
Haram foods are:Meat and by-products from swine.Animals improperly slaughtered, or those already dead.Animals killed in the name of anyone other than Allah Intoxicants (alcohol, drugs and mind altering substances)Blood and blood by-products
Halal food was lawfully mandated for Muslims for good health between the 7th and 10th Century when Islam was founded. There were no refrigerators, preservatives or health department regulations or inspectors. Halal was a guide to food cleanliness.
Being Muslim is a way of life from worship, (Sharia) law, (holy) war, to politics and eating. It’s an holistic ideology. Eating is simply a part of this faith.
Although eating halal foods is the pursuit of Muslims, certification fees are not part of Islamic teachings. Many Muslims say their religion has been exploited to make profits for greedy individuals.
They have a deep distrust of certifiers’ motives. They say the halal certifiers are making their own laws above those of Allah’s.
Muslims have been eating halal according to the Qur’an’s teachings for 1400 years. Charging fees has been prevalent for only two or three decades.
Halal certification started out with honorable intentions and originally related to the slaughter of livestock.
Cattle for example had to be slaughtered by a smite to the neck from a sharp blade so all blood is drained while the heart is still pumping to expunge the haram blood.The charging of certification fees did not begin in Islamic countries.
A system was first devised in the US in the 1970s to identify and brand halal meat for local minority Muslims. The certification method at first was not about generating money but a sincere way for Muslims to identify meat to ensure they were eating according to the instructions of their faith.
Western abattoirs were advised by Islamic clerics of the halal procedure to kill for the Muslim minority. These slaughterhouses allocated a percentage of their produce for this small but growing market. For practical management many abattoirs transitioned to 100% halal, increasing export market growth.
Then the opportunity presented itself for certifiers to expand their business income. They began to sniff out money in just about everything related to food, and non food items.
Moderate fees were initially charged to producers to cover the cost of inspection. This grew to a ‘halal royalty’ for the rights to display trademarked ‘halal’ logos of multiple variations, depending on the certifier.
Now food producers pay annual royalty fees up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to individual moneymen… one litigation happy certifier openly admits to becoming a halal millionaire.
These cost imposts are borne by the end consumer as everything has now become an imposition on food and almost everything else.
Islamic halal certifying bodies became organised only as recently as the 1980s.
In America, IFANCA (Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America) has been established since 1982, IDCP (Islamic Da’Wah Council of the Philippines) since 1987, the MUI (Indonesia) established in 1989, JAKIM (Malaysia) started issuing halal logo certificates in 1994 and the World Halal Food Council (WHFC) was founded in 1999.
In Australia, both the IVVC (Islamic Co-ordinating Council of Victoria) and the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia (SICHMA) were founded in 1992.
But, as with most unregulated money markets, the “business” of religious purity has become infected by greed, rivalry, corruption and bribery.
The potential global market for halal certification can make a few well-positioned opportunists very, very rich.
Muslim scholars are dismayed at the exploitation of their faith posting online excerpts from the Qur’an showing there is no need to certify food as ‘halal’, because most food is already halal (“everything is made for us by Allah”), with the exception of blood, intoxicants (alcohol), forbidden animals such as pigs, already dead animals or those that have died “of themselves”, carnivorous animals and birds of prey.
Quran 5:5This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them.
Quran 5:3Prohibited for you are animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of pigs, and animals dedicated to other than God. (Animals that die of themselves include those) strangled, struck with an object, fallen from a height, gored, attacked by a wild animal – unless you save your animal before it dies – and animals sacrificed on altars.
Quran 5:90O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants (alcohol), gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.
Quran 16:115He only prohibits for you dead animals, blood, the meat of pigs, and food, which is dedicated to other than God. If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.(end)
Halal is about food cleanliness, purity and hygiene to meet with Qur’anic teachings and the hadiths which were written 300 years after the Qur’an.
Apart from some serious animal welfare issues in the slaughter process, there’s nothing wrong with halal food. Non-Muslims have been eating ‘halal’ for centuries and there is no special preparation for halal food except for the slaughter of animals.
The slaughter issue, without pre-stunning, is the main animal welfare objection as it relates to the pain and distress endured during the time interval between slashing the neck and the loss of consciousness.
There are three basic conditions of halal slaughter.
1) Most of the four veins (including the Jugular vein) must be cut with a knife or a tool that is sharp and has a cutting edge;
2) The name of Allah must be pronounced at the time of slaughtering, whether actually or effectively (such as when it is forgotten by someone who would normally have said it);
c) The slaughterer can be any Muslim, Christian or Jew, known as ‘People of the Book’, (Ahl al-Kitab). It is documented in the Qur’an that the prophet Mohammed ate goat and sheep meat prepared by Jewish women.
The contemporary practice of certification is ‘Bid’ha’ (unlawful innovation in Islam) as it is a ruling above Allah’s law.
Allah Most High says: “Today are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.” (Surah al-An’am, v. 5)
The meaning of ‘food’ in the above verse specifically concerns animals slaughtered by the People of the Book (See Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 2/19).
News reports with graphic footage have surfaced in Islamic and non-Islamic countries of Muslim slaughtermen kicking animals in the head while alive to render them partly unconscious, then hacking at the animals’ necks with blunt saws. The animals scream in agony until they painfully die as other livestock watch on.
The violent cruelty of halal slaughter is a major issue. However this is not what this investigation is about. That is a just cause for animal welfare activists.
Certification fees and extra costs imposed by Muslim-only slaughtermen are considered a compliance cost by the “client”, therefore they become a tax-deductible cost against general revenue, so even buyers of products which are not halal certified, but produced by the same ABN entity, contribute to the bottom line.
Likewise, the profit and tax liability decreases as a consequence of the certification cost; so it’s an extra tax burden for everyone, including a tax loss for the Government.
Halal certification is no longer about what’s permissible for Muslims, but is now about branding and stamping by Islamic certifiers for the benefit of the certifiers.
Everybody pays a cost uplift on food at checkouts, restaurants and takeaways, both Muslims and non-Muslims. Governments have looked the other way while allowing consumers’ rights to be abused.
Food hygiene is already strictly regulated and monitored by food and health authorities; therefore halal standard controls should be under the umbrella of our health and food department inspectors (who could permissibly be halal compliance experts under Islamic law) with one official certifying stamp.
Ironically our food preparation standards are already more stringent than in some Islamic countries where street and restaurant food is more susceptible to contamination.
In recent years, as the moneymen have been allowed to prowl the Australian markets unregulated, halal certification has grown from ‘user pays’ to ‘everyone pays’.
The objection is not with halal food per se but paying an added Islamic tax on foods, goods and services to private or religious entities with the funds funneled to either the pockets of private scamsters and/or to funding the promotion and growth of Islam in Australia, or for other more sinister causes (depending on the certifier).
The funding of terrorism was not the concern of this investigation, but it must be noted there is clear evidence halal certification schemes overseas were found to be directly funding organisations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood – all are proscribed terrorist organisations determined to destroy the West.
In the US, France and Canada it has been proven that halal certification schemes directly funded these organisations. In Canada it was found that $14.8 million dollars over a short period was funnelled to Hamas from halal certification money.
It was found that Canadian halal certifier MAC (Muslim Association of Canada) sent funds to IRFAN Canada (an Islamic front charity), which in turn contributed to terrorist organisations. These scams have now been broken up and the ringleaders charged.
In the US, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a major halal certifying body. ISNA is listed by the US Administration in court documents as an unindicted co-conspirator with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and their various front groups. The judge’s ruling reads: “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the association of ISNA, with the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas”.
In France, researchers of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre documented ties between one of the largest certification organisations UOIF (Union des Organisations Islamiques de France) and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as radical clerics involved in jihad campaigns.
The report states: “Furthermore, the UOIF participates directly in the financing of Hamas, through a French-registered charitable organisation, the CBSP (Palestinian Charitable and Relief Committee)”.
In Australia, an entry in the annual report of the Islamic Council of Western Australia (ICWA) a halal certifier confirms using profits for “…ongoing donations to Syria. Because of the difficult civil conditions, the donations were made through ‘Al Imdaad’ (another front charity) to ensure that no recriminations could be directed at ICWA”.
Is it any surprise there are questions raised in Australia as to where halal money goes to?
Where there has been alleged corruption and bribery overseas, governments have imposed regulations. Overseas government standards apply and are enforced for halal certification.
These include qualifications in Islamic law and food science. In Australia only Islamic organisations are supposed to be halal certifiers, but this condition is being grossly breached.
Halal businessmen have even labeled pork as halal in a push for market expansion. Nothing is off limits in the frantic effort for a share of the rich pickings in halal certification.
Muslims say they already know what haram foods to avoid because it’s part of their teachings, and the list is quite small. If there is doubt (mashbooh) whether a food is halal, a simple prayer is said over the food and it immediately becomes halal.
If a Muslim unknowingly or of necessity consumes a haram food, it is quite okay and there was never a need to pay a fee for it. These instructions are in the Qur’an and Hadith and the moneymen know it.
But the ignorant infidels don’t know it.
Here’s a message from one of the many Muslims who were interviewed as part of this investigation:“I was taught if I am in doubt (mashbooh) to recite an Islamic prayer (bismillah) over food and Allah will accept it. I have discussed this with my Imam who confirms it is immoral and un-Islamic to charge for halal.“
And another, “In my country we do not need a stamp on our food to make it halal. All food is halal and if mushtabahaat (uncertain) we say a prayer to make it acceptable to Allah and according to Quran, it does not need to be even cooked or prepared by a Muslim.”
Another, from a Muslim in a takeaway food business, “Halal stamp is rubbish. We have to pay at our shop but our meat is already halal but we have to pay again. This is not Islam. This is making the bastards rich who make us pay. Please you must tell everybody we are not happy about this situation. We work hard in our shop and pay the halal guy but he does nothing for the money.”
Islamic scholars with a different interpretation of the Qur’an to the certifiers are now publicly condemning cash for halal certification.
Fees are not just an issue of disharmony between non-Muslims and the certifiers, but surprisingly a highly contentious issue between the certifiers and devout Muslims.
In Australia there is no single authority in relation to halal, therefore nobody can truly be an approved halal certifier. The Qur’an is the sole authority. Islam is about the individual being personally answerable to Allah, and making personal decisions about his/her lifestyle.
No self-appointed so-called “authority” can do this and nobody can make laws above the Qur’an regarding halal. This is not my opinion, it is an edict of Islamic law.
N THE NAME OF THE PROFITPart 2 (of a 12 part series)
From the Qur’an: “And say not concerning that which your tongue says falsely: ‘This is Halal and this is Haram’, so as to invent lies against Allah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper… A passing brief enjoyment (will be theirs), but they will have a painful torment.” (16:116-117)
Halal certification has more in common with money and marketing and less to do with Islamic purity. Islamic scholars are calling the act of halal certification ‘Bid’ah’ (unlawful).
Bid’ah in Islam is the innovation, invention, creation, or addition of any religious matter which was not originally found in Islam. For aspects of worship or ritualistic behaviours in Islam there must be something in the Qur’an or the Hadith to explain and confirm its practice. The practice of “halal for cash” is not an Islamic practice, contrary to Islamic texts it is based on the Jewish Kosher certification.
“Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ that they may purchase a small gain therewith. ”(2:79)
I will examine later in more detail the Islamic explanation of why halal certification is ‘Bid’ah’ and also ‘Sh’irk’ (sin of idolatry).
A halal stamp on a product is branding for a market. Fees for halal are the payment of royalties for a logo.
In Australia, although the market is miniscule (just 2.2% of the population is Muslim) over 80% of our supermarket items are now halal certified. Within that small percentage, many Muslims do not strictly observe halal anyway, just as there are many Christians who do not go to church regularly, if at all.
Two Muslims I spoke to in the takeaway and wholesale food business freely said they don’t strictly observe halal but they are happy to meet the demands of their customers who do.
One who refuses to pay the halal tax (yes, a Muslim) obtained a letter from his local mosque for a modest, one-off agreed donation to the mosque. The Imam had simply visited the meat suppliers to check that they were halal certified. This smart Muslim businessman cut out the middleman. So you don’t need to pay royalties for a trademarked logo. Apparently an official letter from your mosque will have the same effect, for a one-off small donation.
Around 500 Australian companies have signed up to the certificates and stamps. This number has fluctuated annually, mostly upwards… until now. The peak seems to have passed as businesses are now waking up despite a growing number of small restaurants and takeaways becoming halal certified and paying the tax.
The halal money is either used for the personal benefit of a few, who are in it purely for profit, or in some cases it is used to expand the growth of Islam in host countries via donations to schools and mosques or Islamic “charities”. Some of this charity money finds its way overseas for “Islamic causes” or it simply funds the growth of Islam in general.
Food company executives have jumped on the bandwagon for one reason only; a potential increase in sales.
They see a potential market and so they pay up, passing the costs on to their end customers, effectively adding a religious food, goods and services tax to the item(s). They are often coerced by the moneymen with promises of future export markets, even if the company executive has not checked that moneyman has the proper accreditation for export markets.
(note to executives; check with the Department of Agriculture before you sign up to halal certification.)
One Australian meat exporter, who asked not to be named, was conned into paying an undercut rate of $40,000 pa (saving $10,000) in halal accreditation fees only to find out when his goods arrived in Indonesia that the certifier was a fraud and not accredited. The exporter not only had to pay the Indonesian accredited MUI agency as well but was charged loaded back-fees for the period he was “illegally” accredited.
Certifiers may be limited to one specialist market, or all markets. Others, as is usually the case, are not approved for any export market (where the really big money is available).
Executives are mostly unaware or don’t care that they’ve been caught up in misleading interpretations of Islamic teachings. But most are becoming aware of the growing consumer blowback, with some opting out of the fees and some deleting or obscuring the halal logo leaving consumers unaware of what they are supporting.
The choice for company executives is this: Either pay the certification fees and risk eroding decades of customer goodwill, or drop out of this miniscule domestic Muslim market altogether.
The export halal market does have enormous benefits to the Australia economy, but that’s not where the controversy lies. Of course there is controversy over the cruel method of killing livestock, but the real anger we are concerned with is in the domestic market… consumers paying out at the checkout in order to fund Islamic schools and mosques and the business bank accounts of the private halal “certifiers”. Surely we should have a choice in what we decide to fund or support!
Islamic scholars overseas angrily accuse halal certifiers of redefining food (and non-food items and services) as haram, then requiring food producers to pay monthly instalments for a certificate that converts everything to halal, despite the fact that everything was already halal.
But this study of the halal certification scam reveals it’s less contrived than that.
HOW THE SCAM WORKS
The moneymen are moving through markets, selecting permissible foods, goods and services then selling stamps and certificates to confirm these goods etc ARE permissible. It’s akin to saying it’s permissible to breathe air, so we will sell you a stamp and a certificate to prove that breathing air actually IS permissible, then charge you a monthly fee.
The promise is to make both the certifier and the producer richer with the end consumer funding the entire rort.
This is no different to a self-appointed consumer law advocate travelling door-to-door offering businesses a certificate and stamp to label their products “legal” even though their products are in fact already legal… and everyone already knows it. Remember, halal means “permissible” or “lawful” to Muslims.
Halal Food? It’s already lawful! So please pay a monthly fee so you can tell everyone it is indeed lawful. WTF? Water? Lawful? Yep, ‘fraid so. So pay up.
Lawful foods like honey, nuts, grains, milk and yes, even water are all now ‘halal certified’ with stamps and fees paid, simply to tell Muslims these items are “permissible” when they already know they are. And anyway WTF should that have to do with we Aussies?
The moneymen are profiting from a fraud, while not producing a damned thing. It’s the ultimate scam, powered by incorrect definitions of religious teachings.
The already “permissible” list is growing by the week. Plastic containers are now “halal permissible”, so is cutlery, cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes, fragrances and pharmaceuticals. New targets include packaging materials such as tin cans, drums, plastic bottles, moving on to clothing, white goods, cars, toys, tools, holidays, services and building products.
Anything that touches food or touches hands that touch food has to be approved… for a fee of course. Incredibly, even trucking companies delivering foodstuffs are now being successfully targeted.
To operate a Halal certification business in Australia requires no Islamic qualification. Any Muslim can do it, and many are. A business model like this has the potential to make millions for slick, smooth-talking certifiers like Mohamed El-Mouelhy.
This Australian certifier, who has been accused by Islamic clerics in Indonesia of not having the right credentials for halal certification, (he is neither an Islamic law expert nor food scientist) states on his own “halal helpline” website:
HALAL CONCEPT By Mohamed El-Mouelhy“For a product to be Halal it must be as a whole and in part:1. Free of, and not containing any substance or ingredient taken or extracted from a haram animal or ingredient.2. Made processed, produced, manufactured and/or stored by using utensils, equipment and/or machinery that has been cleansed according to Islamic law.
“Must never have come into contact with, touch or be close to a haram substance during preparation, making, production, manufacture, processing and/or storage.”
Is this bloke serious? The Qur’an says no such thing, which is why the certifier does not quote the Qur’an. Where is the Islamic law that he refers to regarding food that is “processed, produced, manufactured and/or stored by using utensils, equipment and/or machinery”?
Where is the Islamic law saying food “must never have come into contact with, touch or be close to a haram substance during preparation, making, production, manufacture, processing and/or storage.”? Of course there is no such law!
It is not Islamic law, it is Mr Mohamed’s love affair with money talking. Mohamed El-Mouelhy has just made the whole thing up! The
Qur’an states everything is permissible and lists only a few dietary exceptions. It’s about consumption. There is no mention of utensils, machinery or cleaning. In Islam no man can make a law above Allah’s law. This is Bid’ah and haram.
GETTING HIGH ON HALAL INTOXICANTS
One clear example in the Qur’an concerns “intoxicants”.Quran 5:90“O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants (alcohol), gambling, [sacrificing on] stone altars [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.”
Definition of an intoxicant“Noun in•tox•i•cant \in-ˈtäk-si-kənt\ something (such as an acoholic drink) that causes people to become excited or confused and less able to control what they say or do: an intoxicating substance.”
It is haram to consume alcohol (and drugs). This is for the purpose of clarity of mind (ie. do not get drunk or drugged) so one should not succumb to haram acts. The moneymen go several steps further to halal certify a cleaning product because it contains alcohol or Vegemite because it contains yeast.
Common sense tells all Muslims that cleaning a benchtop with a cleaner containing alcohol, or spreading Vegemite on toast, will not get you drunk or stoned. This underscores why domestic halal certification is nothing more than an outrageous scam.
Vegemite is a food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives including salt. Vegemite contains no alcohol and no intoxicants. It is already halal without needing permission from the moneymen… much less charge a fee to claim what it already is!
But once the moneymen discovered the distant link to breweries, this Australian iconic brand was targeted.
Vegemite states on its website:“VEGEMITE is certified Halal by The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. VEGEMITE is made on a dedicated production line and does not contain or come into contact with any animal derived ingredients and the yeast in the product has been processed to ensure the product is alcohol free.”
So there you have it. You won’t get smashed or sustain a hangover ingesting Vegemite. Does the Kraft mob really need to pay a fee for that illuminating information? The certifiers will tell you they do.
But it doesn’t stop there, Coopers Brewery has also been hit, because of “malt” extract. You won’t get drunk or stoned on malt, or hops either.
Ironically, highly paid western entertainers and Eastern European prostitutes returning from Islamic countries over the years tell sordid tales of Middle Eastern Muslim-only night clubs drowning in illicit drugs and every alcoholic drink known to the West, and more. Westerners are not permitted in these Muslim-only clubs, except for the purpose of providing sex and entertainment. Naturally, the wives also are banned from these depraved dens of iniquity.
The Muslim nightclub kingpins of the Mid-East justify their intake of alcoholic intoxicants to the bewildered entertainers by explaining, “When it is night, Allah cannot see us. And what Allah cannot see, he cannot know.” (wink)
The worst of the worst Australian ISIS recruits are Kings Cross nightclub party boys with histories of drugs and drinking before getting seduced by the lure of multiple decapitations and child sex before heading off to be “foreign fighters” in the holy name of Islam.
The Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist former government of Afghanistan was also one of the world’s biggest sources of intoxicants – opium poppies grown for the world’s heroin markets.
The Taliban controls 96% of Afghanistan’s poppy fields and opium still remains its biggest source of income. Taxes on opium exports became the backbone of its war economy and was curiously ignored by the US military. Close to all the world’s heroin is still grown in Afghanistan.
In Australia, our biggest and worst drug manufacturers and suppliers are so well organised they have attracted their own police crime unit – The Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad (MEOCS). No prizes for guessing what religion is at the core of these producers and dealers in “intoxicants” (heroin, ice, fantasy, ecstasy/MDMA etc).
Former NSW detective, Tim Priest was one of the front-line cops who led the war against crime in the drug-ridden streets of south-west Sydney suburbs. In his own words, Priest states,
“I believe that the rise of Middle Eastern organised crime in Sydney will have an impact on society unlike anything we have ever seen.
“In the early 1980s, as a young detective I was attached to the Drug Squad at the old CIB. I remember executing a search warrant at Croydon, where we found nearly a pound of heroin. I know that sounds very familiar; however, what set this heroin apart was that it was Beaker Valley Heroin, markedly different from any heroin I had seen. Number Four heroin from the golden triangle of South East Asia is nearly always off white, almost pure diamorphine. This heroin was almost brown.
“But more remarkable were the occupants of the house. They were very recent arrivals from Lebanon, and from the moment we entered the premises, we wrestled and fought with the male occupants, were abused and spat at by the women and children, and our search took five times longer because of the impediments placed before us by the occupants, including the women hiding heroin in babies’ nappies and on themselves and refusing to be searched by policewomen because of religious beliefs. We had never encountered these problems before.
“As was the case in those days, we arrested every adult and teenager who had hampered our search. When it came to court, they were represented by Legal Aid of course, who claimed that these people were innocent of the minor charges of public disorder and hindering police, because they were recent arrivals from a country where people have an historical hatred towards police, and that they also had poor communications skills and that the police had not executed the warrant in a manner that was acceptable to the Muslim occupants.”
Mostafa Rashed, Imam of a Sydney mosque in Australia, made a religious edict in 2014 that wine is not banned in Islam. Rashed considers Qur’anic verses merely ban drunkenness, not the wine itself.
In a talk show aired on the privately-owned Al-Tahrir TV channel in December 2014, Rashed said that the Prophet’s rulings on the banning of wine are weak, thus it’s not mandatory to follow them. He said in his edict that a small amount of wine does not lead to drunkenness and that heaven includes, “rivers of wine”.
Yet Vegemite has to be halal certified because it contains non-alcoholic leftover yeast from breweries!
On the ‘Halal Helpline’ of self-styled Australian halal “certifier”, Mohamed El Mouelhy, it states:
“Thus the consumption of Haram foods and drinks may have undesirable effects on the above mentioned factors.“In the context of our daily food intake, any foodstuff that causes, or has the potential to cause, any negative effect to the mind, spirit, integrity and health, is Haram. The habitual consumption of Haram foods may be manifested by the exhibition of impure spirit, unsound mind, impairment of personal character and unhealthy body.
“Apart from ensuring the cleanliness of foodstuffs, Islam prohibits the usage of any materials that are detrimental to spiritual or mental well-being of a person, such as alcoholic drinks, drugs, etc.”
The clear conclusion here is that intoxicants are open to varying connotations depending on the agenda and potential profit. Interpretations on the evils of “intoxicants” can be flexibly pragmatic where money is involved.
Muslims can be serious suppliers and users of heavy intoxicants while Vegemite contains the “intoxicant” yeast, which must meet approval by Islamic moneymen before being allowed to enter household pantries.
The halal moneymen are treating both Muslims and infidels as ignoramuses. They consider fellow Muslims to be idiots who cannot decipher what is halal without paying for a halal stamp.
Apparently it’s only Muslims of the past 10 years or so who have become so uneducated, because for the past 1400 years Muslims haven’t needed a stamp, yet lived and thrived quite well according to Islamic law.
And the infidels? Well, what would they know? They are stupid enough to be paying up anyway.
Some apparently smart and knowledgeable Muslim shop owners tell me they don’t need to pay fees for stamps as their Muslim customers already know exactly what is halal. If there are doubts, they ask. No stamps or fees required.
Mr Mohamed El Mouelhy is business owner of the “Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd” (he has no authority) admitted to “Today Tonight” in May 2012, “You are eating halal day and night. When you go to Woolworths you are eating halal, when you go to Coles you are eating halal, when you go to Benjamin Franklin (he probably means Franklins) you are eating halal…
“If you don’t want to eat halal, live on pork and wine, because even water is halal.”
Here he is brazenly admitting (nearly) everything is halal already, (and doesn’t need halal certification, but it is all being certified by him and his fellow certifiers anyway). And yes, some commercial water is halal certified.
This is a scandal the Australian media have so far refused to look at seriously. Our politicians are starting to take notice only because they now have to as angry and frustrated constituents are demanding action and the halal certification fees scam is electorally significant.
HALAL FOR CASH(Part 3 of 12)
Indonesia has a population of around 237 million people. It has the largest number of Muslims of any country in the world and is home to 13% of the world’s entire Muslim population. It also happens to be our nearest neighbour and a lucrative export market.
In Australia, halal red meat production for export is governed by the Australian Government Muslim Slaughter Program (AGMS). The AGMS is underpinned by legislation through the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).
AQIS introduced the AGMS program in 1983 to regulate the production of halal meat and meat products. The AGMS is controlled by legal requirements in the Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Orders under the Export Control Act of 1982, and applies to red meat, offal and meat products.
If you want to call food halal in Indonesia, then labelling is mandatory.
The ‘pig scare’* crisis in Indonesia in 1989 led to the formation of the nation’s halal certification authority; the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) or the Indonesian Clerics Council which enforces the Republic of Indonesia’s health and labelling Acts.
(*Pork was detected in meatballs from thirty nine different meatball shops in the Surabaya and Yogyakarta region.)
In Australia halal certifiers have needed to seek approval from the MUI for the licensing rights to halal certify for exports into the Indonesian market.
In 2006, the MUI was caught up in an Australian corruption scandal dubbed by the Indonesian media as, ‘Halal for Cash’.
Australian halal businessman, Mohamed El-Mouelhy, (there’s that name again) made allegations of corruption against the then Chairman of the MUI, Amidhan Shanerah.
Several Australian certifiers paid a total of $28,000 personally to Shanerah for travel expenses to and from Australia. El Mouelhy contributed $4,000.
Shanerah denied that the Australian certifiers had funded the trip. He claimed that the State (Indonesia) paid for the trip. The allegations claimed Shanerah pocketed the funds paid to him personally by the Australian certifiers.
Following Shanerah’s junket to Australia, all the “donating” certifiers were approved, except Mr El-Mouelhy who was refused certification because he was unqualified, being neither an Islamic law expert nor a food scientist. He remains unaccredited and unable to certify halal in Indonesia.
Subsequent to the corruption allegations, changes were made to halal certification in Indonesia.
It’s reasonable to ask if Mr El-Mouelhy would have made such a fuss had he received his halal certification accreditation.
Following this public corruption scandal, the Indonesian government introduced a bill on halal certification so as to transfer the halal certification authority from the MUI to a new, independent body. It was claimed this was done for the protection of Indonesian consumers. The Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said that taking over the authority to issue halal certification from the MUI was part of an effort to “uphold the principle of fairness”.
He said, “Other Islamic organisations will be jealous and will demand the same role. Besides, it is the government that has the mandate to issue a regulation, not a mass organisation.”
The Minister proposed, in a new arrangement for halal certification, that the MUI could still be involved in providing recommendations but only from a “religious perspective”.
Suryadharma Ali, who is the chair of the Islamic-based United Development Party (PPP), said that by eliminating the role of the MUI, the government could also reap additional tax revenues from the issuance of halal certificates.
Under the current arrangement, the MUI gets to keep all proceeds derived from the issuance of the certificates. The MUI charges 5 million rupiah (approx $400) for a halal certificate.
Tasked with deliberating the bill, Lawmaker Hasrul Azwar, a member of the House Commission overseeing religious and social affairs, said the MUI had never been transparent about what it earned from halal certification.
Hasrul Azwar, also a PPP politician, said that once the government had control of the halal certification process it would not only reap more revenue for the state but could also help curb extortionate practices. “We plan to break down the components of costs involved in the issuance of each certificate to prevent businesses from being charged illegal levies. We have to control it”, he said.
The draft bill also proposes the establishment of an independent halal-certification body, which is currently being formed.
Australia, however, still has no regulation of the halal certification ‘industry’. Unqualified Muslims are allowed to proliferate and prosper at the expense of mostly non-Islamic consumers.
Indonesia with 210 million Muslims, 85% of the population, has one government appointed halal certifying body. Australia with 500,000 Muslims, 2.2% of the population, has 33 listed halal certifiers.
And the government appoints not one of them! Halal certification in Australia is entirely unregulated and runs rampant through our consumer markets.
After eight years of dispute with the MUI, the Indonesian government has only just reached an agreement with it to finalise legislation for an independent consumer-based body to regulate halal certification.
In contrast, Australia’s halal certifiers are growing like weeds through our economy, reaping billions at the cost of the consumer and taxpayer, certifying anything and everything that moves, or doesn’t move.
In Indonesia, the MUI will continue to halal certify until 2018 at which time it will hand over to the new body. Part of its submission to government is that it wants halal certification to be mandatory on all foods, goods and pharmaceuticals which is attracting strident opposition from Indonesian consumer and industry bodies. Yet it attracts little attention here.
The Indonesian Association of Food and Beverage Companies is against halal certification saying that applying halal labels is a “heavy burden on industry”.
That same heavy burden is occurring here in Australia.
Indonesia, in respect of out-of-control halal rorting, is strangely well ahead of Australia in tackling the problem. It’s time for Australia to catch up.
On 24 February last year, Jakarta’s “Tempo” magazine reported on wide-spread allegations of corruption in halal certification.
Tempo reported: (excerpts)
“Corruption, it seems, knows no bounds of time or place. Even when it comes to halal labels – which guarantee foods contain nothing that is haram, or forbidden for religious reasons – has now become a target for manipulation.
“The certificates should be issued free of charge to avoid causing problems for companies and consumers alike. In practice, however, producers are made to pay for the costs of testing food and drink products, and there is no transparency over the tariffs charged. This has led to an ironic situation: halal certificates are issued through a haram process.
“The MUI works with certification organisations in several nations. And it is here the opportunity for abuses emerges.
“Because of such bribery, the performance of the halal-label issuing companies has never been audited.
“One of the ongoing debates concerns whether certification should be voluntary or obligatory. The Indonesian Association of Food and Beverage Companies is of the view that applying halal labels is a burden on the industry.
“The MUI Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Research Agency has set an administration fee of Rp6 million per product, but in practice there are other costs which are unclear and which can run to tens of millions of rupiah. As a result, not only will consumers pay more, the competitiveness between local products is affected.
“These indications of abuse must be followed up. The MUI must explain where funds from issuing halal certification have gone. This non-government organisation, which gets some funding from the State Budget and which manages public funds from halal certification, must be made more transparent through an audit by the Supreme Audit Agency.
“Far-reaching measures are needed to deal with this problem. The Indonesian Consumers Association once proposed that halal labels be replaced with non-halal certificates. In other words, rather than labelling food as halal, haram food should be separated from halal food.
“This concept is based on the simple assumption that most food in Indonesia is processed according to halal procedures anyway, and uses ingredients that are not haram.
“Products that are not halal, such as those containing pork or alcohol, would have to be labelled accordingly. This method would be more practical, less complicated and infinitely less costly.
“Mohamed el-Mouelhy, (he just keeps popping up) so called president of the Sydney-based Halal Certification Authority told Tempo.”It’s common knowledge in Australia that in order to get authorisation you have to bribe MUI officials.” (end excerpts)
El-Mouelhy said that his “organisation” and six other Australian “institutions” had together paid $A28,000 to MUI officials in 2006, of which “the largest share” went to MUI Chairman at the time, Amidhan Shanerah.
El-Mouelhy however did not receive authorisation in return so his accusations may be somewhat skewed as a result of his belief that he was dudded.
Australian Halal Food Services (AHFS), a Melbourne-based business, told Tempo they paid bribes to senior MUI officials to renew their licences to certify abattoirs as halal.
These bribes ranged from $A3000 to $A10,000 and were put directly in the bank account of Amidhan Shanerah.
MUI angrily responded via Tempo in these terms:
In March last year, the current Chairman of MUI, Muhammad Sirajuddin Syamsuddin stated that the MUI recognises dozens of halal certifiers in Australia. But in fact, there was only one, who failed the test and that was none other than Mohamed El-Mouelhy.
The halal certification company owned by this Mouelhy man was disqualified in 2006 because he had no scientific involvement in his business, and no Islamic law experience, even though he claimed to be an expert himself because he was Egyptian.
But the MUI claims there must be at least two people involved, one Islamic law expert and one Islamic scientist.
Director of meat processors JBS Australia, John Berry, told Tempo the high cost of halal certification was limiting business and was concerning to Australian meat exporters who deal with Indonesia.(end response)
These explosive accusations have sparked an outcry among Indonesians who slammed the MUI monopoly of the halal industry deeming its conduct as ‘haram’.
“Heart and conduct must be halal too,” tweeted Rudy, an angry Indonesian.Others responded:@bloomer22 :”halal certificates are issued through haram process”. if it’s true then shame on you, MUI !* @sophienyan“Basically it’s like you can sell Allah’s rules to the highest bidder.”@ryan_triana :“this is disgusting, how can a religious institution betray their own beliefs??”@NickFongers“it’s the power of money..!!!”@sunnili:Fascinating investigation on this Halal labelling scam. Indo Islamic council taking bribes for certification.
The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s leading English-language daily, followed up with this:
Editorial: “Halal and Transparency”The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Sat, March 01 2014 (excerpts)
“For decades the stench of the lucrative ‘business’ behind halal certification has been more than apparent to the public, but suspicions have drifted with the passing winds.
“That is until a “halal for cash” story, allegedly involving the Indonesian MUI, was picked up by Tempo magazine.
“The MUI brings together Muslim figures from various Islamic organisations whose integrity and knowledge about Islam is beyond question.
“Therefore, it has been taken for granted that everything the MUI did was for the good of the ummah (the Muslim community).
“Tempo quoted Mohamed el-Mouelhy, (there’s that man again) admitting to having spent $A28,000 on airfares, hotel and lodging and travel allowances when he arranged the visit of MUI officials, including chairman Amidhan Shanerah.
“Amidhan Shanerah branded el-Mouelhy’s remarks as libellous, saying his trip was covered by the Indonesian Government.
“The struggle for power has intensified not only because of the “halal for cash” report but also, and more importantly, because of the Government’s bid to control halal certification.
“As certified products are for public consumption, a strict control mechanism is imperative. Under the existing arrangement, no-one dares to exercise oversight of the MUI.” (end editorial)
While Indonesia is attempting to tackle halal certification corruption in its own country, Australia turns a blind eye, allowing an open slather, for fear meat exports may be affected.
But, aside from meat, corrupted practices right here in Australia are deleteriously affecting all of Australia’s domestic consumers.