Halal certification in Australia (and worlwide) are in turmoil as suspicions and fears about channelling of funds to terrorist organisations are not allayed appropriately by those in authority. In fact, the halal certification authorities are under attack. The following opinion piece suggests that withdrawal from halal certification schemes is a blow to the economy and local industries.
I recently read an article about a South Australian Dairy Company that pulled its Halal Certification because of a social media backlash from anti-Halal protesters. As a result, they lost a $50,000 supply contract with Emirates Airlines. Are they crazy? They paid a measly $1000-00 annual fee for Halal certification that would have seen their products on the menus of Emirates flights but they pulled it because of Facebook trolls. This company made a stupid business decision allowing itself to be overrun by ill informed people and bigots with an agenda. It was a simple request by a major client. They weren’t asking for anything illegal or immoral.
Kirallee Smith is the woman at the forefront of the anti-Halal protests and thanks to her, Australian businesses are being pressured to stop the certification and in turn, lose a market share of consumers. Kirallee Smith has her reasons for being an anti-Halal certification activist. She doesn’t want to pay the fees. Other niche companies are gaining a larger market share with Halal Certification. So she launches a Facebook campaign and attracts every bigotted moron under the sun who believe Halal Certification somehow funds terrorist groups. The Australian Crime Commission has found no links to prove that at all. Despite this, Smith and her followers still believe its an Islamic tax and certification funds terrorism.
What Emirates asked for was vastly less demanding than what Coles and Woolworths want from their suppliers. Maybe Smith should focus on the way the big supermarkets screw farmers than worry about an imaginary “bogey-man’s” tax.
The rise of the anti-Halal movement is directly linked to the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in Australia that really started after 9/11 and has worsened since. Muslims have been living in Australia since the 1800’s. Halal Certification didn’t start yesterday.
Many companies also have Kosher certification which can cost companies between $550.00 to $2200.00 per annum. Kirallee and her friends don’t seem to be paying much attention to that.
And they shouldn’t either! Having one’s product certified to cater for wider markets is good business practice. First we accuse Muslims of not subscribing to “Aussie values and culture” but then we bitch and complain when a Four’n’Twenty pie carries a badge that allows a Muslim kid to enjoy one with other Aussie kids.
If simply being anti-Halal isn’t enough, we have movements like the Australian Defence League, shock jocks and commentators who’s names won’t be mentioned here, politicians like George Christensen and the redneck pin up girl, Pauline Hansen suffering relevance deprivation syndrome bleating her way back into politics. All of whom are trying to convince the majority of Australians that Islam should actually be banned from Australia. If they knew anything about our constitution and freedom of religion, they’d realise how illegal their incorrect, banshee-like screeches really are.
Many Australians are following these movements not realising that they are being rather hypocritical at the same time.
Note, the opinions expressed in this post do not reflect the policies and purposes of the Regional Interfaith Network. They are offered for reading only.