Does anyone really believe that halal food label certification funds terrorism?
Apparently they do. And call me dumb if you will, but I’m dumbfounded.
Certified halal food is prepared according to Islamic law. In a similar fashion, certified kosher food is prepared according to Jewish religious philosophies.
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Being that they’re important labels for our food export community, and also given the fact that I’m neither Islamic nor Jewish, I was under the impression that neither of these food certifications had a single impact on my life whatsoever.
But I’m dead wrong, according to the many Australians – tens of thousands of them, in fact – who believe that those food producers who apply for halal certification are indirectly funding terrorism.
They believe this with such intensity that it prompted a senate enquiry (what a fantastic use of taxpayer money!) to review the link between halal certification and terrorism.
The inquiry into food certification, launched by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, received several submissions alleging that money paid to organisations or companies that certify halal food ultimately ends up with terrorists.
Yesterday, the results of that inquiry were released. You’ll never guess what the senate found…
They discovered that there is no link. No evidence at all that money paid for certification of halal food is funding foreign fighters or terrorism.
The acting deputy chief executive of Austrac, Angela Jamieson, confirmed that the organisation (which monitors financial transactions, including reports of suspicious financial activity and related transactions) identified that “none of these [transactions] have been assessed as relating to funding terrorism with regard to halal certification fees”.
The anti-Muslim brigade isn’t having a bar of it. The 80,000-strong Facebook collective wrote yesterday that they had “hoped that the Senate Inquiry would lead to the TRUTH about halal certification being publicised, but with this man in charge, our hope of the Government curbing halal meat and halal certified foods in this country is diminishing daily.”
Good on you, guys. You should continue investing your time and energy into this negative and bitter crusade.
And definitely ignore the fact that these are important certifications for people of those faiths, many of whom don’t live in Australia, but who reside overseas and consume our exported food products – a fairly big driver of our economy. Don’t let those pesky little facts get in the way of your good ol’ fashioned racist grudge. Keep fighting the good fight!
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