Tagged: third-party certification of food

Does halal certification fund terrorism? Maybe, maybe not. So why take the risk?

The Australian Crime Commission and AUSTRAC testified, at a Senate committee, that they have limited powers to track money once it goes offshore. So why are we taking the risk of funding Islamic organisations?

DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to suggest in this post that Australian halal certification does directly fund terrorism, I have no evidence of that myself, however various red flags have been raised, such as financial mismanagement by Islamic organisations, lack of traceability of money transfers etc, some of which deserve further investigation. Whether further inspection will find funding of terrorism I can’t say, however halal certification monies have been passed to Islamic groups with extremist views (such as MUI, who endorse female genital mutilation – see my other post).

And in particular, the 4 terrorist attacks that have been carried out on Australian soil in recent years have all been by Muslims, and virtually all other foiled attacks have also been planned by Muslims. Therefore considering we currently have an enormous problem worldwide with Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, I believe that any monies passing to the hands of Islamic groups deserves extra scrutiny.

At the time of the 2015 Senate inquiry into third-party certification of food a headline was bandied around in various newspapers that no “direct links” from halal certifiers to terrorism had been found. But many of these articles were misleading, as they did not address the fact that both the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and AUSTRAC admitted to the Senate that they had limitations on their investigative powers, particularly once money goes offshore, i.e. as AUSTRAC testified, “We can see when money leaves Australia and goes offshore to the first point of recipient…if you were in the UK, for example, and I sent money to you, Senator, we can see the transaction. Where that money goes next is a difficult challenge for us because it is not part of what is reported to AUSTRAC.”

Furthermore AUSTRAC has previously flagged the indirect funding of terrorism, by funneling money through overseas charities, as a potential high risk.

Indeed as noted in both the Senate inquiry and on ABC Four Corners, some overseas halal certifiers have either been linked to, or known to funnel monies to charities that turned out to be funding terrorism.

Of course it could also be argued that any individual or organization could be funding nefarious deeds through offshore charities, but the reason why Islamic organisations require extra scrutiny is because we do have a worldwide Islamic terrorism problem that is obviously receiving funding from somewhere.

Whilst the ACC testified that due to media interest in links between halal certification and terrorism, they “have been on a heightened lookout for any links between halal certification” and did not subsequently find any direct links, they also admitted that that they were particularly focused on “money laundering and on serious and organised crime”. The point that was made to them by Senator Bernardi is that the transfer of halal certification funds, is a legitimate business activity, and therefore would not fall into the category of money-laundering, “They are not laundering money; they are just sending money overseas for a cause”.

Our crime bodies also have further limitations. AUSTRAC testified that they do not generally investigate domestic transfers under $10,000 unless it has been drawn to their attention as suspicious.

The Australian, “Muslim school stripped of $45m”

Furthermore some Islamic organisations, such as AFIC, have been embroiled in legal proceedings with allegations of severe financial mismanagement, such as siphoning $45 million worth of government school funding from one of the schools they manage, Malek Fahd. This is not the only AFIC managed school that has come under fire, indeed others have had their government funding revoked. AFIC, as a registered charity, has the advantage that they are exempt from the reporting and tax obligations of most Australian businesses. A number of other halal certifiers are also not for profits, others set up as businesses.

Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, “List of recognised Islamic bodies for halal certification of red meat” This is a screenshot of part of the list

Generally how halal certification operates is that the halal certifiers are hand picked by Islamic countries, particularly when it comes to red meat exports. It stands to reason that these countries are most likely to give their business to the halal certifiers that best fit their strain of Islam.

AFIC has a very cosy relationship with a number of these countries, and is one of a handful of halal certifiers approved for red meat exports to Saudi Arabia. They also are approved for Qatar.

Furthermore, particularly in the case of Indonesia, it has been alleged that some halal certifiers have been paying bribes to get these contracts.

The Guardian,”WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists”

Whilst bribes, corruption and financial mismanagement does not necessarily lead to terrorism, when halal certifiers are handpicked by countries such as Saudi Arabia, any financial transactions should be carefully scrutinized, in light of Hillary Clinton’s statement that, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”.

Qatar too has recently been in the news, accused of funding terrorism.

In the past AFIC also had a close relationship with Libyan dictator Gaddafi, and indeed received funding from him.

The ABC Four Corners, “The Truth About Halal” episode discussed allegations of links from halal certification to terrorism. “Overseas, some halal certifiers have been linked to Islamic charities accused of assisting groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Probably the most prominent Australian halal certifier to be embroiled in terrorist allegations was Mohammed El-Mouelhy.

Four Corners mentioned that El-Mouelhy “gives generously to Islamic charities, including Human Appeal International….HAI has been named overseas as a suspected fundraiser for Hamas by the US and Israeli governments. HAI’s Australian branch told Four Corners it has never funded Hamas or any of its affiliates.”

El-Mouelhy went on to concur that this charity does not fund Hamas, but if it were established that it did he would look for another charity to support.

And of course the ACC and AUSTRAC did mention that they have not found any evidence of direct links between halal certification and terrorism.

But possibly a major reason for why El-Mouelhy came under suspicion by the public was that it was reported shortly after the Lindt Café siege that one of his family members was in the Lindt café minutes before the siege took place. In fact both The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, at the time, recounted lengthy interviews with her, however these reports were somewhat conflicting as to whether or not she had been in the café or nearby. And there also seemed to be some confusion as to whether she was his wife or his daughter.

In fact El-Mouelhy’s business is located not far from Martin Place, so presumably it would not be unusual for he or his family to be in the vicinity of the café, but to actually be in the café at that time would have been quite a close call. As proponents of halal certification it would also be hypocritical for them to be eating in Lindt, considering Lindt chocolate has resisted the urge to become halal certified, and El-Mouelhy’s business website states, “Muslims have certain dietary requirements that must be fulfilled by certification.” Unless they were at the Lindt cafe to try and persuade it to become halal certified?

But these reports combined with El-Mouelhy’s links to HAI may have made a nervous public jump to conclusions. Indeed El-Mouelhy ended up suing Halal Choices activist Kirralie Smith for defamation (they eventually settled out of court).

However since those early reports, no more mention of this appears to have been made again, so one would have to conclude that those reports of an El-Mouelhy being at the café are wrong. Most likely the inquest into the Lindt café uncovered the truth about this, but one has to ask, given the terrorism allegations that the El-Mouelhy family has endured, and the public unease about terrorism, surely it is in both the family and the public’s interest for these newspapers to either confirm or issue a rebuttal of these stories, and if the reports were false to explain why they were made.

When it comes to misleading newspaper reports, here is one from the ABC, titled “No direct link between halal certification and Islamic terrorism, Senate inquiry told”:

“Senator Cory Bernardi, who is on the committee, asked if the reason why AUSTRAC had come up with no evidence was because they were not looking at halal certifiers.

“The answer to that is ‘no’,” Craig Robertson, AUSTRAC’s acting national manager of intelligence, said.

“We’re not looking specifically at the use of those funds on the basis that I guess a third party outside of AUSTRAC hasn’t been able to refer us information that provides evidence to look at it, and our own detection and monitoring systems of what we know about how terrorism financing occurs has not surfaced that information.”

Whilst I’m not someone who normally questions the integrity of the ABC in terms of the accuracy of their reporting (I do at times question their bias however), having read the hansard this is not only somewhat misleading, it also appears that the ABC merged two separate sentences together, that would be fine if they used an ellipsis … to indicate the merging of two separate statements. I, myself, am no expert on correct referencing but in this case it appears to have been done to be misleading.

Because below is actually what is in the hansard:

Senator BERNARDI: Once again, I come back to this: have you specifically looked at the use of funds by organisations that conduct halal certification?

Mr Robertson: The answer to that is no, we are not looking specifically at the use of those funds. As Mrs Jamieson outlined in our opening statement, we do monitor for movements that relate to those activities. We use either names of entities or keywords, as we do for a range of things, in order to surface any information that we would then need to assess. But aside from those regular types of monitoring activities we do not have any active work against those movements of funds.

Senator BERNARDI: I have learned not to rely on ABC Fact Check. ABC Fact Check said, ‘A spokesman for AUSTRAC told Fact Check it had no information to indicate that there are links to terrorism financing from halal certification fees.’ That may be entirely accurate but it is because you have not investigated halal certification fees and the use of that.

Mr Robertson: Again, for clarity, we do not conduct the investigations per se—and I know it is terminology. On the basis that a third party outside of AUSTRAC has not been able to refer us to information that provides that evidence to look at it—and our own detection and monitoring systems of what we know about how terrorism financing occurs has not surfaced that information—the short answer is no.”

But there are other reasons for public unease about halal certification in general. What did come out in the Senate inquiry was that much of the Australian halal certification industry is extremely unregulated

The Australian halal certification industry is extremely unregulated with much of their activities shrouded in secrecy, and some of the responses given to the inquiry by halal certifiers were evasive. For instance the Senate committee could not establish how many halal certifiers there were in Australia (though it appears that there are at least 22). Therefore if no one knows who they all are, obviously they can not have all be investigated for terrorism!

This is not to say any Australian halal certifiers are funding terrorism, but with allegations of severe financial mismanagement, bribes and corruptions, secretive and evasive behaviours, and links to countries such as Saudi Arabia, in addition to a worldwide Islamic terrorism problem, the question should not be whether halal certifiers and Islamic organisations are funding terrorism, but should we be willing to take the risk that they might be? In particular given that many of these groups hold views that would be considered misogynistic and oppressive by most modern day Australians, one would have to ask what societal benefit to our country does funding these groups bring?

……………

If you would like to read more, below are some of the excerpts regarding terrorism taken from the hansard of the Senate inquiry into the third party food certification (please be aware I have abbreviated some of this, so as to highlight the areas I think most relevant, but I try to make that clear by my use of ellipsis. The full Hansard can be downloaded at the end of this post):

AUSTRAC’s evidence (pg 13-14):

Senator BERNARDI: AUSTRAC is responsible for tracking domestic and external and international money transfers—is that correct?

Mr Robertson: Yes, in a broad sense, although we have much more limited visibility of domestic financial activity by virtue of what is legislated in terms of what is reported to us. The vast majority of the information that we hold relates to the movements of funds in and out of Australia, regardless of their value. We do have some direct reports of domestic activity, normally when they are performed in cash and when they are above a threshold of $10,000. As I am sure you have seen when you have travelled, you also have the cross-border movement of physical currency and that gets reported to AUSTRAC as well. The fourth type of report is a suspicious matter report, which does not have a threshold or a particular type that requires that report to be made.

AUSTRAC’s evidence (pg 14):

Mr Robertson: …we do not have any information that suggests that the entities we are aware of that provide halal certification are linked to the funding of those seeking to travel overseas to fight in Iraq or Syria or those who are onshore seeking to undertake any attack planning—

Senator BERNARDI: But you do not really track it, in essence, do you? You do not follow the certification money through a group like AFIC into a mosque or a bookstore where there are extremist materials and the conversion of people and the inspiring of jihadis is taking place.

Mr Robertson: The answer to that is: no, we do not follow those funds, particularly, for those entities who are engaged in halal certification.

AUSTRAC’s evidence (pg 14):

Senator BERNARDI: I will turn internationally, then. In a report published last year, Terrorism financing in Australia, AUSTRAC said:

The risks associated with the misuse of charities and NPOs are high as these organisations offer the capacity for groups to raise relatively large amounts of money over time.

I understand there are national security issues at play here, but how far do you track the funds that are used by international charities?

Mr Robertson: There is a challenge in that. We can see when money leaves Australia and goes offshore to the first point of recipient, if you like. To put a broader scenario: if you were in the UK, for example, and I sent money to you, Senator, we can see the transaction. Where that money goes next is a difficult challenge for us because it is not part of what is reported to AUSTRAC. If we identified that the transaction was suspicious, we have a number of arrangements with our counterpart type units in different countries. We could ask the question of those counterparts: what happened to those funds next? We would not do that for all the transactions. As I mentioned, we would only do that in cases where we formed a suspicion or one of our partner agencies has asked us to assist them in looking at those transactions and to engage our international partners.

The delivery of funds that go overseas for charitable purposes are often devolved into goods or cash, which are not part of what we are able to track.

AUSTRAC’s evidence (pg 14-15):

Senator BERNARDI: Let me give you an example: Human Appeal International. It is an international organisation that has ties to Hamas. Hamas is not a prescribed organisation in Australia, but the Hamas brigades are. You can track the money from Human Appeal International that sends out to Hamas. Is that right? They have to send it to an end recipient, so you know that it is going to Hamas or whatever their organisation is.

Mr Robertson: If Human Appeal International has a bank account in Australia and they send funds, yes, we would see where that money was.

Senator BERNARDI: But you cannot then track what Hamas does with the funding?

Mr Robertson: Based on what is reported to us, no.

AUSTRAC’s evidence (pg 15):

Senator BERNARDI: If a halal certifier boasts about supporting an organisation like Human Appeal International, which is directly linked to Hamas and has personnel on their international body that are linked to Hezbollah, which is not a good group of people, it is not too long a bow to draw and say, ‘The profits of halal certification are linked to organisations that are not acting in Australia’s interests?

Mr Robertson: That is when AUSTRAC does not have that investigative mandate in terms of an agency. If we were to see a scenario like that where funds do move, we would need to refer that to a partner agency who would investigate the offences of terrorism financing—they are not offences under our legislation, as you are no doubt aware—and/or then we could work with partner agencies to engage with the country overseas where that money has gone so that we can understand more about it.

Senator BERNARDI: I can find this out through a Google search, effectively. We have a bloke who is boasting and is contributing to a charity which is directly linked to those types of organisations. How can you not conclude that the profits of halal certification, which this man openly boasts runs into millions of dollars for him, are contributing to extremist organisations?

Mrs Jamieson: We look at the financial transaction reports that come in. As we said, halal certification, the business, does not fall under our legislation. So we revert back to the transaction reports that we then receive, which are the international funds transfers. Mr Robertson has explained to you what we do with that information when we receive it.

Senator BERNARDI: If I give money to a charity, AUSTRAC really only see the sum of money and who the recipient is when the charity distributes it. It really does not have any knowledge of my contribution to the charity—or does it? You do not have to answer that aspect of it.

Mr Robertson: It is easy to answer that in one sense. If you donated less than $10,000 to a charity in Australia and you put it into their bank account, it would not be reported to us; but if it was more than $10,000 and you put it into their bank account, it would be reported to us.

Australian Crime Commission (ACC) evidence (pg 18):

Mr Hansford:  Equally, like the evidence that AUSTRAC provided earlier this morning, we have been involved in and funded for the response to Islamist terrorism by the Australian government, particularly focusing on money-laundering, and we are involved with a whole range of partners, including AUSTRAC. This is in addition to our daily work on anything from illicit drugs, gangs and high-risk crime targets, to cybercrime. So it is in this context that we made the following statement, and on 12 November—following a considerable number of media requests, and some statements by the media that actually identified the Australian Crime Commission as having found links between halal certification and terrorism—we put out a press release that said exactly what I said at the beginning: that we have found links between money-laundering, terrorism and serious and organised crime, but we have not found any direct links between halal certification and the funding of terrorism.

My evidence today is based on our operational work and the intelligence holdings that the Australian Crime Commission has. Since this issue has been highlighted in the press, we have been on a heightened lookout for any links between halal certification in our intelligence holdings, and to date we have not found any direct linkages.

Australian Crime Commission (ACC) evidence (pg 19):

Senator BERNARDI: I will draw on some of the evidence that was produced to us. For example, the Islamic Council of Western Australia the Islamic Council of Western Australia said in their 2013 annual report that they made donations to Syria, but they did it through a charity, the Al Imdaad charity, to ensure that no recriminations could be directed to the Islamic Council of Western Australia. So you could say if, for example, the Al Imdaad charity was involved in untoward activities in Syria—and I do not know whether it was, but there are no good guys in Syria, apparently—then there is no direct link to an Islamic certifier funding terrorism or extremist activity, but there may be cause for an indirect conclusion to be drawn.

Mr Hansford: I think that wherever there is a sector with large amounts of cash that are being remitted, there is an opportunity for either serious and organised crime or people sympathetic with terrorism to utilise and exploit that particular sector. That is the answer, but from the high-risk crime targets that we look at and the money laundering operations that we have undertaken, we have not seen a direct link.

Senator BERNARDI: We come back to this directly. If a certifying agency decides to remit funds overseas for whatever purpose—for humanitarian or charitable aims, either directly or through a third party—you are not really in a position to assess how those funds are utilised overseas. Is that correct?

Mr Hansford: That is correct. But we are in a position to understand how money is laundered by organised crime, and no sector in the Australian economy is really prone from infiltration by serious and organised crime, whether that is a bank or a casino, or the alternative remittance sector. All of them have the potential to be exploited, and for laundered money—

Senator BERNARDI: But we are not talking about money laundering. We are talking about legitimate businesses, or organisations in Australia, that raise money through the halal certification schemes or whatever, and then they say they are going to participate in an international outreach, either through a charity or anything else. They are not laundering money; they are just sending money overseas for a cause. There is no way you can assess, realistically, where every dollar of that money goes once it reaches an offshore destination like Syria or Iraq or Palestine, or anywhere else.

Mr Hansford: I guess the answer is that our focus is on money laundering and on serious and organised crime.

Senator BERNARDI: So we are talking apples and oranges.

Mr Hansford: Yes.

Kirralie Smith:

Kirralie Smith is a vocal anti Halal Certification activist, a prior member of the Australian Liberty Alliance she recently joined Senator Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives party.

Kirralie has been researching Halal Certification for many years and gave evidence that she has been harassed by many people, including prominent Muslim leaders, and the intimidation reached such a point that she had to move house and keep her location secret, all because she “dared to ask questions about the halal certification industry in Australia.”

Kirralie gave a lot of evidence in general about the Halal Certification industry but in relation to terrorism this is part of what she said:

Kirralie Smith’s evidence (pg 27):

Mrs Smith: …In Canada, the example is that the Muslim Association of Canada did raise money in a number of ways, and one of the ways was through halal certification. They then gave money to IRFAN of Canada, and IRFAN then channelled approximately $14.6 million to Hamas. In that time, IRFAN has been deregistered as a charity and is no longer able to raise funds that way. That was one documented way. In the US, it was the Holy Land Foundation around 2001. CAIR, in America, was another, similar to IRFAN; it was an unindicted co-conspirator of the Holy Land Foundation, which was also found to be funding terrorism at the time.

Kirralie Smith’s evidence (pg 27):

Mrs Smith: …obviously the reports were not read in their entirety and there was some cherry picking going on this morning as well. As I have said, AUSTRAC in 2010 said that they list financial contributions through formal charitable donations as one of the three most common methods by which terrorism funds are raised in Australia. We know that these halal certifiers are giving to those charitable funds. I do not think the question was answered this morning other than it was not a direct link. Yes, we need more transparency and more investigation so that the government can comprehensively and confidently say to consumers that our grocery purchase dollars are not going to fund extremists or terrorists.

…………..

References:
The Senate Economics References Committee into third-party certification of food (2015):
(Below is the downloadable hansard of the hearing on 24th September 2015 only, as it is relates to terrorism, you can find the hansard for the rest of the hearings in my post here about Sharia by stealth):

EconomicsReferencesCommittee_2015_09_24_3825_Official.pdf;fileType=applicationpdf#search=thirdpartyfoodcertification

Other References:

ABC Four Corners, “The Truth About Halal”, http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/09/07/4305337.htm

ABC News, “No direct link between halal certification and Islamic terrorism, Senate inquiry told”,

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-24/senate-inquiry-no-direct-link-between-halal-certification/6801968?pfmredir=sm

Wikipedia, “AFIC”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Federation_of_Islamic_Councils

The Australian, “Muslim school stripped of $45m”, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/malek-fahd-islamic-school-stripped-of-45m-muslim-body-accused/news-story/bb08c4e84aa9989ec2bedc651a95b2f6

Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, “List of recognised Islamic bodies for halal certification of red meat”, http://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/meat/elmer-3/list-islamic-halal-certification

The Guardian,“WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists”, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-terrorist-funding

News.com.au, “Qatar crisis: Is Saudi Arabia supporting terror also?”, http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/qatar-crisis-is-saudi-arabia-supporting-terror-also/news-story/a58c4127caddf901b799fea2acaa9718

The Daily Telegraph, “The fuse of public fury has been lit as terror comes to Sydney”,

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/the-fuse-of-public-fury-has-been-lit-as-terror-comes-to-sydney/news-story/85f0bc57087685e04059bb2e65178494

The Guardian, “Sydney hostage crisis: confusion and concern among crowds at scene”,

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/dec/15/sydney-siege-martin-place-crowds

Halal Certification Authority, https://halalauthority.org/certification/

Halal Certification – Islamic Sharia by stealth, the $2.1 trillion dollar Islamic industry we are all chipping into

Halal Certification – Islam’s Sharia scheme

Halal Certification – started off with meat, then other foods, now halal certification has extended into healthcare, pharmaceuticals, travel, education, and the list goes on. Making many Muslims rich, but there is also a more sinister side to it…

Halal certification Islamic Economy report pg 4

The 2016/2017 Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard report into The State of The Global Islamic Economy, pg 4

Halal Certification is an over $2 trillion dollar industry which mostly funds Islam but virtually all of us worldwide are chipping into it. But it’s not just our infidel money they want, they also want to change our way of life, such as segregating Muslims from non-Muslims in healthcare.

Halal certification Islamic Economy report cover

The Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard report into The State of The Global Islamic Economy 2016/17, and supported by Dubai The Capital of Islamic Economy

Global Islamic Economy Report

The halal certifiers themselves have written a comprehensive report about it, and the tidy little (well big actually) profits they are making. The 2016/2017 Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard (the latter being an Islamic company) report into the State of The Global Islamic Economy, documents all the areas that halal certification has spread into. The whole report has been “supported by Dubai The Capital of Islamic Economy” (Report downloadable at the end of this post)

Halal Certification – $2 trillion Industry

A $2.1 trillion dollar industry (ABC Four Corners 2015 figure or $1.9 trillion according to this report), but of course we are always told that costs aren’t passed on to us. Hmm, so we have an industry where people are getting rich but it’s not costing anyone? Seems unlikely to me, and if this is the case, then perhaps these people should run motivational get rich quick seminars.

Halal Rort extending into Pharmaceuticals

Well they would certainly be qualified to run a get rich quick scheme, after all halal certification must be the biggest scam in recent history. Someone certifies your product, such as bread, to state that it doesn’t have alcohol or pork in it. And they make motza cash out of doing this! Huh! What’s next, will we have halal certified oxygen – guaranteed no pork! Don’t laugh, it ain’t so preposterous considering the next thing on the halal certifiers list is halal vaccines! (yep it’s in the report, pgs 159, 172). Oh and they plan to start making a whole lot of halal certified medicines once $148 billion dollars worth of medical patents end in 2018 (pg 172).

See my other post about halal vaccines and pharmaceuticals: http://endgenderapartheid.com/2017/05/23/halal-vaccines-medicines-segregation-infidels/?preview_id=160&preview_nonce=576e032d77&_thumbnail_id=-1&preview=true

Halal Certification not in the Koran

All for something that isn’t even in the Koran (Quran). Yes the concept of halal exists there, but not halal certification, and pretty much everything is halal unless it is specified otherwise, and there are only a few food items that are not halal, specifically pork and alcohol (well they also mention a few obscure food items, such as don’t eat carnivorous animals but as not too many people are going to try their luck tackling a tiger I think we can exclude that one from the list). Oh and yes there is some debate in the Koran about how meat should be slaughtered (that will be another post), but in general if it don’t contain pork or alcohol then consume my dear Islamic friend! Muhammad approves! Don’t believe infidel me? Have a read of the Koran.

Yes Muslims were all surviving quite well without halal certification for hundreds of years, till some devout/shrewd Islamic businessmen saw a penny in it. It became big around the 1970’s but was meat only, then extended into other foods, (to the point that the majority of Australian foods, other than pork and alcohol, now appear to be halal certified), now halal vaccines are winging their way to us in 2018.

Female Genital Mutilation - FGM - mass operation

An example of mass female genital mutilation operations

Halal Certification funds Islam – FGM and other Sharia

So why should we care? Well, despite what they say, there is a good chance that the costs are passed on to us, and also the money raised largely goes back into Islamic coffers. Do you want to fund female genital mutilation, sharia law, stoning of women, throwing gays off buildings, etc? No, neither do I. Oh I’m sorry, am I “racist” for saying I object to that? Of course not all Muslims are doing that, but when you fund Islamic organisations how do you know whether it is funding the extreme versions of Islam aka Saudi style, or the “moderate” form of Islam practiced in Indonesia? Or at least that is how Indonesia is often described, despite the fact that 49% of their young girls have undergone female genital mutilation (UNICEF report based on actual Indonesia government figures).

Islamic countries demand our exports be halal certified – and they pick the certifier

Well I can tell you that we are funding the so called “moderates” and the fanatics. In Australia the 2015 Senate Economics References Committee into third-party certification of food explained how it all works. Despite this specific inquiry being Australian, its primary focus was halal certification and much of the information gleaned is pertinent to worldwide markets.

The inquiry disclosed that countries like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and some other Islamic countries specify that red meat (and sometimes other foods, and even non food products) must be halal certified to export to those countries. Oh and the Islamic country picks the Aussie halal certifier for their country, who by the way often gives them kickbacks. In the case of Indonesia, their senior Islamic organisation, Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), is the decider, yet they have had a lot of allegations of corruption and bribery, by the actual halal certifiers! This was noted in both the Senate inquiry and an ABC Four Corners report, called “The Truth About Halal”. If MUI rings a bell, well I have another post on this site about their links to female genital mutilation (FGM).

A certification rort which produces no health or safety benefits

So Aussie food producers are obtaining halal certification, because basically it is a non tariff barrier to export to Islamic countries. That’s the polite way to put it, others might call it extortion. Keep in mind they are paying for a certification scheme that produces nothing, has no health or safety benefits, and supposedly is to help Muslims know what they can eat, despite every Muslim knowing exactly what is permissible (halal) to them already.  If they were avoiding certain products for allergy reasons or animal cruelty issues then I would be sympathetic, but considering Muslims support of halal slaughter (noted as an inhumane practice by most animal activists) it is obvious that their religious observance has nothing to do with compassion, and everything to do with out-dated dogma.

In any case most foods already have a handy little indicator on their packaging, called an ingredient list. Perhaps some lists could be made a little clearer to help vegans, vegetarians and those with allergies, but there should be no need for a separate halal certification. Yet we Aussies (approximately 98% who are not Muslims) pay the price through our grocery purchases because for some inexplicable reason Muslims aren’t prepared to read the ingredient list already provided for all consumers on most foods. All for an Islamic scheme which benefits Muslims only, or at the least benefits Islamic businessmen to get richer.

Halal certification Islamic Economy report pg 4 & 5

The State of The Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/17, pg 4 & 5 outline some of the many areas Halal Certification has expanded into

Halal Certification is a Worldwide extortion racket

It’s not just Aussies that are getting fleeced, countries all over the world are being coerced into paying into this halal scam. If they want to export to Islamic countries that’s generally what they have to do, but the added problem is that even a lot of domestic foods/products that are never exported to Islamic countries are halal certified also. The Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard report makes it clear the extent of this rort. Services too, worldwide, are halal certified to supposedly appeal to the Muslim tourist, which makes me wonder what Muslims did prior to halal certification, did they just not travel? Therefore would a lack of halal certification deter an Islamic terrorist from travelling to that region? Let’s ponder that one for a while.

Islamic terrorism funding

The Guardian,”WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists”

Halal Certification – Funding Fanatics

Of course apart from making some Islamic businessmen rich, some of the funds do go back into the Islamic community, but what’s the bet that the approved halal certifier for Saudi Arabia is going to be ‘encouraged’ by Saudi officials to fund projects in line with the Saudi approved strain of Islam? And so forth with the other countries. Oh and keep in mind Saudi Arabia has had allegations of backing terrorism (does Osama bin Laden ring a bell?) In fact Hillary Clinton herself claimed that “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”. Qatar too has recently been in the news, accused of funding terrorism.

Limited investigative powers to track halal money once offshore

Oh but there’s no links to terrorism from halal certifiers, right? Yeah you saw that headline bandied around everywhere. Actually what AUSTRAC and ACC testified at the Senate inquiry is that there have been no “direct links” found, but they admitted that once money goes offshore they have limited investigative powers to track it. But let me address the terrorism issue in full in another post here: http://endgenderapartheid.com/2017/06/04/halal-certification-fund-terrorism-maybe-maybe-not-take-risk/

Halal Certification isn’t just one fee

Oh but halal certification is just a little certification fee, right? Wrong! There are allegations that the fees are many and varied, may include audits, the food producer may have to change factory processes, such as no longer using alcohol based cleaners, they may even be compelled to do factory refits. The transport itself may have to be halal certified. And each ingredient may also need to be separately halal certified. So for example the bread producer wanting to export may have to put pressure on the company that supplies the salt to also be halal certified. So it places pressure down the line for each ingredient maker to also be halal certified, otherwise they lose business.

After you have paid all the fees, your product still may not achieve halal certification as it may have become ‘contaminated’ such as being transported in a truck with pork products.

Halal Certification fees – anywhere from $1000 to $27,000 per month

And what do the halal certifiers charge for all this? Well who knows, not even the Senate inquiry could find this out. But, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, there are allegations of anywhere from $1000 to $27,000 a month. Other allegations include that food producers must make their financial records accessible to the certifier, and that they must sign non disclosure agreements regarding the fees.

An industry shrouded in secrecy

Of course some of the allegations made may or may not be true, but why the secrecy? The whole industry is highly unregulated and shrouded in secrecy, so each halal certifier can pretty much make up their own rules. And if the fees are paltry why not be upfront about them?

The Senate inquiry was also unable to establish how many halal certifiers there are in Australia.

Halal Certified foods are rarely labelled as such

Very little of halal certified foods are labelled. Ironically making it impossible for Muslims, supposedly their market, to know if foods are actually halal certified. The lack of labelling would appear to defeat the whole purpose of a food certification scheme! Therefore it makes it impossible for anyone who wishes to either buy – or boycott – halal certified foods to do so. This is the reason why some politicians have called for labelling of halal certified goods, and indeed it was one of the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry. Yet 2 years on compulsory labelling of halal certification foods has not been implemented, despite having bi-partisan political support from the Senate Committee.

1982 Royal Commission uncovered corruption

What we do know for sure are the halal certifiers that are approved for red meat exports, as there is a list provided by the Department of Agriculture for that. The only reason this exists is due to the 1982 Royal Commission into the meat industry which uncovered corruption and some issues with halal certification such as forged certificates, so they recommended more regulation as well as stating that halal certification should be a cost recovery exercise only, and that fees charged should “not be seen as a way of raising revenue for other Muslim purposes unconnected with the meat industry.” However fast forward to today and halal certifiers such as AFIC are making huge profits. All tax free, thanks very much, as they, and some other halal certifiers, are not for profit organisations!

Halal Certifiers making huge profits & many are tax exempt charities

AFIC (Australian Federation of Islamic Councils also known as Muslims Australia), Australia’s peak Islamic body, testified at the Senate inquiry and disputed the veracity of their reported profits, until it was pointed out to them that those figures were taken from their own financial records! Profits like $751,000, which doesn’t seem like merely a cost recovery exercise. By the way AFIC is a registered charity and is thus exempt from the reporting and tax obligations of most Australian businesses.

Halal certifiers - AFIC - Australian Federation of Islamic Councils - money mismanagement

The Australian, “Muslim school stripped of $45m”

Halal Certifier and charity AFIC siphoned millions of government funding

AFIC have had a long list of controversies, including financial mismanagement of many Islamic schools. For instance they siphoned millions of dollars in funds off Malek Fahd Islamic school, an alleged $45.14 million since 2000. By the way this was government funding that was supposed to be used by the school, as a result the school had it’s government funding revoked, a decision that was backed up by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (however now Malek Fahd has appealed to the Federal Court and as a result its funding has been reinstated by the government pending a decision).

Halal Certifier AFIC siphoned off $45 million, and no one seems to know or care where it ended up

You would think that over $45 million being siphoned off would raise some eyebrows, not to mention questions as to where the money ended up, but as far as I’m aware there has been no serious ramifications, such as criminal convictions, for any of AFIC’s board, or any detailed investigation as to where the money ended up.

AFIC received funding from Gaddafi, and are the Halal Certifier handpicked by the Saudis, Indonesians etc

Malek Fahd’s not the only school that AFIC have allegedly mismanaged, as a result others have also had their funding cut. Oh and AFIC were a big fan of Gaddafi back in the day, in fact they received a significant amount of funding from Gaddafi. Sadly for AFIC he is not around anymore, so I guess they need halal certification to keep afloat these days (as $45 million dollars taken from a government funded school mustn’t go that far anymore).

Halal certifiers approved to certify red meat exports

Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, “List of recognised Islamic bodies for halal certification of red meat” This is a screenshot of part of the list

On the Department of Agriculture list (part of the list shown here) you can see, for instance, that AFIC is one of the halal certifiers approved for red meat exports to Saudi Arabia. They are also approved for Qatar. (AFIC affirmed at the Senate inquiry that they also certify other goods such as non meat foods and even makeup and medicines, and they certify for “Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Gulf”). Keep in mind that if a meat producer wants to export to several Islamic countries they have to get halal certification by each country’s approved halal certifier! So multiple halal certifications are often needed! The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) testified at the Senate inquiry that this was a problem raised by some of the meat producers, as the meat industry operated on low margins.

Halal Certification fees most likely passed on to consumers

We are often told that halal certification fees aren’t passed on to consumers, that economies of scale absorb the costs. Whilst this may be true in some cases, it is unlikely to always be the case, particularly given the huge costs of getting products certified in some industries. The fact that the AFGC testified that the meat industry runs on low margins, and that some meat producers had flagged the cost of halal certification as a problem, indicates that some producers were having problems paying these fees. Therefore it’s not much of a leap to assume they would have passed the costs onto consumers.

The State of The Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/17, above quote from pg 189

Furthermore, The State of The Global Islamic Economy Report indicates that halal certification costs are indeed passed on to the consumer.

The Export Market argument – but who needs who?

Another justification for halal certification is that it opens up export markets. Whilst we undoubtedly export a huge amount of red meat to Islamic countries, the Gulf countries also export oil to us, so why are we not demanding they pay for a Christian/Atheist blessing of their oil before we accept it? Yes we need their oil, but then again they need our beef, as 85% of OIC meat is imported (OIC consists of 57 Islamic nations/states). In fact the Salaamgateway website noted how dependent Islamic countries are on meat imports from non-Islamic countries, “These imports are worth $15 billion, two-thirds of which are paid out to Brazil, Australia, India, the U.S. and France. A key implication of such a substantial amount of imported meat coming from non-Islamic countries is that there is a very high need for halal food production certification and logistics integrity.”

Actually the true implication there is that the non-Islamic countries have the power to withhold meat from Islamic countries, or at the very least set the rules, if Islamic countries make too many demands. Naturally they can play tit for tat and do the same with their oil, but we aren’t the ones demanding some ridiculous religious certification of their products.

Less than 5% of Australian chicken is exported, yet most of it is halal certified

In any case the ‘halal certification opens up export markets’ analogy doesn’t hold up in the case of chicken, because less than 5% of Aussie chicken is exported, and not all of that goes to Islamic countries. Yet it appears that the vast majority of Aussie chicken is actually halal certified, despite the small percentage that ends up being eaten by Muslims. But once again no one knows the exact amount that is halal certified because both the halal certifiers and the food industry either refuse to disclose this, or are evasive with their answers.

Halal Food indicator by country list

The State of The Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/17, pg 29, shows Australia as 2nd in the world on their Halal Food Indicator

Australia is 2nd on the world Halal Food Indicator

However we do know that according to the Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard report that Australia is number 2 on their world Halal Food Indicator. (pg 29) The Halal Food Indicator evaluates countries on the “relative strengths of the ecosystem they have for the development of the sector.” (pg 28) In other words how amenable we are to being fleeced by them. Indeed they also note that we have risen from number 4 to number 2, so it appears we are giving into their scam. Therefore it seems most likely that the majority of our Aussie produced food is halal certified, and indeed we far outweigh all other Western countries (not to mention all Islamic countries other than the UAE!).

Halal Certification rort expanding rapidly worldwide – UK, USA, Europe, Asian, West etc

But halal certification is not just an Australian issue, many Westernised countries are being coerced into the halal certification food scam, but you have to wonder why we are allowing ourselves to be held to ransom over food exports when it appears that the Islamic countries need us more than we need them. Indeed the Salaamgateway website also noted that “while the 57-country Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is home to 80 percent of the world’s Muslims, almost 80 percent of their food imports come from non-Islamic trading partners.” Which works out to be “an estimated $190 billion in food and beverages in 2015.” Admittedly total imports appear to only account for “15.9 percent of total consumer expenditure on food and beverages across all OIC countries, which implies that 84.1 percent of F&B is produced domestically.”

Halal Certification isn’t just food, expanding into every product and service worldwide

But of course it’s not just food that the halal certifiers want to profit from, the situation is getting worse, as you can see from the Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard report, halal certification is expanding evermore, to the point where not just all of our foods but also all of our services (worldwide) are likely to end up requiring halal certification, with the majority of the profits raised funding Islam.

Indonesia has made halal certification compulsory for every product

For instance Indonesia has legislated that by 2019 it will be “‘mandatory for products that enter, are distributed and are traded in Indonesia to be halal certified.’ It goes on to define those products as ‘goods and/or services comprising of food, beverages, medicines, cosmetics, chemical products, biological products, genetically engineered products, as well as items that are worn, used or made use by the public.’” So pretty much everything! And MUI, who helped draft the legislation (you know the same group who endorse female genital mutilation) has everything to gain, “For one thing, the law puts the council temporarily in charge of overseeing the certification process, for which producers, importers and distributors of affected products will be charged a fee.”

Indonesia’s Halal overlord, MUI, supports female genital mutilation (FGM)

See my other post on MUI’s links to female genital mutilation (FGM).

Your grocery purchases may be funding female genital mutilation

segregating Muslims from non-Muslims in the Halal certification Islamic Economy report pg 189

The State of The Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/17, pg 189

Segregating Muslims from non-Muslims is part of the Halal plan

Oh but it’s not just money they want, the Halal Certification kingpins also want to change our way of life, as the Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard report not only mentions the segregation of genders in education (pg 193) and health care (pg 185), but also the segregation of Muslims from non-Muslims in health care (pg 189). Hmm, I wonder who will be allocated the best doctors?

Halal certification Islamic Economy report on education pg 195

The State of The Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/17, pg 195

Islamic indoctrination

Oh and if you are an educator, looks like you will be brainwashed into spewing out Islamic propaganda, whoops, I mean educators will undergo religious sensitivity training and be trained to be proficient in Islamic content. (pg 195) One assumes that if you are a female teacher you and your female students will be shoved to the back of the classroom, Rosa Parks style, so you don’t contaminate the menfolk. But it is not all bad news because after you are forced to convert to Islam (surely that’s the next step) you might end up with an interest free loan, as Muslims are pushing for this too (Shariah compliant finance).

Though before you become too enthusiastic, remember those interest free loans are attached to an oppressive system of law – Sharia (or Shariah) that treats women and other groups as subhumans.

Halal Certification is a form of jihad

For all the concerns about links to terrorism and other forms of extremism, perhaps the most alarming part of halal certification is that it is obviously a form of silent jihad, whereby instead of using violence, our countries are overtaken by stealth.

In conclusion – Halal Certification is Islamic Sharia by stealth

Halal certification is political Islam making its insidious inroads into our Western world – sharia by stealth. In the end this may prove far more effective than terrorism in controlling us. In fact considering that virtually all Australians are funding Islam through our weekly grocery shopping, and within a few years virtually every purchase everyone in the world makes will contribute to Islam, then we already know who are masters are.

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REFERENCES:

The 2016/2017 Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard (the latter being an Islamic company) report into the Global Islamic Economy, documents all the areas that Halal Certification has spread into. The whole report has been “supported by Dubai The Capital of Islamic Economy”. Downloadable below, even if you just have a quick skim it is eye opening:

“The 2016/2017 Thomson Reuters/DinarStandard report into The State of The Global Islamic Economy” can be downloaded here:

ThomsonReuters-stateoftheGlobalIslamicEconomyReport201617 lower res

OR it can also be found at:

http://www.salaamgateway.com/en/food/story/SALAAM03102016111130/

Other related reading:

ABC Four Corners, “The Truth About Halal”, http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/09/07/4305337.htm

SMH, “Why halal certification is in turmoil”, http://www.smh.com.au/national/why-halal-certification-is-in-turmoil-20141222-12cmd3.html

“Halal Certification a Bitter Pill for Pharma”, http://jakartaglobe.id/news/halal-certification-bitter-pill-pharma/

Wikipedia, “AFIC”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Federation_of_Islamic_Councils

The Australian, “Muslim school stripped of $45m”, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/malek-fahd-islamic-school-stripped-of-45m-muslim-body-accused/news-story/bb08c4e84aa9989ec2bedc651a95b2f6

The Guardian,“WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists”, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-terrorist-funding

News.com.au, “Qatar crisis: Is Saudi Arabia supporting terror also?”, http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/qatar-crisis-is-saudi-arabia-supporting-terror-also/news-story/a58c4127caddf901b799fea2acaa9718

Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, “List of recognised Islamic bodies for halal certification of red meat”, http://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/meat/elmer-3/list-islamic-halal-certification

Salaamgateway, “Islamic countries dependence on meat imports”, http://www.salaamgateway.com/en/story/islamic_countries_dependence_on_meat_imports-salaam06092015165353/

Salaamgateway, “Int’l Halal Accreditation Forum seeks greater inclusivity, raises concerns on industry practices”, http://www.salaamgateway.com/en/food/story/intl_halal_accreditation_forum_seeks_greater_inclusivity_raises_concerns_on_industry_practices-salaam05042017111603/

Salaamgateway, “What are the food items OIC countries import the most?“, http://www.salaamgateway.com/en/food/story/what_are_the_food_items_oic_countries_import_the_most-salaam12032017045713/

The Senate Economics References Committee into third-party certification of food (2015):
(there is a lot of material, submissions etc, and the hansard is actually on a different website to these and the final report so I have just provided below the key documents, being the downloads of the hansard of the three hearings and then the final report):

EconomicsReferencesCommittee_2015_08_21_3720_Official.pdf;fileType=applicationpdf#search=halal

EconomicsReferencesCommittee_2015_09_24_3825_Official.pdf;fileType=applicationpdf#search=thirdpartyfoodcertification

EconomicsReferencesCommittee_2015_11_03_3963_Official.pdf;fileType=applicationpdf#search=thirdpartyfoodcertification

Senate Committee Report

For other materials, submissions etc related to this inquiry:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Food_Cert_Schemes