Halal Certification

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Senior Rabbi Moshe Gutnick says anti-halal campaign ‘ignorant and prejudiced’
April 26, 2015 | Liam Mannix

One of Australia’s most senior rabbis has come to the defence of Australia’s Muslim community, saying the anti-halal campaign headed by the group Reclaim Australia and backed by some parliamentarians is an attack on religious freedom.

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick says attacks on halal certification are based on prejudice, and similar claims about kosher would be labelled anti-Semitic.

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Vegemite had the perfect response to a vicious campaign over halal certification

Over the last few months there has been a nasty food war being waged on the internet over halal certification.

Critics claim the Islamic religious practice is simply a front to fund terrorism, a conspiracy theory to rival the (fictional) Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

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Why halal certification is in turmoil
December 28, 2014 | Chris Johnston

The booming international halal certification industry for food and other products, including in Australia, is in turmoil. Chris Johnston reports.

Kirralie Smith is a permaculture farmer from northern New South Wales and a mother of three. She is also the public face of the virulent campaign to boycott halal food and products.

Halal means permissible for Muslims to eat or use, and the Facebook page “‘Boycott Halal in Australia” has 41,000 supporters.

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HALAL-UJAH! …Kirralie shames supermarkets
Kirralie Smith | 27 November 2014

There is a lot of confusion about supermarket meat and whether or not it is halal certified. The thing is in a lot of cases the meat they source is in fact halal slaughtered and fees are paid. The supermarkets cannot label the meat as such though because the meat is then transported, stored or sold along with haram (forbidden) items such as pork.

So who wins? No-one, except the rich certifiers. Many non-Muslims won’t buy the end product because it was slaughtered halal and fees were paid.

Many Muslims won’t buy it because it may have started out halal but became haram along the way.

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Clarifying Misconceptions About Halal
Posted 27 November 2014 | Halal Australia

We are aware of certain rumours that at times circulate about the halal food industry. As such, we appreciate you taking the time to investigate this matter at the source rather than accept at face value the various sensationalists, misleading statements about halal certification currently circulating through social and traditional media networks. We would like to take this opportunity to categorically reject these statements and would direct you to the information below in order to clarify any concerns primarily about the nature of halal products, the usage of funds, and the implications of halal certification for the Australian economy at large.

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Posted on May 17, 2014 by coolnessofhind under Current Affairs, Islam

In all honesty, I did not want to write on the banal, stereotypical, anti-Muslim, “Halal hysteria”. There has already been a cogent piece written on this topic which deserves a read.

The thing is when something like this becomes current again you wonder what runs through the minds of neocons, liberals and anti-Muslim hate-mongers. Really. It has happened before. And it is only convenient (for the neocons and the right-wing extremists), to regurgitate the same. This time around the Sun sensationally claimed that chickens are slaughtered alive! Even Russell Brand picked up on the inherent prejudiced attack on the Muslim minority. As per the neocon demonisation formula, a report about food chains “secretly” feeding halal meat to the unsuspecting public is revealed. Perhaps a few reports by apologetic Muslims who do not follow Islam is published stating that they have no real concern about eating halal food.

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The Muslims are in Season !
13/05/2014 | Myriad Foundation

We’ve made it, once again, hands down, to the dartboard of far right polemic. Muslims have become the target of another malicious hate campaign that seeks to intrude into yet another aspect of their religious way of life. If you’re still hung up over Hijab, get over it. That was so last season – we’re talking Halal on this catwalk, baby.

While it may surprise many of you to know that the term halal is something the vast majority of people of the UK are actually unfamiliar with, it’s no wonder that when you use unfamiliar or vague terms the natural human tendency to approach with fear is often realised. It’s always easier to make an alien concept something of a bogeyman. However it should be understood that clothing, money earned as well as the meat Muslims eat should also be Halal. Now before you conjure up an image of being paid your wages in chicken drumsticks or some Gaga-esque visual of a man walking around in a suit made of roast lamb in some ‘Sharon Law’ driven court of insanity – allow me to clarify.

When Muslims say Halal clothing or halal earnings they mean that the way you earn your money should be through lawful means – not by cheating, lying or stealing. Similarly the clothes you wear should, in turn, be from the money earned via Halal ways. Now while this article isn’t about the definition of Halal we’ll stop there and leave you with the understanding that Halal denotes purity and an acceptable method, as per the commands of God Almighty – and as such carries with it innate moral goodness.

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We Muslims should be appalled by the sale of halal meat by stealth
By DR TAJ HARGEY | PUBLISHED: 09:53 AEST, 9 May 2014

When I walk into a restaurant, I’m usually a hungry customer. It shouldn’t be important to the waiter what my religion is.

I could be a Muslim, a Christian or a Jedi warrior. Whatever my beliefs, I have a right to enjoy my meal without any hidden agendas.

Pizza Express, one of Britain’s favourite food institutions, admitted this week that all the chicken it serves has been killed according to traditional halal methods. The blood was drained from the bird and prayers were recited during the slaughter.

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‘Halal hysteria’: Religious exemption from animal welfare law is the real issue
Posted: Thu, 08 May 2014 by Stephen Evans

‘Halal hysteria’: Religious exemption from animal welfare law is the real issue
Food retailers should be upfront about what they’re serving up, but the main issue is one of animal welfare, and the religious exemptions that allows animals to be slaughtered without being stunned, argues Stephen Evans.

Halal again hit the headlines this week, after the latest “revelations” that Pizza Express was serving up Halal chicken to all its customers without their knowledge.

Following the media storm Pizza Express said it would “review its policy”. As all Pizza Express chicken had been pre-stunned in accordance with UK law, one wonders what all the fuss was about. Some Sikhs and Christians, whose beliefs prevent them from eating meat dedicated to another god, may have their objections, but it’s hard to see why most people find the idea of their meat being prayed over quite so objectionable.

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Halal Products from the Consumers Perception. An Online Survey.
by Nuradli Ridzwan Shah Mohd Dali | Posted 20th January 2014

The development of Islamic banking shows that Muslims are concern with theprohibition of riba and would like to ensure that their investments are pure or halal.  Nevertheless, not only transactions in business, banking and investment that require halal,the food industry must follow the same requirement because Muslims are required to consume halal food and products as promulgated by the Quran.  Jabatan Kemajuan IslamMalaysia (JAKIM) has come out with halal standard and logo initiatives to ensure that Muslim consumer’ rights to halal foods and products are protected.  This research would examine the consumers’ perception on the halal logo and ingredients compared to the respondents’ demographics profiles.

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Queensland abattoirs hit with thousands in Halal certification fees
21 October, 2013 Aoife Boothroyd

Abattoirs in Queensland are having to fork out up to $27,000 per month for Halal certification, money which is allegedly being used to fund Islamic schools and mosques.

The allegations that Halal certifiers must donate a share of their revenue to mosques and Islamic schools has stopped a significant number of Queensland’s Halal meat exports to Indonesia, resulting in affected abattoir operators boycotting the expensive Halal certifiers endorsed by Indonesia’s top Islamic body, The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI), The Courier Mail reports.

Halal certifiers must be accredited by MUI and the organisation only approves one certifier per state or territory.

One Queensland processor stated that it had been quoted $27,000 per month in Halal certification fees through a MUI-endorsed certifier – almost four times the amount that the Brisbane-based Australian Halal Food Services (AHFS) organisation charges.

The AHFS had its accreditation authority suspended by MUI for allegedly engaging in “unfair competition” that could potentially ‘weaken’ the Halal certification movement.

In addition, a Melbourne company Australian Halal Authority and Advisers (AHAA), was deregistered for allegedly operating without a current permit, and the Adelaide Mosque Islamic Society was suspended by the MUI for failing to pay its US $1,000 membership fee.

Stephen Kelly, general manager of industry affairs for Japanese-owned meat packer, Nippon Meat said that its Queensland abattoirs that relied on the AHFS for certification were now unable to sell Halal meat in Indonesia.

“Indonesia is still an important market and we would be keen to have a resolution of this,” said Kelly.

The federal Department of Agriculture said that while it has no power over the approvals for religious certifiers, it was determined to work with the MUI to resolve any issue that affect trade.

“The Australian government values our close relationship with MUI and will continue to work together with MUI to overcome issues that affect the mutually beneficial trade in red meat to Indonesia,” said a spokesperson for the department.

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Religious levy costs Queensland abattoirs thousands each month

QUEENSLAND abattoirs are being slugged thousands of dollars a month through a religious levy on meat exports so powerful Muslim clerics in Jakarta can raise money for Islamic schools and mosques.

The Halal certification fees can cost some meat processors up to $27,000 a month.

The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI), the top Islamic body which orders fatwa religious rulings, has even banned a Brisbane business from operating – because it was not charging Queensland abattoirs enough to give the religious tick-off to export meat.

The scandal has stopped most of Queensland’s Halal meat exports to Indonesia, as angry abattoir operators boycott the more expensive Halal certifiers endorsed by the MUI.

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Anti-Muslim hysteria in Australia
Freethought Blogs | The Atheists Experience | by Russell Glasser | 5th February 2013

In Sunday’s show, Matt and Tracie answered some questions about Islam. Afterwards, we got this email from Australia: …

The letter continues, but since I mainly want to comment on this “Halal Choices” website, I’m stopping it there.

I checked out the site. I even watched the video. I have to say it was just about the dumbest piece of propaganda masquerading as news I have seen in weeks. I looked up “Today Tonight” and it sounds to me like they are a notorious puff journalism show, like a cross between our Fox News and “The National Enquirer.”

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Concerns About Halal Foods
CultureWatch | Bill Muehlenberg | Published: 15th July 2010

Various religious groups have particular dietary laws. One thinks of Kosher foods which Jews are allowed to eat, for example. In the Islamic religion there are also allowable foods and prohibited foods. With the influx of Muslims into Western nations, this issue has become quite pronounced of late.

The Arabic word Halal simply means that which is acceptable, lawful or legal, and Halal foods are those which a Muslim is allowed to eat. Haram foods, on the other hand, are prohibited and unlawful foods. Pork and alcohol are the main Haram food and drink items for a Muslim.

The Koran speaks to these matters in various places, such as Surahs 2:172-173 and 5:3-5. Over the centuries fairly elaborate commentary about all this has arisen, and today there are official Islamic bodies which overlook this area, certifying those foods which are considered to be Halal.

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