IN THE NAME OF THE PROFIT
Part 2 (of a 12 part series)
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
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 an annual 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.
He goes on to say, “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”:
“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-?täk-si-k?nt\ 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, Allah 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 sex slavery 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.
Next : ‘HALAL FOR CASH’ - CORRUPTION AND BRIBERY IN OUR BIGGEST EXPORT MARKET