If you ever find yourself being lectured by a regressive leftist on the subject of Halal certification or your concerns about it, it’s easy enough to explain things concisely to them, provided that they’ll actually listen.
Firstly, there’s no real need to get into the semantics of Halal slaughter. Is it more or less humane than a run of the mill abattoir? I wouldn’t know… both are far less humane than hunting, but the regressive left will never admit that because the mere thought of a guy sneaking around the bush in camouflage with a compound bow after a feral goat is always going to make their collective minds explode, regardless of how much more humane or environmentally friendly this kind of sustainably sourced meat is than anything commercially available. So don’t even bother trying to get into that discussion with them. They’ll never see reason, and it’s irrelevant as to why Halal certification is so insidious.
The concern about Halal certification for the vast majority of us has absolutely nothing to do with how the food is prepared, or the ingredients, or any real or perceived change to its flavour profile. These things are of no consequence in regard to why we need to be wary of the practice. An eccentric minority may disagree and think that Vegemite tastes different now (it doesn’t, and I love the stuff), and all that this minority has achieved is providing the ABC and other regressive left news sources with a straw man excuse to completely ignore the real concerns about this topic.
So no problem with how the food is prepared, how it tastes, or the ingredients. I love Hummus, I love Lamb Kofta, I love Falafel. They’ve been making these delicious dishes the same way for thousands of years. And strangely, they got by just fine without the red tape of Halal certification for all those thousands of years. Funny that…
Now, I’m sure that at least some of you are outraged by the fact that the Catholic Church and other denominations enjoy tax-free status. They don’t pay a cent. We do subsidise religious schools with our tax money, but education is education. That’s a whole different issue. We’re paying money so that kids can learn to be functioning members of society. Personally, I’m not against funding any kind of religious school provided that everything is above board, and the money is only going toward things like reading, writing, and arithmetic.
All of the religious aspects should be paid for willingly by parents who believe this to be an important part of how their kids are raised. This is how it should be. Same goes for private secular schools. If you can afford to send your kid there, great. More power to you. It’s fine for the taxpayer to foot the bill for the same services you’d find at Minto High. You pay taxes just like they do. But if you expect taxes contributed by parents of a Minto High student to subsidise an Olympic sized pool at Kings College, then you’re dreaming.
Imagine for just a moment if Christians demanded that a representative of their faith said a prayer to St. Christopher (patron saint of travel) over every new vehicle, boat, train, or aeroplane manufactured or imported into Australia for a fee that is undisclosed except to the person paying it. This fee would then be quietly and secretly appropriated by those sneaky “Bible Bashers” to be used in any manner they see fit without any transparency or checks and balances whatsoever.
This fee, of course, wouldn’t come cheap, because the Reverend has to travel from his home, paperwork needs to be processed, data entered, and a little sticker needs to be printed and sent out to go beside the compliance plate. A cute little logo of St. Christopher brought to you by the people who came up with the Australian Made logo. It’s all very esoteric and it’s hard to pin down how much all of this certification process actually costs to implement. It’s perfect.
Who is going to ask a Catholic priest why it costs $10 grand for a new light rail train to go through the St. Christopher certification? Nobody. To do so would be very rude and sacrilegious. It just isn’t done, so the person in charge of accounts quietly pays and it’s all profit for the Church.
I’m sure that a St. Christopher certification would be wonderful for Christians. What could be more comforting than knowing that your boat was endorsed not only by a very holy representative that you respect, but by the guy that carried Christ on his shoulders across a swollen river?
But at the end of the day, it would amount to the equivalent of a cut-and-dried goods tax imposed on people of all faiths, and those with no faith, by a religion. It would represent a massive (and very concerning) leap from tax-free status to a whole new troubling level… tax collection.
The only difference between this and any government tax or levy, as defined in Webster’s dictionary, is that a religion would be collecting the money instead of the government. Instead of it going into the public coffers, it goes into the ether of a parish with no questions asked about where it all ends up.
I’m sure a lot of you would find the idea of paying what in any language amounts to a compulsory goods tax to a faith that you do not adhere to, and perhaps don’t even condone, to be obscene and outrageous. I’m sure a lot of you would go even further, finding the whole concept nothing short of bats— crazy.
And you wouldn’t be the only ones. No doubt we’d have Slimy Sam Dastyari (he of the “I’m only Muslim on Mondays for Tony Jones… Tuesday to Sunday I think Islam is problematic, but I won’t be admitting that to the Q&A audience’ crowd,”) complaining that, “It’s disgraceful that I have to pay a levy on my ticket every time I fly to Canberra because a Priest prayed to St. Christopher over the 787 I’m on when it rolled out of a factory in Seattle, and neither the church or Boeing are being forthcoming with this unspecified amount.”
He’d probably even demand a royal commission into this organisation that is blurring the lines between religion and politics, and even more insidiously blurring the lines between themselves and the ATO.
It sounds like a crazy concept of course, and obviously I’m exaggerating with this hypothetical scenario just a little. But despite what the ABC’s Fact Check might try to tell you in their mealy-mouthed dancing around the subject on their web page, you are currently, for all intents and purposes, paying a similarly conceived goods tax levied by a religion, despite the fact that it claims that it isn’t also a political ideology. Which one will it be then? Is Islam a religion or a tax-collecting bureaucracy? It’s that simple.
ABC’s Fact Check scoffs at allegations that the proceeds of Halal Certification exceed $3 trillion worldwide, but then concedes that, “there are no regulations compelling Australian companies and organisations that certify Halal foods to disclose their fees publicly”. ABC Fact Check’s Halal Certification page is riddled with half-truths, incomplete data and missing statistics. I guess the science is settled… or something.
The complete lack of disclosure surrounding Halal Certification makes ABC’s Fact Check completely irrelevant to say the least. I’ve dealt with people shy of giving actual numbers before. When they’re trying to sell a business, it means they aren’t making much money. When they are a regulatory body, it invariably means that they are making a lot.
Fact Check’s big “Aha!” moment is that the best evidence that we can find of links between Halal certification and terror is funds being funnelled to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is considered a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Their big gotcha moment? The Brotherhood is not currently recognised as a terrorist organisation in Australia. The Moors Murderers were never wanted in Australia either. Didn’t make them a local glamour couple.
So Fact Check disputes that any of the global Halal Certification coffers has found its way into the hands of terrorists. Further evidence for this? Well, they haven’t found anything yet (but likely haven’t been looking very hard). We have to take them at their word, and we have to take the CEO of Halal Australia, Muhammed Khan, at his word when he categorically denies that any of the funds raised by Halal certification bodies worldwide are used to fund terror networks. But he would say that, wouldn’t he?
I’m as quietly confident in the statement from Muhammad Khan as I was in the words of all those well-to-do Calabrian waste management gentlemen who earnestly told officials that the Mafia doesn’t exist. I mean honestly, what would an Italian garbage collector living in a palatial mansion have to gain by fibbing about such things?
Fact Check also alleges that the cost of Halal Certification is not passed on to the consumer. This opinion is to be expected from journalists who have never been in the private sector or been exposed to its harsh economic realities. That’s why the annual ABC budget is astronomically larger than that of Newscorp’s annual Australian press budget and they still whine about cuts.
Those of us who are in business realise that such a statement is pure bunkum. Any extra process always adds to the cost of goods and services. Of course food manufacturers aren’t going to come right out and blame it on Halal certification. You don’t get accused of Islamophobia when you cite the rising cost of electricity or a scarcity of ingredients as the reason for a price hike, so it makes obvious good business sense not to mention the elephant in the room when it comes to rises in the cost of goods.
Is any business owner really going to be foolish enough to come out publicly and complain that handing over a couple of grand every year to pay pointless lip service to a religion is hurting his bottom line? Of course not. Price rises always get vaguely blamed on ‘rising costs’. Price rises are often blamed on something that isn’t a contributing factor whatsoever, and that’s something that’s impossible for ABC fact check to measure with any authority.
We can play devil’s advocate and approach Halal certification from a dietary perspective. But this approach still doesn’t explain why a completely transparent and accountable secular government agency isn’t administering the whole process. Nor does it explain how Muslims managed to eat prior to this certification racket.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that something that is Organically certified is always more expensive than something conventional, and that’s fine. Organic goods fill a niche market. There are always other options. Those that want and can afford organic-certified can pay a little extra. The rest of us can buy the other, cheaper stuff.
The problem with Halal certification is that it is being rolled out as a uniform approach to the things that we eat. If, for whatever reason, you’re dead against supporting things like sustainability every time you eat, it’s easy not to contribute by not buying organically certified. Not so easy with Halal certification. If Weetbix and the Aldi equivalent brand are both Halal-certified, you may need to go for the bacon and eggs if you are principled.
At any rate, regardless of how much money is raised, or where the revenue does or doesn’t go, we have to ask ourselves whether we feel morally comfortable with any kind of religion essentially acting as a tax collector. A levy with a sermon if you will. We need to decide whether those who are not adherents of that faith should be obliged to pay extra for basic goods because of a religious levy.
And the Cultural Marxists at ABC’s Fact Check need to realise that these concerns are not about the way our food tastes or is prepared, but about what is essentially an added unnecessary theological goods tax. A rort that they’d never defend, and would be outraged and triggered by, if the Vatican had thought it up.
Australians are a funny lot. We were ropable at the prospect of a small Medicare levy to keep an ailing health system propped up for pensioners and low-income earners, but we swallow paying a completely unnecessary levy on virtually everything we consume, with no questions asked, for fear of being branded bigots.
At the end of the day, Halal Certification is very much on the nose, and indefensible any way you look at it. At the end of the day, if all logic fails, all you really need to say to a regressive left Halal Certification apologist is, “fair suck of the Shawarma!”
Eh?nonymous was a thoroughly repellent unemployed social justice warrior until a one in a million glitch in his Facebook account affected the algorithms in his news feed, omitting posts from his much loved left leaning Huffington Post and I F**king Love Science, and inexplicably replacing them with centrist and conservative newsfeed items that slowly dragged him kicking and screaming into the light beyond the safe space that Mr. Zuckerberg had so carefully constructed for him. It’s a long road to recovery, but every Mark Steyn share he sees in his newsfeed is like another day clean from social justice addiction.
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