ISSUES WITH HALAL CERTIFICATION

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As a non Muslim Australian the matter of halal certification is of great concern to me, and many other Australians I have communicated with. My concerns are detailed as follows.

Certification Fees;
“The global market for halal-certified products and services is estimatedto be worth more than USD2.3 trillion, expanding by 20% per year.These schemes are not limited to food alone, with products andservices ranging from halal certified cosmetics to water, trucks,warehousing and sharia finance there is no limit to the schemes.Plans are in place to certify every step of the market from suppliersof animal feed, to food processing and eventually the transport toyour supermarket and shopping bag.” Q Society Australia.

The fees demanded by certification bodies to acquire the certification are not only extensive, but in many cases of pressure on the company targeted, are nothing better than extortion. These costs are passed on to the consumer, no matter how much a company may deny such. All operational and marketing costs are paid for in the purchase of the product. Having made the informed and well researched decision to refrain from following Islam and associated Islamic requirements, I strongly object to my purchases contributing funds to a religiously motivated scheme. In a democracy, there is freedom of religion and freedom from religion. By a vast majority of the products available in not just supermarkets but an increasing amount of other stores being halal certified, my right to freedom from religion is compromised by way of the cost of certification, particularly where the product is not labelled as certified which removes my choice as a consumer to avoid the scheme. I do not donate or contribute funds towards any religion voluntarily, and I highly resent being forced to as outlined.

SlaughterProcess;
In Australia, the national standard for meat production requires that all animals must be effectively stunned (unconscious) prior to slaughter. The vast majority of halal slaughter in Australia (including at export abattoirs) complies with this standard, that is, all animals are stunned prior to slaughter.The only difference is that a reversible stunning method is used,while conventional humane slaughter may use an irreversible stunning method.-RSPCA
The main concern with halal slaughter is the reversible stun being used, if any stun is used in the first place. Many of the animals have in fact regained semi to full consciousness by the time they are slaughtered, resulting in them experiencing unimaginable pain before death. And this is assuming that the stun is applied.Whether the government and food authorities would like to believe it or not, there are halal slaughterers who are not stunning the animals at all. As found in the standards outlined on the RSPCA website, not all cattle are required to be stunned at all;
Forcattle and sheep, the requirements for religious slaughter withoutprior stunning are set out in a nationally adopted guideline RitualSlaughter for Ovine (Sheep) and Bovine (Cattle):

  • For cattle, stunning is still required but this occurs immediately after the throat is cut. Two separate slaughter men must be present: one to perform the cut (which must sever both the carotid arteries and jugular veins) and one to perform the stunning.
  • For sheep, stunning is not required except where the animal is distressed or does not rapidly lose consciousness, in which case they must be immediately stunned.

The animals die slowly, bleeding out, scared and in pain. This is not ethical slaughter, this is not acceptable. The standards set in Australia in regards to slaughter are to humanely kill the animal, avoiding any unnecessary pain and suffering. Halal slaughter is incompatible with these values.

The next concern in this area is the discrimination and religious bias that is being applied in the workplace on the insistence that only Muslims can oversee the process, and undertake the slaughtering. This counteracts core Australian values of fairness and equality. Hard working Australians should not be divided by religious inclinations, and certainly should not find themselves losing employment opportunities based on religious bias.

Labelling;
Many of the products on shelves are now halal certified. And of those,many are not labelled. It is not legally required for them to be labelled. This is unfair to the consumers wishing to avoid the certification and the religious element. It also causes one to ponder what the point of the certification is if the consumers requiring halal certified products do not know it is halal certified. If these companies insist on partaking in religious mythology, and are comfortable in forcing the wishes of the few on the many, a label declaring such should be applied. Surely this is a breach of the consumers rights and a lack of transparency.

CertificationDishonesty;
As outlined in the religious doctrine, the Qur’an,most consumables available are automatically halal (permissible) withvery few, clear exceptions. Muslims are, or should be, well aware of what they can and cannot consume according to their religious requirements, as are the followers of other faiths. When items like water or fruit and vegetables are certified (read; fees), the certification is not only unnecessary, but rather useless. The real insult is found in certain alcoholic or even pork items being certified – items which are clearly haram (not permissible) under any circumstance. Of even more concern is cat food, cosmetics,cleaning supplies, etc being halal certified. This can only be received as a blatant and shameless cash grab by the average consumer. Muslims are not consuming cat food, and cats do not follow religion.

Lackof Financial Transparency;
It remains unclear where the large profits gained from certification end up. Many claims have been made about certification schemes funding extremist or militant groups, and studies in other countries have clearly found and proven the links,validating these claims. At the very least the funds are being used to advance Islam in Australia and non Islamic countries inn the way of Islamic schools, Islamic centres and places of worship, all of which is once again breaching my rights to freedom from religion.Considering quite a few Islamic schools, centres and charity store-front operations have been and continue to be under investigation for financial fraud, I am not comfortable in the lack of transparency as to where the halal certification fees are going.

HiddenMotives;
Halal certification is much more than just fulfilling a religious requirement. The following is an indication of the darkerof the certification;
“The Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovina, Dr Mustafa Ceric urged the Muslim Ummah to conquer the world through Halal movement as Halal means pure and hygiene and non-Muslim world has no hesitation to accept it.”
Halal is apart of sharia law, and halal certification is a thinly veiled implementation of an aspect of sharia law, particularly with the imposition of the certification falling on non Muslims.

Allof the concerns I have detailed in this document are easily validated through research, with a vast array of information available if one takes the time to look.

Reezy Smith
TTEONB – Through The Eyes of Non Believers

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