Take a close look at this bag (see picture below). It is the latest in the racist religious vilification arsenal here in Australia. The Q society, the group that worked hard to bring Geert Wilders here earlier this year have now demonstrated beyond any doubt exactly what its agenda is.
This is the blurb from that group on their website about the bag:
“Volunteers of Q Society of Australia will hand out free shopping bags this Saturday 31st August, at selected supermarkets around the country. The bags, which state “Halal certification schemes fund mosques, madrassas and jihad,” are designed to generate discussion amongst Australian consumers.
While the re-usable shopping bags are free of charge, the imprint and info material in each bag alerts consumers that halal certification schemes are not free and have developed into a hidden Islamic goods and services tax.
Q Society’s spokesman Andrew Horwood points out: “Halal food itself is not of concern. Nearly all our food is naturally permissible to Muslims and observant Muslims can make food of unknown origin halal by proclaiming ‘bismillah’ over the food before eating. What is of concern for Australians are the recently invented certification schemes, designed to permeate the supply chain from feeding trough to super market shelf, including non-food goods and services.”
The show bags contain an educational video with references to Islamic scriptures and results of the research conducted by Kirralie Smith of HalalChoices.com.au, as well as a petition to parliament for mandatory labelling. The educational video will be launched on YouTube on the same day.”
At the time that this group attempted to get Geert Wilders here they spent a lot of time trying to say that they were not Anti Islamist but were about genuine discussion. This clearly puts paid to that assertion.
Leaving aside the hysteria created by this group let us look at the practice of Halal slaughter of animals for meat consumption. (Warning – this section is graphic in detail and may cause some consternation to readers). This appears to be the area that the Q society and Halal Focus seem most concerned about. I don’t profess to be a Muslim scholar of any kind but the following appears to be the basis of the practice of Halal slaughter. The slaughter must be performed by a Muslim. The slaughter must be preceded by the invocation of the name of Allah (praise be upon him). This is done three times and then the animal is slaughtered with a sharp knife. The blood is then drained from the veins.
The process of certification of Halal compliance is one that allows adherent Muslims to purchase goods and services that satisfy their religious beliefs. There are groups that will come to your business and undertake an assessment and issue a certification based on the annual turnover of the business. I contacted a couple of Halal certification authorities and was given a ball park estimate of the costs involved in getting a certification. For a butcher, Halal certification would cost around $200 per annum and for an abattoir the cost would be around $300 per annum. Purely from an economic viewpoint there is no compelling argument to not undertake the process. So what is the Q society’s basic argument? One would have to think that the central thesis is one revolving around sheer and unmitigated cultural bias. Unfortunately, groups such as the Q society take some comfort from the idiotic statements of Luke Simpkins (Liberal Member for Cowan) who said ““By having Australians unwittingly eating Halal food we are all one step down the path towards the conversion, and that is a step we should only make with full knowledge and one that should not be imposed upon us without us knowing. What is happening is wrong. Too often the minorities in this country are looked after without regard to the majority” and Senator Cory Bernardi who said “I, for one, don’t want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values”.
When our parliamentarians make this language acceptable then groups such as the Q Society are legitimised. If the argument against Halal is the administration of brutality to an animal, then the logical extension of that argument is a call to vegetarianism. It is not a call to ban Halal slaughter or certification.
The writer of this article, Suresh Rajan, declares an impartiality conflict of interest as a Senate candidate for The WikiLeaks Party in the federal elections. Suresh is a former president of the Ethnic Communities Council WA.