Why is it that the moment you don't support something you get labelled. You are a racist, a fanatic, a bigot. These are all terms thrown at people like me who believe in actual freedom of choice. Apparently, because I don't want to pay a religious tax I am an intolerant bigot.
Yet how many of those people that quickly lash out these names, should be called the same for their intolerance towards my Christian beliefs.
Where is our religious choice?
All the companies that are Halal certifying their products without providing another option are actually guilty of discrimination themselves. In fact, Sikhs are forbidden to eat halal certified foods and "they feel very discriminated against, as so many products are literally off limits due to their religious beliefs."
What about Christians and Jews who are told in the Bible not to eat food sacrificed to false gods? Isn't Halal meat just that? The cow being prayed over in the name of Allah while it has its throat cut and bleeds to death.
Many companies in Australia are now Halal certified and a leading expert says that well over 50 % of the food we eat in Australia is certified. Yet only 2% of the Australian population is Muslim according to the Guardian.
Threatened by a backlash, companies are fearfully certifying their products but not labelling them as such. Therefore, unless you are checking websites like Halal Choices regularly when you go to the supermarket you really don't have a choice to support Islam or not, because there aren't even labels to tell us what's what.
Why are we intolerant for asking questions? Why is the west afraid? Am I not allowed to know where that certification money goes to? Am I not allowed to know what products are Halal Certified?
Yes, where does our Halal Certified money go to?
"Many of the (halal certification) companies are registered to mosques. And because Islam is designated a religion, these companies pay no taxes on the money they make. But worse, the mosques use the money to spread Islam through mosques, schools, and publicity, and to ship funds out of their host countries to Islamic "charities". Many of these charities have links to, or support, terrorism."
In Canada, it has been proven that over 14.5 million dollars of Halal certification funds have been linked to funding Hamas operations overseas. Yes, as of yet no solid proof has been found in Australia for links to terrorism but with money going to foreign charities set up under other names, we really have a hard time tracking where the money is going once it leaves Australia.
Even if money is not going to fund terrorism, I don't want to support Islam and the spread of it across Australia or anywhere and by paying this religious tax I am being forced to support a cause that ethically and religiously opposes my beliefs.
Yes, I want Muslims to have every freedom I have in this wonderful nation; to eat or not eat what they want; to vote for whoever they want; to live according to the laws of our nation; and enjoy life. I however, do not want to fund the growth of the Islam religion by buying my bar of Halal Certified Cadbury Chocolate bar.
Isn't extortion illegal in Australia?
When further examining halal Certification companies websites they claim that this is not a tax rather a fee since the corporations have the choice to receive and pay for certification or not. And they go on to say that this fee is not passed onto the consumer to the best of their knowledge and the company just pays it and that it is fear mongering that is saying that this is a religious tax.
Really it isn't a tax? Companies have faced extortion if they chose not to become Halal certified, companies like the Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company who had "the choice" to either get certified or no longer be allowed to supply Emirates with yoghurt. Yoghurt is already naturally Halal.
The only thing that is questionable is what type of gelatin they use if any at all, and all they have to do is label it so and any literate person would be able to see it is permissible for a Muslim to eat.
The Halal Certification board came out and said "now our yogurt doesn't contain gelatine so we can definitely argue the fact that it doesn't need to be certified for Emirates (but) they play it safe. Anything that goes on their planes to be certified, so if they're asked, they can automatically answer 'yes'."
Here Emirates is forcing companies that supply goods to their planes to be Halal Certified, even if the goods are already by nature made Halal friendly.
Do companies really have a choice when the option is either get the certification or lose the contract? This is extortion, and companies are been forced to buy into it or lose business.
Or how about a chicken company that was going to have to pay $40,000 to certify each of their processing plants. (Check out the video here) How can a company just swallow those types of fees and not pass them along to consumer and still make money? They can't. The "fees" for halal certification are being passed to you the consumer.
Exercise your freedom of choice
While I don't have a choice if Cadbury, Kraft or one of the many companies choose to certify itself, I do have a choice to buy their products because of it.
Instead of funding Mosques and Islamic charities around the globe my buying power and yours can instead decide to 'boycott' these companies and support those who chose to say no to Halal Certification.
Genevieve Wilson is a happily married stay at home, home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She worked 8 years as a missionary with Youth with a Mission(YWAM). She has a heart for justice and to see the abolition of the modern day slave trade.
Genevieve Wilson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/genevieve-wilson.html