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Old 01 December 2014, 05:27 AM
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Soapbox Dick Smith on Halal certification

Dick Smith Foods is a well known food brand in Australia and this statement which has been attributed to them has been doing the rounds on Facebook:

Quote:
A WARNING FROM DICK SMITH:
You may be aware that "Dick Smith" chain franchise stores are being pressured by the Islamic Council of Australia to gain 'Halal Certification' otherwise they will be proscribed and banned from Muslim custom.

This is their response:

A MESSAGE FROM DICK SMITH.
"We at Dick Smith's have received a number of letters from people asking if we will be putting the Muslim Halal logo on our food. To acquire Halal certification, payment is required to the endorsing body (the Islamic Council) and involves a number of site inspections of both our growers and processors in order to ensure that our practices comply with the conditions of Halal certification.
It is important to note that this does not reflect the quality of the food being processed or sold – it only means that the products are approved as being prepared in accordance with the traditions of the Muslim faith.

We are aware of an increasing number of large companies both in Australia and overseas, such as Kraft and Cadbury, who have obtained accreditation to use the Halal logo. We don’t believe they have done this because of any religious commitment but rather for purely commercial reasons. Perhaps these large organisations can afford to do this.
While we have a choice however, we would prefer to avoid unnecessarily increasing the cost of our products in order to pay for Halal accreditation when this money would be better spent continuing to support important charitable causes where assistance is greatly needed.

We point out that we have never been asked to put a Christian symbol (or any other religious symbol) on our food requiring that we send money to a Christian organisation for the right to do so.
Others would add that money paid to ANY Muslim 'organisation' (and you had better believe it: these people ARE 'organised') can easily find its way into the hands of Islamic extremist-fanatics and murderers, irrespective of assurances to the contrary. What other assurances do we accept from Muslims? Oh, that's right, 'Islam is a religion of PEACE'!
How less Australian can companies get, than to place money into the hands of those who seek to exploit us?" This is an example of how the leaders of Muslims in Aus/NZ are bullying large commercial organisations (especially in the food industry) into paying what is no more than blatant extortion money. The amazing part is that these weak-kneed organisations (Cadbury/ Schweppes/ Nestles/ Kraft etc.) actually pay the large sums demanded by these self-appointed religious bureaucrats. Of course, the manufacturers promptly pass this levy on to unwitting consumers as cost increases. Next time you buy a block of Cadbury's chocolate, look for the Halal Certification seal on the wrapper. So, regardless of your own religious faith, you end up subsidizing Islam.

The Council also controls the Muslim voter bloc which, as yet, does not have sufficient critical mass to make a difference - but give them time.
Several state jurisdictions are under pressure to adopt or permit Sharia Law in Marriage, Family and Property matters and some, under the delusion that they are being progressively liberal, are permitting this. This has already happened in some local authorities in the U.K.
Google the U.K. Education Department's current investigation into the conduct of Muslim-run schools in the Birmingham area of England.

How many more warnings do people need?
Screencap

The company has posted a statement that "whilst the first three paragraphs of the email that is being circulated are correctly quoted, additional words have been fabricated which are not Dick Smith’s view at all."

Here's their original statement about their decision not to get Halal certification.


ETA their statement about the first three paragraphs being correct might be ambiguous given the formatting and reformatting that happened, their original statement ended on the words "we would prefer to avoid unnecessarily increasing the cost of our products in order to pay for Halal accreditation when this money would be better spent continuing to support important charitable causes where assistance is greatly needed."
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Old 01 December 2014, 06:14 AM
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That kind of reminds me of the "Jewish Tax" legend, about kosher certification instead of halal. As Barbara writes regarding that one:

Quote:
Does certification add to the price of a product? Certainly, but the amount is miniscule, especially compared to the advertising, packaging, shipping, research, testing, admin and finance-related costs, and a myriad of other components that contribute to the process of bringing a product to market or making it better appeal to consumers. One might as well rail against the costs associated with selecting the ink colors and style of lettering used on a package.
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Old 01 December 2014, 06:19 AM
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Is the company responding to the recent claims by George Christensen MP that halal certification funds terrorism?

From http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...s-9872968.html

Quote:
The politician alleges that popular Australian brands such as Vegemite and Freddo Frog could be unwittingly funding terrorism.
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Old 01 December 2014, 06:25 AM
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I found the Halal Australia fees & charges page and it sounds like a rather complicated process but it doesn't give any actual numbers (apart from the small application processing fee which is separate to the inspection/certification fee).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
Is the company responding to the recent claims by George Christensen MP that halal certification funds terrorism?
Not that I can see, no.
Edit: but this satirical news item was definitely in response to claims like that.
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Old 01 December 2014, 01:09 PM
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I find it interesting that when we go shopping here, halal products are usually cheaper.

A good many people won't buy halal thinking that it is somewhat only for Muslims. When we buy meat, we buy halal meats frequently as the price is some times about 1/2 the price of regular meats.

And as we live in an Arab heavy part of the city, there is little problem finding a store that stocks halal products.
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Old 01 December 2014, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
A good many people won't buy halal thinking that it is somewhat only for Muslims.
I just googled whether Christians are allowed to eat Halal food and there's a whoooooole bunch of people on both sides of the debate. The problem seems to come down to 1 Corinthians 10 and the assumption that Halal meat is consecrated to a false idol (ie: Allah) since a Muslim has to recite a shahada over the slaughtered animal for the meat to become Halal.

That should only apply to Halal food which contains meat as far as I can tell. Halal food which doesn't contain any meat or meat byproducts wouldn't have had a shahada said over it so it wouldn't have been 'consecrated to a false idol'. There was apparently a LOT of consternation in Australia when Vegemite was certified Halal even though it's ingredients are completely vegetarian.

Last edited by Gutter Monkey; 01 December 2014 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 01 December 2014, 03:24 PM
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Even if it were definitely off-limits for Christians, it would not necessarily be "only for Muslims."

Honestly, I see people having the same idea about "vegetarian food," which isn't even a thing, really, since almost every non-vegetarian eats non-meat foods sometimes. Falafel and tofu are no more "vegetarian food" than tomatoes or pasta are.
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Old 01 December 2014, 03:33 PM
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I just had a big bowl of vegetarian cereal for breakfast.
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Old 01 December 2014, 03:33 PM
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Yeah I'm totally happy to eat halal, kosher, vegetarian, etc etc.. My only concern is how delicious the food is.
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Old 01 December 2014, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutter Monkey View Post
I just googled whether Christians are allowed to eat Halal food and there's a whoooooole bunch of people on both sides of the debate. The problem seems to come down to 1 Corinthians 10 and the assumption that Halal meat is consecrated to a false idol (ie: Allah) since a Muslim has to recite a shahada over the slaughtered animal for the meat to become Halal.

That should only apply to Halal food which contains meat as far as I can tell. Halal food which doesn't contain any meat or meat byproducts wouldn't have had a shahada said over it so it wouldn't have been 'consecrated to a false idol'. There was apparently a LOT of consternation in Australia when Vegemite was certified Halal even though it's ingredients are completely vegetarian.
It shouldn't be a problem to "REAL" christians. After all, you're supposed to say grace before every meal, right? That's like, vaccine for false idols.

After all, christians have been repurposing holy sites for a while now, so don't the same rules apply to food?

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Old 01 December 2014, 05:36 PM
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I thought that scripture in Corinthians said that there was nothing wrong with eating meat sacrificed to idols, and the only reason to refrain from doing so was to avoid "stumbling" those less mature in their belief.
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Old 01 December 2014, 05:40 PM
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My only real issue with halal (or kosher) meats is whether the slaughtering process was humane. I'm not an expert on what happens by my understanding was that the animal was supposed to be killed by slashing its throat and letting it bleed, which is slower and more painful than how standard slaughterhouses are supposed to kill animals.

I could be wrong about that, though.
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Old 01 December 2014, 05:47 PM
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This Guardian article has some good information on halal and kosher slaughter methods.
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