What about freedom and choice?

Australia prides itself on its freedom and its prosperity. As such, every cobber and his dog should have the freedom to choose from a wide array of high quality tucker. And under Australian laws, individuals are supposed to have the freedom to practice their own religious beliefs without being coerced into adhering with or financially contributing to religious beliefs that they do not support or follow. Or so you’d think.

But as far as the theory goes, it is simple enough to understand.

In particular, freedom from religious coercion is underpinned by Section 116 of the Australian constitution. This clause prohibits the Commonwealth from establishing any religion, imposing any religious observance and prohibiting the free exercise of religion. For the uninitiated, it’s also worth noting that a particular religion was already legally recognised and therefore ‘established’ at the time of Federation: Christianity. It’s a long story but it does involve this bit of trivia. Our Queen carries the legal title ‘Defender of the Faith’. It’s a notion with a foundation. In fact, this title was first given to King Henry VIII by the Pope way back in 1521 for his defence, of all things, of the seven sacraments (including marriage).

But lest we leap down this particularly apt rabbit hole, given the state of public debate in Australia today, let’s return to the topic of religious freedom under Australian laws.

Religious freedom should also be theoretically protected to some extent by state-based anti-discrimination laws. However, this statement does rest on the assumption that our state and federal anti-discrimination commissions actually do their job. They don’t.

Anyway, it is allegedly unlawful in Queensland to discriminate on the basis of religious belief, including in the provision of goods and services. It is therefore arguable that supermarkets breach anti-discrimination laws if they supply food that is prepared only in accordance with one religious belief, or if they fail to disclose the religious nature of the food products they sell, particularly if the majority of customers do not hold that belief and the supermarket does not qualify for any exemptions to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act (1991).

So with this theory lesson out of the way, let’s look at the practical application to halal certification. These laws should mean that the Muslim minority can pay for all the halal certified food that they can eat. And the non-Muslim majority should be free to avoid Sharia compliant food to their heart’s content.

The former is happening. That’s a tick for the minority.

But the latter is not because there is simply no way that the bulk of Australian consumers can make a choice. There is simply no proper labelling of halal food. So that’s a cross for the majority.

And, in the process, every time you file through the check out the halal certifiers get a cheque out of it too.

So there is a good reason for the Senate to be holding an inquiry into food labelling.

Let’s hope it starts by understanding the two primary aims of food certification schemes.

  • They should provide consumers with information and certainty.
  • They should provide producers with an opportunity to advertise that their products meet rigorous standards.

I strongly supports the principle of food certification schemes when they meet these objects. When these objects are met, freedom of choice over the food we eat – a basic necessity of life – is enhanced.

In general, food certification schemes in Australia are focused on safety and dietary considerations: use by dates, healthy food standards, allergenic and medical issues and dietary information. Other certification schemes relate to food production, such as the living conditions of animals, use of chemicals in farming processes and the Australian-produced content of food.

Halal certification schemes differ because they are focused on Islamic beliefs; they fuse food and Sharia law. These schemes have nothing to do with food quality. Instead, they operate to ensure that food is not just food, but also an Islamic religious product, particularly in relation to meat.

Now, like most Australians, I do not oppose the right of Muslim consumers to benefit from halal certification schemes in themselves. However, it all becomes a bit too much when the benefit of halal certification enjoyed by Muslims comes at the expense of the rest of us. There are numerous examples of this and I will be writing about them over the coming days.

But when it comes to halal certification and food labelling, we have a clear market failure. As such, halal certification schemes are not meeting the objects of food certification.

  • Halal certification is not providing consumers with information.
  • Halal certification is not providing producers with the ability to market their products as meeting rigorous standards.

Furthermore, while halal certification itself is confusing and chaotic, three things are clear.

  • The vast majority of consumers are being coerced into adhering with the dictates of a religion that most Australians do not practice by effectively being forced to unknowingly purchase food – particularly meat – that is not just food, but the product of an Islamic ritual animal sacrifice in accordance with Sharia law.
  • Consumers are unknowingly funding mosques and other Islamic projects (including overseas) when they purchase halal certified food.
  • Producers and food outlets are seeking halal certification ostensibly in order to expand into export markets, while at the same time failing to disclose this certification to Australian consumers, probably on the basis that doing so would affect domestic sales.

And in the midst of this, the unreasonable has been normalised: food production for domestic consumption in Australia has become unreasonably skewed towards meeting the demands of Australia’s Islamic minority.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2.2% of Australians identified as being affiliated with the Islamic religion at the 2011 census. That means that 97.8% of the rest of have no reason for certification, Sharia law slaughter and Islamic prayer rooms at abattoirs.

It also means that it should be reasonable to expect the following:

  • The demand for food that specifically meets Islamic Sharia law requirements would be very low and equating to about 2% of food produced for Australian domestic consumption.
  • Any costs associated with meeting the demand for food that meets Islamic Sharia law requirements should be met by those wishing to consume this food. That would be Muslims.
  • The availability of food products especially produced in accordance with Islamic Sharia law requirements that dictate some method of production that differs from normal food production in Australia (such as an animal sacrifice to Allah) would be relatively limited, while the norm would be food that was not produced in accordance with these requirements.

However, food production in Australia does not reflect these reasonable expectations. For instance, the domestic cost recovery for halal certified products comes primarily from non-Muslim consumers because they make up about 98% of those who consume domestically halal certified products.

In another example, all the main suppliers of chicken meat for domestic consumption in Australia are halal certified. This means that the vast bulk of chicken meat in Australia is produced from an Islamic ritual animal sacrifice in accordance with Sharia law. Consequently, instead of a minority of Muslims seeking specific chicken meat products at specialty stores that cater for their religious beliefs, it is the majority of non-Muslim Australians who must now seek specialty suppliers if they do not want to eat chicken meat that has been sacrificed to the Islamic god, Allah. The unreasonable has been normalised and, as a result, Australians are effectively being coerced into contributing financially to Islamic programs and adhering to Islamic religious beliefs in relation to food.

Quite simply, when it comes to halal certification, the Australian majority are jumping to the Sharia tune of the minority. This has to stop. And it can be stopped if you have your say.

The federal government is currently holding an inquiry into food labelling and halal certification. That means now is your chance to be heard. Submissions must be lodged by 31 July, 2015.

– To lodge a submission, click here.
– To read and sign my submission, click here.
– To obtain more information about halal certification, click here.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Why is it that nobody has thought of taking the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, every member of Federal Parliament, and all state MPs to court for their failure to uphold Section 116 of the Australian constitution, due to this rort? A meal can be made halal if required, just by being prayed over. Also, if muslims want products to be HC, then THEY should be the ones to pay, not the rest of us who don’t even want it. And there are other religions (eg Sihks) who can’t eat HC food as it is against their religion. They are being discriminated against, but nobody seems to give a damn about them.

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    • Know thy enemy. It is our political class.
      The vast majority should be taken to court for high treason and I have a sound case. For allowing fifth columnists and enemy combatants to become citizens.
      Islam is a Trojan horse that has undermined our freedom of speech to an alarming extent. It has also weakened the bedrock of our society/community – Christianity. As this nation was established by Christian men and women, that is the basis of our legal system. That being FAIRNESS and JUSTICE everything Sharia law is not.
      But there is much more to it than that, political correctness is now rigorously enforced as Bernard says, the hostile elites thought police have cowered many people into silence for fear of legal retribution in daring to speak out against the enforcers of the dominant paradigm who use minority rights as a wedge to silence us all.
      Now that legal censure or punishment has entered the fray we are in dangerous territory indeed.
      As far as I am concerned we can no longer rely on organised religion to protect or defend us, they capitulated to political correctness during the counter revolution.
      I am a Christian first and foremost – it is the only way we can save ourselves and believe Jesus would be disgusted and bitterly disappointed by the church hierarchy’s cowardice in refusing to speak out publically against state sanctioned homosexuality and abortion (Yea? well try keeping your legs together or saying no, or try this…it’s called restraint!) or family breakdown for example.
      The only time the church leaders make a political statement is to our detriment. I have worked at a religious school and they have supplanted religious teaching with Marxist teaching, it is called political correctness.
      They, as with the politician’s have betrayed us and brought shame upon the religion they are meant to uphold, indeed more than that fight for.
      Many are on the side of our mortal enemies for being prepared to go to the barricades to defend political correctness and cultural Marxism.
      Marxism is about destroying the family, our racial solidarity, the nation, and abolishing private property but above all else religion.
      People have become apologetic over admitting they are Christian, even shamed. Because they are cowards.
      In a similar way to their fear over being exposed as anti homosexual or anti non white immigration due to the labels they might attract and the fact once charged they are guilty until proven innocent which is nearly impossible.
      Completely contrary to the spirit of our legal system.
      This Trojan horse has given rights to vocal minorities for far to long. The trouble being mainstream Australia are apathetic lotus eaters to busy thinking about their stomachs or being entertained by mindless entertainment.
      Selfish in other words.
      I am deeply ashamed of them. Serving their country is anathema to them. So is self sacrifice. In a word they make me want to vomit.
      This is a problem across the Western world, people just accept injustice as lawful today, inexcusable, treasonous, unacceptable behaviour by our government’s ditto. They do not challenge unlawful behaviour by our governments because they have lost their moral compass – Christianity.
      Therefore they no longer know right from wrong or good from bad. That is called cultural relativism. They shrug their shoulders and say it must be ok because it is a cultural thing peculiar to that culture and we should not interfere.
      I am terribly sorry sheeple, but there are set and definite rules and codes of conduct/behaviour acceptable in the Christian world, which despite the relentless assaults upon it remains our world. Islam is not one of them.
      Next time someone abuses you for being a Christian regard them for what they are, a friend of Islam, and a mortal enemy who seeks to annihilate you, your race and Western civilisation. Because they hate you.
      The politician’s let these fifth columnist/enemy combatants (as surely as they are wearing uniforms and bearing arms) invade our land contrary to the express wishes and desires of the Australia’s (and all Westerners) of the day, and in doing so they must be held accountable for any bad behaviour carried out by these parasites. Including all terrorist acts.
      The Lynd café? They have blood on their hands. They caused it, they are culpable.
      Why are they not before the courts? This is more than injustice it is an outrage and an affront.
      Both Labor and Liberal but especially Green/communist ideologues support these vermin remaining here, both support our immigration policy therefore we no longer live in a democracy as it is one of the most destructive policy’s imaginable, we have no choice in other words.
      The United Kingdom has virtually given over her sovereignty to the United Nations inspired European Union police state.
      This is what shall happen to us unless we take a stand and challenge tyrannical laws – something as head of state of the UK, and nominally ours, (but enough) Queen Elizabeth has consistently failed to do.
      As a consequence unelected, to all intents and purposes communist bureaucrats in Brussels now virtually rule Britain and every European Union country.
      Marxists rule American and they rule Canada as well as New Zealand.
      To all intents and purposes our political traitors serve world Marxism through the auspices of the UN. They should be regarded as our sworn enemy’s and approached the same way. Ruthlessly.
      And yes there is no doubt they are destroying the UK and Europe by using their major assault weapon – mass influxes of hostile, white hating coloured immigrants as a proletariat.
      The only reason our treasonous political class have not done the same here is due to our more secure less porous borders.
      Marxism is about bringing the great down to the level of the base.
      Sharia law is one method they are using.
      The West has become weaker and weaker because we have lost our will to fight.
      The Islamic world has not.
      Our populations are aging, theirs is youthful and full of vigour as well as hate. They are driven we are on dope.
      Our governments are treasonous and care nothing for us, our sense of nationhood and community has been fragmented/smashed and shattered by decades of cultural Marxism/political correctness and mass influxes of non Whites who see the world completely differently, from country’s where life is cheap venal and corrupt, who cannot and will not assimilate, and allegiances lie elsewhere along with their and ideologies.
      This is the consequence of multi racialism/culturalism.
      Fragmentation, in fighting, a non shooting war against us. Not harmony far from it.
      Those who choose to fight, fight. Those who do not choose to fight deserve to die for that is they way of the world.
      Remember the rainbow flag of Nelson Mandela’s South Africa where every one was to live in peace and harmony? Kumbaya! We are all one! The wonders of diversity! etc, then look at that snake pit today and remember where Messiah complexes, empty headed utopian dreaming and thumbing your nose at natural law and justice ends up.
      Our politicians must be held accountable in a court of law to be judged by their peers for I know them to be traitors. The very people they were elected to represent.
      They are hostile, cannot be relied upon and are at war against us, we the people. Believe it.
      This has been the case virtually since Menzies left office.
      As steady relentless dripping of water.
      As Solomon said: Proverbs: “Like dripping water. Better the corner of a rooftop than a wide house with a brawling contentious woman.”
      Our government’s are like dripping water, they have declared war on us, we the people and must be stoped otherwise we shall perish.
      It them or us I am afraid. They have driven us to this point. We must stop them. We must act. We must bring them to justice.
      Who is to fight before we die out due to old age, senility or simply a lack of young spirited people?

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  2. Right now, I am reading 1984. He sounds like a damn thought nazi.

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  3. Either the purpose or the result of Halal certification becoming ubiquitous is the normalisation of Sharia law and the cultural centre of Australia swinging from liberty to coersion.

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