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Australia’s Version of Halal-Scaremongering Headed by “One Nation Candidate”

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One Nation Candidate ‘Behind anti-Muslim Campaign

FIRST ON 7: An alleged food contamination scare involving one of Australia’s favourite foods has exposed a One Nation candidate’s anti-Muslim campaign.

A jar of Nestle coffee was found with its seal broken and a sticker saying “Beware! Halal food funds terrorists” in aisle four of Woolworths supermarket at Underwood, south of Brisbane, earlier this month.

Two tins of Milo, also produced by Nestle, were found with the same stickers but the seals were not broken.

The supermarket immediately alerted Queensland Health and police which launched a joint investigation.

Scientific tests by Queensland Health found that while the seal was broken there was nothing to indicate it had been deliberately damaged.

The tests also found the coffee had not been contaminated.

The police investigation culminated in the arrest of a 27-year-old Kingston woman who will front the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Friday charged with one count of product contamination.

A basic internet search of the stickers found on the Nestle products shows it can be purchased from Restore Australia whose CEO is Mike Holt, the One Nation Party’s candidate for the federal seat of Fairfax.

Mr Holt, who co-founded the organisation and is based on the Sunshine Coast, said on the website Restore Australia was a non-political organisation wanting to restore power to the people.

While Mr Holt defended his website today to 7News, the head of Queensland’s Muslim community said he was left “speechless” and condemned the website.

Islamic Council of Queensland president Mohammed Yusuf called on One Nation to disendorse Mr Holt as a candidate.

Mr Yusuf said claims that sales from Halal food funded terrorism were baseless.

Within hours of Queensland police arresting a woman, Restore Australia posted an appeal on Facebook asking for the name of lawyers who might help her for free.
“Nestle has decided to fight back against our anti-halal sticker campaign by having a 19-year-old girl in Brisbane arrested for ‘product tampering’. Alleging that she put an anti-Halal sticker on one of their jars of coffee and then opened it,” Restore Australia said.

“Nestle has just… shot themselves in the foot. Instead of doing the right thing and stop selling us out to Islam, they have decided to pick on a young woman and take her to court.”
The Facebook page also said the woman had allegedly denied putting the sticker on the jar

Halal signifies food has been prepared in accordance with Islamic Law. Thousands of products sold in Australia are certified.

The supermarket the woman targeted is in an area with a large Muslim population.

While the organisation claims it welcomes immigrants including Muslims, it also sells ‘Ban Islam’ stickers and contained inciteful comments such as “every time you buy Halal food you are helping buy a bullet that may kill one of our troops”.

“We have welcomed all comers, including the latest surge of immigrants from Islamic countries. However, many Australians are beginning to regret accepting the Islamic influx. The Muslim people in general are friendly and willing to integrate. Unfortunately, a small section of Islamic hard line radicals are spoiling that image for the majority,” the website states.

“The biggest problem for many Aussies is the growing number of products that now carry the Halal logo, or that are certified Halal. Products that are not even processed or eaten now carry the Halal certification. And we are asking why?,” according to the site.

His candidate’s Facebook page, which is linked to the One Nation Party website as well as Restore Australia, has a post claiming One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson will launch his election campaign on August 5.

The Restore Australia website states the money raised from the sale of the stickers – three sheets for $10.94 from within Australia and $17.44 for international orders – will help cover the costs of his election campaign.

Mr Holt said fighting Halal certification will help him get into Parliament and table a bill to amend laws given Australian power to start referendums as opposed to politicians.

“The Australian people should be able to vote in a referendum on whether we want to pay a Halal tax or not,” according to the website.

“Plaster the anti-Halal stickers everywhere and help educate Aussies about the creeping attack on our food supply. Get the word out on the street. Stick these striking stickers on shop windows, shop shelves, bus stops, on community noticeboards, in shops, outside shops, on buses… anywhere people will see them. Let’s get people thinking. Aussies need to be aware of the creeping Islamization of our nation… and Halal certification is just one of the weapons they are using against us,” according to the Restore Australia.

However at the bottom of the webpage where you can purchase stickers, there is the following disclaimer:

“Please place these stickers responsibly. Do not place them on food as that could be considered depriving the shop of a sale and you could be charged with theft. Do not tamper with food items. Penalties may apply.”

The crime occurred during Ramadan – the holiest month of the Islamic calendar.

Mr Yusuf said the Islamic Council of Queensland will look at Mr Holt’s website and Facebook to see what action they will take.

“We are speechless, what do we say about this. There is so much misconception about Halal… it is a simple question of us meeting our religious rights, just like the Jewish community,” he told 7News.

“We are doing our best to make people understand this process… however people are trying to get political mileage out of this and are trying to inflame the issue at election time,” he said.

“(I) absolutely condemn it in the sense it is highly inappropriate to make these sort of statements when they are not true… the money raised from Halal is funding terrorism is a totally baseless statement,” Mr Yusuf said.

Mr Holt told 7News that he stood by his website and that Muslims were ‘forcing a Halal tax on us’ through certification and the funds raised money for terrorism overseas.

He said he had ‘probably sold’ more than a thousand sheets of sticks in Australia, the UK, New Zealand and Switzerland.

“I’m married to a Thai (woman), how could I be a racist?” he said.

In response to Mr Yusuf’s comments, Mr Holt said, “I hope he stays speechless. He hasn’t got a leg to stand on. We are not fighting against the people. We do not want Islam in Australia”.

Nestle and Woolworths did not comment at the time of publication.

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  • Heinz Catsup

    You’re getting me hungry man! Because of you I could go for some Soylent Green right about now, possibly with butter ;).

  • Heinz Catsup

    I’d buy one of those for the lulz!

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Tighe:

    Really nice job deconstructing their argument.

    I just want to add that in addition to the individual points you made, the argument falls into a common pattern by relatively unsophisticated Islamophobes or bigots of various types. They rely heavily on a single document (here “Reliance of the Traveller”) that they then try to describe as “the Shari’ah handbook of the majority Sunni sect of Islam.” Actually, that’s not true. As is often seen with bigots, particularly those without much knowledge, they scour the Internet, and eventually come across some document or factoid that they can’t really place in context (RotT was a single interpretation of sharia used in a particular time and only by some Muslims, not “the” handbook) and assume it defines the whole group they already hate.

    They then find something they can draw from that document, here that one potential use of zakat is “Fi Sabi-Lillah[.] This means ‘in the path of God’ and pertains to anyone struggling for a righteous cause, including but not limited to the expenditure towards the promotion of Islam and for all charitable purposes. This also includes Jihad.” So, one potential use has a fairly vague name that can include jihad or “all charitable purposes.” Guess what the bigots simply assume to be the actual use.

    It’s always good to be wary when we see someone ignoring the history of a document and then ignoring all the positive interpretations it could have, such as use of zakat “for all charitable purposes,” and assuming the most negative. Given that much leeway, it’s almost surprising that they could not come up with theory of a halal conspiracy that was not so ridiculous.

    P.S., You should try halal food. It really is generally the same as other food of the same type of meat or other ingredients; if it was obviously different, then the bigots would not have to hunt it down or claim that consumers were misled into eating it. But, it may often be prepared by different people with their own cooking style, giving you a chance to experience that.

  • Chameleon_X

    “The biggest problem for many Aussies is the growing number of products that now carry the Halal logo, or that are certified Halal. Products that are not even processed or eaten now carry the Halal certification. And we are asking why?”

    Welcome to Capitalism, Islamophobes, where even hate is no match against greed. It is a rarity when these two forces are in conflict, but it is nice to see that corporate boot on the face of hate for once.

  • http://www.loonwatch.com/ Ilisha

    It’s amazing how similar the anti-halal stuff is to some anti-kosher conspiracy theories, where the ranting is all about “kosher tax” and the mafia-like “kosher nostra” foisting Jewish food on us. Apparently nothing is too ridiculous for bigots to latch onto.

  • Reynardine

    Jews do not eat halal because there is no guarantee that meat and dairy have been kept strictly separate. A vegetarian meal that contains neither meat nor dairy might be acceptable, but only if the utensils, etc., had never been used for either and no animal fat was used in preparation.

  • Tighe McCandless

    So, to summarize your argument:

    1) Zakat is a religious obligation by Muslims to give to charity.
    2) Terrorist groups claim to be fighting in the name of God.
    3) If that is so, then it falls under one of the groups Muslims are obligated to give to (one of eight).
    4) Ergo, zakat produced by halal sales must go towards funding terrorist organizations.

    Would that be about correct?

    So what you’re telling me is that every sale of something halal in the entire world, without a doubt, goes towards various (Muslim) terrorist groups – never mind the fact there are dozens of them and that it assumes each one of them somehow gets a slice of the halal pie. So every Muslim in the entire world is part of this grand conspiracy to push halal on the West? Because that would be necessary to accomplish what you’re saying they manage to do. Speaking of that: do you believe it’s utterly impossible that a company started in the West might want to cater to Muslims by giving halal options?

    I’ve never tried halal-prepared food, but I think I will in the near future. Anything to rankle feathers from individuals like you is always fun. Can’t be too different from kosher, which I enjoy.

  • p0tter

    NOTE: Jews will not eat halal.
    Halal meat is NOT a suitable substitute for kosher meat – a Jew without kosher will eat a vegetarian option instead.

  • p0tter

    One essential difference between halal & kosher is that it is the DECLARED AIM of the Halal Industry to take halal mainstream worldwide; conversely the Jews have never aimed at getting us all to eat kosher meat & kosher products… their aim is to ensure that they have kosher for the Jewish community. (By the way Jews do not dedicate each animal or chicken to G-d. A Jewish Slaughterman will train for a MINIMUM of 7 years, before he is allowed to apply for a Licence and begin working alongside experienced slaughtermen – The only requirement for halal is that the slaughter-person be a muslim male and at the most, all he will get is HALF A DAY training… then learn on the job. NB.There are many more differences.)
    After nearly 4 years of checking EU Meat Codes (which make ALL meat traceable to source in EEC Countries – these codes are compulsory on ALL carcasses and packaged meat according to EEC Regulations.) the BOYCOTT HALAL Meat Watch Panel have not yet found ONE example of kosher meat being sold in supermarkets across UK… but every time they check they ALWAYS find Unlabelled Ritually Slaughtered meat from halal slaughterhouses.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    I remember that

  • Mehdi

    That’s true, some Muslims would not eat kocher but many would buy it as an alternative.

  • Reynardine

    A good many of the Muslim students I knew years ago would buy kosher if they couldn’t get halal. In fact, kosher is stricter, because you not only can’t mix meat with dairy, you have to keep separate dishes in separate cabinets and even have separate fridges. Kosher restaurants have separate dining rooms.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Actually, they all need to develop a criminal record. Seems like the members of Restore Australia are on their way and I wouldn’t be surprised at their further success in that area.

  • Tanveer Khan

    Nya nya nya!

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  • Tarig Musa

    The group is called restore Australia. I wonder if they have the brain capacity to realise that if they restore Australia they all need to go back to England and Ireland!

  • golden izanagi

    oh you should see this during the whole butterball scare coo coo for cocoa puffs bryan fischer had this to say about halal turkeys http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bryan-fischer-sounds-alarm-muslim-turkeys-invading-americans-dinner-tables

  • Stoned Gremlin

    They already claimed one of those.

  • RD Sultan

    LOL

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Besides it not like this…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IKVj4l5GU4

    LOL!

    Come to think of it, I wonder how long it will be until anti Muslim bigots claim Halal is made of people. They made a lot of ridiculous claims that even I never believed.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Emperor,

    Looks like Islamophobia is problem down under as well.

  • Tighe McCandless

    ““The biggest problem for many Aussies is the growing number of
    products that now carry the Halal logo, or that are certified Halal.
    Products that are not even processed or eaten now carry the Halal
    certification. And we are asking why?,” according to the site.”

    How much does the kosher market make? Probably quite a lot, I imagine, even amongst people who aren’t Jewish. Yet, it’s a way for companies to make money. Muslim populations are far higher than their Jewish counterparts, and so, it makes sense to start offering halal options for them. More Muslims = probably a greater desire for halal options = more money for companies like Nestlé.

    That said, you’d think that for such an extraordinary claim like ‘halal is funding terrorists,’ you could at least be half-assed to both explaining how and why. Evidently, the One Nation Party did not find it necessary yet to put it up.

  • Jon Diamond

    Probably using hate to get elected because he cannot rely on his charisma.

  • Tanveer Khan

    Creeping halal. o_0

  • mindy1

    For me the most inportant thing about food is-does it taste good? If yes, then I will eat it 😛

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