I’d heard of this whole “Halal Funds Terrorism” thing before but I was inspired to write this after I was surprised to see people actually falling for it on a vegan Facebook page. I wish I was more surprised though – there is actually a lot of racism amongst animal advocates. I’ll leave that topic for another time, but here I’ll just briefly explain why this “Halal Funds Terrorism” is complete bullshit.
This is made totally clear by looking at any even vaguely reputable source. I’m sure I don’t have to convince anyone reading this but thought it could be useful for anyone getting trolled by people promoting this ridiculous campaign.
What is Halal?
What does halal actually mean? It’s a religious requirement for Muslims that the food they consume is prepared in a certain way — one that is free from pork products, alcohol and non-halal meat sources.
Linking this back to veganism, this means that ALL vegan products that don’t contain alcohol are halal. Scary stuff! 😮
Beware of the Mooslims!
This “Halal Funds Terrorism” campaign is based on Islamophobic conspiracy theories pushed by white supremacists, such as those from the racist One Nation Party:
A basic internet search of the Beware! Halal Foods Funds Terrorists 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.
Not only is it being pushed by racists, these racists have zero evidence to support their claims:
Smith is concerned profits from Halal could be used to fund terrorism and she points to overseas examples as evidence of the risk.
Yet when approached by New Matilda, the Australian Crime Commission had this to say in regards to its recent Eligo National Taskforce, which found some financial links in Australia to groups including Hezbollah:
“The task force has identified direct links between serious and organised, money laundering and terrorism funding. However, the Australian Crime Commission is not aware of any direct links between the legitimate Halal certification industry and money laundering or the financing of terrorist groups.”
Even Coalition backbencher George Christensen, who is pushing for all Halal certified products to be labelled, so he and other Islamophobes can avoid them, has admitted ‘it’s not terrorism’.
Links with Anti-Semitism
This whole uproar over Halal labelling is similar to the anti-Kosher campaign white supremacists have pushed in the past – it seems as though they’ve just moved onto Islam now:
The claim of the anti-halal brigade is that their concern does not extend to kosher food, since Jews do not pose the same level of threat as Muslims. However, the scare-mongering against halal certification follows a precedent set by antisemitic scaremongering about kosher certification (or the “Jewish tax,” as white supremacists refer to it). Housewives are urged to purge their pantries of any products bearing the tiny “K,” the insignia of the rabbinical council which imposes the certification scheme – described by one notorious leaflet as the “Kosher Nostra Scam.”
As Martha Nussbaum and others have pointed out, Jews have long occupied the place of the abhorrent “hidden enemy” within Western societies, all the more foul and disgusting for their ability to conceal themselves. The campaign against halal certification is just one of the ways in which racism against Muslims has increasingly come to resemble historic patterns of racism against Jews.
So what does this Halal Label Really Mean?
This label on food is about as scary as any other. Just as someone who is gluten intolerant will benefit from the gluten free label so they can avoid these foods, the Halal label is useful for Islamic people so they can avoid foods that are haram (forbidden).
So eating foods labelled Halal is not going to fund terrorism any more than eating foods that are labelled gluten free. Eating gluten may cause Ebola though – if South Park is real life…