From the Daily Mail:
An Aussie housewife claims to have discovered ‘deception and corruption’ within the food industry, campaigning to uncover the truth about the relationship between Islam and some of Australia's major food companies.
Kirralie Smith is concerned that Australians are unknowingly funding Islamic bodies every time they do the grocery shopping.
She is seeking full disclosure from food companies so Aussie shoppers are fully informed so they have a choice on whether or not to buy from companies are allegedly giving funds to Islamic organisations.
She is also calling for an investigation of these Australian organisations, alleging that the international counterparts of the Islamic bodies were found using the proceeds to fund terrorism.
Ms Smith is the director and founder of ‘Halal Choices' and has made a shopping guide to inform shoppers about which companies are 'Halal Certified' - meaning their foods are appropriate for Muslims to consume.
To become Halal-certified, a company must pay an ongoing fee to an Islamic body to gain certification. This certification deems that the product is acceptable to be prepared in accordance with Muslim law.
She argues that Australians are being ‘deceived’ by food companies who are not open about funding Islamic bodies through ‘Halal certification’.
‘I believe that as non-Muslims we should have a choice of whether or not we want to practice and fund Islamic religious ritual practices with our everyday grocery purchases,’ said Ms Smith.
Dr Muhammad Khan, the CEO of Halal Australia, said the fact that the money from Halal certification went to mosques was not an issue.
'It is absolutely not necessary to talk about this subject matter,' he told The ABC. 'Don't [Kosher certification organisations] fund their own synagogues? Why can't the Islamic certification body give donations to mosque projects?'
Ms Smith insists that she does not encourage any boycott of the products, clarifying that she is ‘all about choices and giving people information so they can make their own informed decisions.'
‘As a wife and a mother of three who does the shopping, I thought I should do something to take responsibility for what we bring into the household.’
The mother-of-three feels that at present Australia’s culture and core values are at risk. ‘I’m passionate about Australia – our values, our culture and especially our freedoms that have been hard fought for.
'In Australia, we generally have freedom of speech, equality, democracy and freedom of religion,' she said during a speech at a forum in March this year.
‘I believe Halal certification is in opposition to these values.’
On her website, Ms Smith encourages people to lobby the companies and government, suggesting they send the message: 'I do not wish to support any brand that pays an Islamic religious tax to have their product halal certified.
'Less than 2% of this population is Muslim and I do not want to fund special religious rituals or political campaigns to increase the presence of Sharia Law in Australia.
'Please respect consumers and give them/us the necessary information so we can make our own choices.'
Ms Smith is also concerned about the impact of the extra expense of Halal-certified production on the cost of the final product.
‘In chicken processing plants at Steggles, six fulltime, Muslim-only slaughtermen are employed,’ claims Ms Smith.
‘Two of these employees who do not actual slaughter the chickens, but their jobs are to say prayers over them.'
‘From my point of view, I don’t need people there, paid on a fulltime basis, to pray over the chickens.’
Ms Smith is questioning how much these processes cost considering it is a service that she, as a Christian, does not want nor require.
‘The figures are huge but companies won’t disclose them because they have signed non-disclosure forms.’
Ms Smith argues the companies are failing to disclose what fees are being paid, their involvement with Halal Cerification authorities, where the money is going and even frequently failing to label their product as ‘halal-certified’.
‘I have a problem with funding being imposed upon me. ‘People shouldn’t be paying money towards those causes every time they buy groceries.’
Ms Smith is concerned about how the funds are being used Islamic Certification authorities and is advocating for an investigation.
‘The reality is that overseas it has been proven that the certification fees are going towards funding terrorism,’ said Ms Smith.
‘I feel so passionate because big companies, like Nestle and Sanitarium, pay big halal certification fees but don’t make it publically known so consumers can’t make a choice of whether or not they want to pay more.
‘We give information to the consumer because Australians have every right to buy or not to buy the products. She is deeply concerned, alleging that many companies are paying unnecessary fees for food products that are already Halal.
‘Capilano honey pays certification fees, yet honey is universally considered halal.
It is the same with white milk and yet Parmalat pays fees for certification,’ said Ms Smith.
Ms Smith eamiled Capilano regarding the halal certification, and received a response which said that while honey was already considered halal under Islamic law, 'it is our customer's requirement to provide halal certification in order for us to conduct business with them,' reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
'This sounds like extortion to me.