In Australia the Boycott Halal movement is making some waves. They demand that the Corporations Act 2001 be changed so that only Muslims bear the cost of halal certification on everyday products.
As with the Pegida movement in Germany, a potentially dangerous extremist group is picking up a real issue that is ignored by the mainstream and is generating political hay from it.
Indeed, the amount of food produce that is certified Halal is staggering. People who don’t know what ‘Halal’ certification means for a particular product will substitute their own idea of what it may mean. Since more and more products are certified, pretty soon it looks as if your traditional food is replaced by foreign, religiously tainted stuff. Which is usually not the case. More than 95% of all Halal-certified products haven’t been changed at all to meet the criteria.
So should we boycott Halal-certified food? Well, if becoming Halal means that some ingredients are changed, it’s perhaps a valid concern. Boycott the food if you feel that it has worsened, and the producers may change it back. If becoming Halal only means putting another sticker on the same tin, boycotting it is stupid. It’s the same product, it’s merely certified to comply with yet another silly superstition.
So what about forcing Muslims to cough up the cost for certification? That’s good old discrimination of a religious minority, and plain stupid. First, how could that work? If I’m a muslim but don’t buy Halal pecan nuts, do I still have to pay for their certification? Will there be a Mulsim tax like there was a Jew Tax in Europe? Let me give you a different example: would you agree to a bill that levies taxes on environmentalists to pay for ‘eco-friendly‘ certification in clothing? It’s that stupid an idea.
The food companies certify a product in order to sell more of it, and price it accordingly. It’s the producer’s decision to certify, and they pay the certification bill. That bill gets passed on to the consumer. You can choose to buy the finished product, or buy something different. But don’t blame a certain market segment (muslims) for a company’s decision. Here, the Boycott Halal movement simply peddles the formerly antisemitic Kosher Tax urban legend with a fresh coat of anti-muslim paint.
Jackasses. Well, at least they’re Halal.