A campaign to boycott halal-certified food is gaining momentum across Australia, with groups claiming that certification pushes up prices and the money goes towards funding terrorism.
A loose collection of affiliated anti-halal, anti-Islam and nationalistic groups began the movement.
Now, the biggest online group, "Boycott Halal in Australia", has more than 36,000 members.
Its carefully anonymous leaders keep a low profile, directing their members to swarm target companies' online profiles and boycott their products.
- Alex Mann, ABC News, 21st Nov 2014
Although the head of state of Australia is the monarch, who is also the head of the Church of England, section 116* forbids the Commonwealth from making laws which establish, impose or prohibit "the free exercise of any religion". I think that that's fairly straight forward.
The net effect of such a freedom of religion, is that people are free to be complete wingnuts, like the group "Boycott Halal in Australia".
As far as the word "Halal" goes in Islamic Law (or to be more correct Sharia), all the word means is "permissible". Admittedly this can cause some strange consequences (which can be quite horrid) most of the time, most of what is and isn't halal is either a matter of purity and or common sense.
The campaign has brought together like-minded campaigners from across Australia, including former One Nation candidate and anti-mosque campaigner Mike Holt.
Mr Holt said he was not surprised that the Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company had received so much abuse.
"If they don't change their ways and start acting as patriotic Australians, they deserve what they get. It's market forces," he said.
Patriotic Australians? Patriotic Australians?! Are we now going to invoke some sort of quasi-nationalistic fervour? I hope so because I get to invoke indignancy.
Australia began as a nation on 1st Jan 1901 as the result of a referendum adopting the constitution and then having that passed as legislation in the British Parliament. As a result, Australia doesn't really get a day which is a national touchstone for patriotism. January 1 is already New Years' Day and January 26 is more akin to Invasion Day (see Horse 1441).
This leaves the only other day which is constantly invoked as a day of patriotism as ANZAC Day. Even then though, the story should give rise to mass concern by "Boycott Halal in Australia".
During the Gallipoli Campaign, as part of the British Empire, ANZAC forces fought along with Indian Expeditionary Force G which was made up of Ghurkhas and Sikhs. On the Western From, the Australian Imperial Force fought alongside Indian Expeditionary Forces which were comprised of many faiths including Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians.
Maybe we should change our ways and "start acting as patriotic Australians". That would involve boycotting ANZAC Day, wouldn't it?
Mustafa Kemal who would later become Atatürk (Father of all the Turks) wrote a tribute to those killed in the Gallipoli Campaign:
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
This also appears on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra.
How is it that a former Turkish army officer could write those words about people who were once his enemy? Wasn't he a Muslim?
If there were Islamic people who were prepared to fight alongside Australians in supposedly our most patriotic period in history and an Islamic leader who was prepared to extend the hand of peace after the then bloodiest series of conflicts the world has ever seen, then why is a "nationalistic group" hiding behind patriotism as a ruse for nastiness? What is to be gained?
If you want to stop money being towards terrorism then how about a boycott of all paper products? DuPont Chemicals is the largest producer of titanium dioxide in the world and that is mainly used as the white pigment in copy paper. I think DuPont is also either the world's third or fourth largest chemical company; that includes making gunpowder, used in bullets by armies both state and terrorist, the world over.
Wouldn't it be a radical thought if instead of championing causes based on bigotry and scaremongery like "Boycott Halal in Australia", wouldn't it make more sense to petition society and governments instead for peace, reconciliation and stability?
I like this line from this article in particular "Its carefully anonymous leaders keep a low profile". Of course they do. A fish only gets caught when it opens its big mouth and even fools may be thought wise and intelligent if they stay quiet.