Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Anti-Xenophobic Rantathon . .


I have an acquaintance, a couple actually, who persist in forwarding emails, I suspect without reading them. Ridiculous assertions or xenophobic, ill informed rants that I find offensive and dangerous. These emails trawl the net for years, find many ignorant sympathisers and spread nothing but harm. Today those emailers have been told in no uncertain terms to cease and desist!

I received one this morning that I have received many times before and tolerated but today . . no more. The email in question features a small logo which appears on some well known products from reputable manufacturers and sits often, right next to the
"Recycle, Reuse, Reduce" or "Made in Australia" logo encouraging purchasers to dispose of the empty product containers responsible. For this, each organisation pays a license fee to display the logo. The inference of the email, is that the Halal Authority which endorses and licenses the logo for many products sold domestically and internationally uses the license fees earned from such endorsement to fund terrorism and ruin the "Australian" way of life whatever that is. I find this offensive and repugnant. So much so that I actually did a little research.

But first. the gist of this horrible piece of viral anti-marketing. . . the intonation has not been altered by me:


The LHS (circle)symbol is that of the - HALAL CERTIFICATION AUTHORITY - AUSTRALIA. This is a Muslim Association that collects money from the Australian Food Industry for this symbol so that Muslims will purchase the product.
Yet we are told the Muslim population are only one and a half percent of Australia 's total!

On a recent radio talk-back show a well known host was alerted to this practice. 

He hit a stone wall when trying to find out HOW MUCH money was paid to this organization and WHERE the money went. 

It was explained that by buying those marked products at least you are supporting a religion that is actively trying to destroy the Australian way of life or at the other extreme the money MAY be supporting terrorism.

Many Australian Companies are paying this money. Check before you buy. 
DO YOU KNOW WHERE THAT MONEY IS GOING?
Until you know, support those companies that support the Australian way of life. Check it for yourself . I checked out
Cadbury today at Woolworths!!! No more Cadbury's for me!!! I will check everything from now on...
It is also on my Bega Cheese. The symbol is so small you can hardly ready what it says. 

This is absolute fact. Before Lorraine went shopping Monday I showed her this email. She looked at the products in the shop mentioned and they had the symbol hidden on the back of the packaging and in a very weak colour that was hard to see. Leggo's Pasta Sauce has the logo on their bottles.
So infuriated at this sort of narrow minded bigotry and ignorance, I emailed the Heart Foundation, Weight Watchers and the Halal Authority (all of whom charge manufacturers a licence fee for logos or branding) and was resolutely told that they did not disclose fees paid by manufacturers to feature their logos. These are variable and dependent on a number of factors and frankly . . nobody's business but their own! They do not 'court' the manufacturers . . .quite the contrary . .savvy manufacturers approach them for endorsement to enhance their marketability domestically and overseas.


I also received a considered reply from the Halal Authority Chairman:
Dear Helen,
Thank you for your email and for being fair minded.
The emails and websites you refer to are noting but the work of the religious bigots and a few desperate anti Muslims opportunists. Halal certification is no different from Kosher certification, the Heart Tick, ISO, etc. Companies have to pay for the privilege of opening a market for them. A fact not known to public is that we work hand in hand with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (
AQIS). Does that meant the Federal Government is involved in terrorism and trying to change the Australian way of life?

The couple of products you mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg, we certify more than 20,000 products. Halal certification allows Australian products to be sold in Muslim countries. This amounts to $8Billion which is one third of all Australia’s total food export. One third of the Australians working in the food manufacturing industry would be laid off if we ceased certifying. Also 80% of meat works would collect cobwebs.

Since we deal exclusively with manufacturers we see no reason to advertise our fees to all and sundry. The puerile insinuation that we take this money to support terrorism or to change the Australian way of life is laughable, absurd and bigoted.

Anyone who suspect us of doing anything illegal should immediately call the Australian Federal Police (
AFP) on 1800 333 000. Calls can be anonymous.
Thank you very much for your interest and I am glad that there are people like you who have logic.

Kind regards
Mohamed El-
Mouelhy

I don't know where the money being raised from the licensing is going but I suspect it costs quite a substantial amount to . . . HELLO! . . pay people to administer and inspect premises and certify manufacturers.

Then I don't know where the money in the collection plate is going either . . funding the New IRA perhaps? . . . I doubt it!



Please note: I am in no way endorsing or making comment on Islam as a religion. Just that xenophobia and ill informed viral emails are doing damage. Stop sending them!

.

30 comments:

Hails said...

Ridiculous. I hate the fact that people don't *think* before sending these things on, almost more than I hate that someone actually makes them up in the first place. Good on you for drawing attention to idiocy of it.

One that really annoyed me was a xenophobic email that seemed to suggest that international trade was a disastrous idea:

Doug started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6am. While his coffee was brewing in his coffee pot (MADE IN CHINA), he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG)...

it went on like this, you get the idea, and ended with "and we wonder why there are no jobs in Northern Ireland!!!". You have to wonder, in particular, where in Belfast they were suggesting we start drilling for oil and growing coffee beans...

nick said...

There seems to be no evidence whatever for these ludicrous claims about terrorism and anti-Australianism. Why do people believe such nonsense instead of asking for some proof?

tour and travel said...

Nice information, this really useful for me. There is nothing to argue about.
Keep posting stuff like this i really like it. Thx.

Ribbon said...

I'm with you on this. I too have received stupid emails along the same lines.
Recently I had to set a family member straight by suggesting that they read them before forwarding... along with a few other suggestions.

xx Ribbon

PS... the good thing about ignorance is that it can be changed with education... here's hoping.

Brian Miller said...

really it is sad that some have nothing better to do than sit around spreading filth..

Gledwood said...

That halal sign حلال is the only bit of Arabic script I recognize. I know it quite well because it features on the windows of most of our local fried chicken shops and all the good butchers. I wouldn't go to a shop that's disemboweled a dead swine on its counters if I have any say in the matter, so I'm all for Middle Eastern food hygiene regs!

Gledwood said...

PS talking of Cadbury's, we phoned them up in the early 80s when their chocolate cakes used to contain "animal and vegetable oils" ... wanting to know precisely WHAT animal these "oils" came from... their public relations department told my mum that the Cadbury's Chocolate Gateau of the time contained WHALE oil ~ and that came straight from the horse's mouth!

subby said...

Bloody hell! And I thought Toyota Bigwigs paying off lobbyists to hide defect reports was bad!

And 80% of your meat industry? Did I read that correctly?

I actually got into an arguement with a Wal-Mart manager one day who blatantly stated that 95% of the goods in the store were U.S. made~HA! If she only realised....

Susan at Stony River said...

I loved this -- thank you for posting the reply you received! Can you imagine some of the mail he must deal with?

My niece used to forward huge amounts of right-wing Christian mail to me. Plenty of it was harmless enough(if nothing near my own beliefs) but at least half was just this kind of hate and bigotry. I used to respond to everything with what documentation I could find, but finally just got to tired to keep up. Then I told her to keep her hate to herself, and that she was hurting her own religion more than anyone else's by showing its worst side. Ummm, haven't heard from her in a while.... oh well!

Rant away!!

hokgardner said...

I ge this type of e-mail too, and I hate them. I finaly told one family member to stop sending them because while they weren't true, they were hateful.

Haven't heard from that family member in a while. No big loss.

And I'm impressed with the answer from the Halal group.

laughingwolf said...

good for you, baino...

unless a forwarded email contains pics of naked broads [no matter their color/religious affiliation], i don't bother with them! :O lol

Roy said...

Good for you, Baino! I'm so used to seeing the halaal and kosher labels on things that I don't even "see" them any more. That anyone would see them as suspicious only points out their own ignorance.

Janice said...

Bravo to you for pursuing this nonsense. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and - unfortunately - people who will believe anything.

JeffScape said...

Yeah, there are morons in the United States that purport the "K" and the "U" symbols (for Jewish eaters... because, you know, Jews eat, too!) fund some sort of Hebrew takeover of the world.

Cracks me up.

The ones really pissing me off right now are the "9/11 was an inside job" fruitcakes.

Megan said...

Good for you!

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup Baino Tsup*!* Haha halfway through reading your words a mental picture of a collection plate being passed around popped into my head too! It's a bit of a worry that there are so many folk who have lost the power to think things through. And isn't it nice that someone took the time to reply to you and thanked you for your interest.

Tom said...

i especially despise the e-mails directing you to forward it to 10 more people, or something won't happen or will happen or who knows what. Generally i trash anything that's been forwarded.

Kath Lockett said...

Baino, well done mate, well done.

Have you thought about tizzing this article up (just a tad) and submitting it to the SMH or whatever the other crappier paper in Sydney is?

Ronda Laveen said...

Often times, people (unlike you) can't think for themselves. Well done, Helen. All they really have to do is hit "delete."

River said...

It's never occured to me to associate food labelling with terrorism, I've always just assumed that labels indicate to various minority (or otherwise) groups that these particular foods fall within their dietary parameters and are therefore safe to buy and eat. Just like, as you said, kosher foods, gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian products. I haven't had any of these emails come my way, but I read all of mine, so if one does it will be deleted as the spam it is.

Pam said...

Good on you Baino, and great reply to your query by Mohamed El-Mouelhy.

i beati said...

I'm convinced sandy

Jen Chandler said...

Oh how nice to find a kindred soul. I receive emails like this A LOT. I usually delete them before reading them. However, with you as example, I may start taking a stand! If nothing else, it will free up a lot of space in my inbox :)

Jen

unstranger said...

Nice one Baino.

otin said...

I never get anything like this. I always get ones that say that someone needs money to help them get into the United States or something, but they are never forwarded from other people that I know!

Vagabonde said...

I did not know these types of bigoted emails were also sent in Australia I thought they mostly came from the US. At work I used to receive so many. Most of them were on what horrible things the French had done (untrue they were), but also on the Muslim religion. It does not matter to some people if they are wrong, they still send them, they don’t want to know, it feeds their hate. I am pleased that you sent the letter to the Halal Authority and published the nice answer you received. Anyone who has worked with Muslims knows that Halal is just a way to certify that food is OK for observant Muslim people to eat, and that is all.

Rowe said...

What a smart thing for you to have done, Helen. Go to the source to get the facts.

lettuce said...

I like the "This is absolute fact".

*like* being not at all the right word, obviously...

good one Baino

Carole said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Ribbon. Thank you for posting this. I, too, have asked well-intentioned friends to stop forwarding this type of hate mail.

blackwatertown said...

Well said and well done.