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.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.
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.
I also received a considered reply from the Halal Authority Chairman:
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.
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!