Hoodwinked by Halaal!
The manner in which "halaal" is implemented in SA is exploitative,
dishonest, and an outright scam. It is a cleverly cloaked pyramid scheme
and I can prove it! It fleeces the consumer who is forced to buy halaal
because he doesn't have a choice, and 98.5% of the time he is not even a
Muslim. I wish to extend a challenge to the halaal certification bodies,
the food manufacturers, and the major supermarkets to disprove this
statement. And if swallowing the halaal hoax is not hard enough, we may
soon be taking halaal intravenously and also wearing halaal. Cuba and
Malaysia are presently working on producing a halaal vaccine for
meningitis, which will undoubtedly be exported to SA.
South Africans are hoodwinked daily by the ingenious halaal hoax. You ask,
"How am I being ripped off?" Well, like other South Africans, every time
you buy a halaal product, you unknowingly pay a surcharge that goes into
the bank account of a halaal certification body. The halaal surcharge
accumulates into millions of rands every year. Khairy Jamalludin, chairman
of the World Halaal Forum says globally, the halaal industry is estimated
at $580 billion per year. The people that run the certification bodies
have become fat-cats with your hard-earned money. Since more than 80% of
items on supermarket shelves are halaal, almost every consumer is an
unwitting victim of this evil practice (survey of 20 basic food items
conducted at national stores). Have you noticed that almost anything you
buy these days, from meat products to toothpicks, is halaal. Non-halaal
alternatives are becoming non-existent. Halaal products usually bear a
moon and star symbol or something similar together with "SANHA", or "MJC",
or "NIHT", or "ICSA". The abbreviations stand for the names of the halaal
certification bodies in SA. The fact that there are 4 bodies instead of
one is evidence that the halaal hoax is lucrative. Please read on.
How does the scheme operate? Companies are pressurised by the halaal
bodies to pay tens of thousands of Rands for a piece of paper that says
they are halaal certified. Rainbow Chicken, for example, pays over R320
000.00 a year for only its KZN operation. Unilever pays over R65 000.00
for its Durban plants (there are signed agreements and computer
printouts). These huge amounts are not a problem for the companies because
they simply include them in the cost of the product and it is passed on to
the end consumer, viz. you and I. That means everytime you fill your
trolley, unbeknown to you, a significant portion of your bill consists of
the halaal surcharges. Companies say they pay these large halaal
certification fees in order to penetrate the Muslim market. This is
hogwash since the total Muslim population in SA is only slightly over half
a million, the majority of whom are women and children that are not
economically active. So who do you think is paying off the hefty halaal
tab? Mostly the other 47.5 million non-muslim South Africans.
What is halaal? Who are these bodies? What are the Islamic authorities
saying about all of this? What happens to all this money and what is the
government doing about this? How do other religions view this practice?
Halaal is a Sharia Law requirement of Islam. Koranic law requires that
animals for consumption are made to face the Ka'aba (a shrine in Mecca
where there is a black stone) and slaughtered in the name of Allah, the
god of the Islam. Non-meat products must be free from pork or alcohol. The
irony is that pork-eating, wine-drinking non-muslims (called "*******" in
the Koran) handle the carcasses at the abattoirs and you will find pork
and halaal side by side in all the major supermarkets like Pic 'n Pay,
Checkers, etc., and, the fact is, very few Muslims actually shop at these
stores. They usually support Muslim-owned stores even if the price is
higher or the quality inferior. The height of hypocrisy is that over 98%
of shoppers at the major food stores that stock mostly halaal are
non-muslims that are forced to pay the halaal surcharge because of a lack
of non-halaal alternatives. Many poor South Africans that live below the
breadline have no choice but to pay the halaal surcharge.
The halaal certification bodies are privately run organisations even
though they may be registered as NPOs. Amongst the directors of these
organisations are ex-politicians that have been barred from holding public
office and another that had been charged for paedophilia.There is bitter
rivalry amongst the halaal bodies because each wants a bigger piece of the
pie. They are not mandated by the Muslim population and generally do not
have the support of the Islamic theological authorities (ulamas). In fact,
many of the ulamas have distanced themselves from the certification
bodies, stating that their practices are grossly unscrupulous and they
have called on the Ummah (Muslims) to boycott products that have been
certified by these charlatans. Why are these authorities not exposing this
evil to the general public? They will not speak to the broader public
because it is humiliating and they may also be seen to be disloyal. But
the truth must come out!
The revenue from halaal is used to pay fat salaries to the directors of
the halaal bodies, to create employment for Muslims only, to propagate
Islam, to advance Islamic political causes both locally and abroad (there
is documented evidence to support these allegations). Ninety-eight percent
of unwary South Africans are forced, through lack of alternatives, to
financially support this religious requirement of Islam which Muslims
themselves are called upon, by their some of their spiritual leaders, to
boycott. The government's lame view is that halaal "does not harm the
consumer". The Department of Trade and Industry misses the point
completely that there is a surcharge involved and therefore halaal
certification is a financial business that must be regulated - it is NOT
just a religious matter!
Nominal Christians do not really have a problem with halaal from a
religious perspective. Others say, however, there are clear and consistent
warnings in the Bible not to eat animals that have been offered to any
other god. They say that Allah is not the God of the Bible since Allah has
no Son through whose substitutionary death and resurrection a person's
sins can be forgiven, thereby allowing him to be reconciled to God. Hindus
do not have a religious problem with halaal since, they say, all gods are
one. Many are offended, however, by the economic exploitation. Jews have a
similar practice to Muslims, which they call "kosher" but they will not
eat each other’s foods. Kosher is, however, practiced on a much smaller
scale and it does not restrict consumer choices or affect prices
significantly. Muslims have the right, in terms of the SA constitution, to
practice their religion and to eat halaal if they so wish. The
constitution does not, however, allow any religion to impose its laws on
others, as in the case of halaal (Muslims are, after all, a very small
minority, yet every household in SA consumes halaal).
No matter what your religious persuasion, you are a victim of the halaal
scam. The per unit surcharge for halaal may be small but it adds up to
millions of rands that adversely affects consumer prices and,
subsequently, your pocket.
What You Can Do:
1. Awareness is the first step. Most people don't know they are being exploited. Tell others about this scam. Pass this email on to friends and family.
2. Purchase non-halaal products and support stores that supply non-halaal products. (This will be difficult because most products are halaal).
3. Write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper and expose how consumers are being exploited through the halaal scam.
4. SAFM (104 -107 FM) will broadcast an hour-long panel discussion on halaal on Thursday, 06 March at 8:00am. Please phone in and express your outrage at this form of religious and economic exploitation. Your support is crucial to the success of this campaign. Tel: 0891 104 207 .