Recently I wrote a blog about Halal Certification and how Christians should respond. Click here to read that Blog
I received a variety of responses, the negative ones passionately telling me I had missed the point of Halal outrage. People were amazed that I would dare eat a Flake Chocolate as a Christian due to the fact they are Halal Certified and therefore I am directly funding terrorism.
Made me think!
Made me read lots.
I read arguments and articles on both sides of the debate.
I have to say the articles I read claiming evidence that Halal Money funds terrorists were exceptionally light on any level of evidence and in my view lack any substantial credibility. And I will admit, I am no expert on the whole Halal/Terrorism issue so I was keen to see both sides of the debate.
Here are three examples.
Let me quote out of the third article
It’s a safe bet to assume Australian Muslims are not assisting the Kurdish Peshmergas or the Yazidis, but instead elements of the murderous Islamic State.
pickeringpost.com has been told this charity is nothing more than a front to disguise where large sums of money, collected from the halal certification scam and receipts from major drug syndicates, finish up.
My thought from that article is that there are lots of accusations and an anonymous person cited as ‘evidence’. I don’t want a ‘safe bet’. I want hard evidence.
So then I looked at the arguments against Halal Certification funding terrorism.
Quoting from sources I will post in the Bio.
A spokesman for the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) – the government body that monitors money laundering and terrorism – told Fact Check that it had no information to indicate there are links to terrorism financing from halal certification fees.
The Australian Crime Commission issued a statement in November 2014 saying its taskforce with AUSTRAC and the AFP had identified links between organised crime and terrorism funding.
“However, the Australian Crime Commission is not aware of any direct links between the legitimate halal certification industry and money laundering or the financing of terrorist groups,” said the commission’s chief executive Chris Dawson.
Financing terrorism is an offence under the federal Criminal Code with a penalty of life imprisonment.
According to the federal Attorney-General’s Department a person can be convicted of financing terrorism if they “donate to a charity and are aware there is a substantial risk that the donation will be used for terrorism purposes”.
Financing of terrorism by Australian companies and individuals is also controlled under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and monitored by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
The Act forces regulated businesses, including banks, money transfer agencies, and law and accounting practices to enrol with AUSTRAC and identify customers, monitor transactions and help identify terrorism financing risks. All international financial transactions, no matter how small, are tracked.
AUSTRAC received 91 million reports from regulated entities and partner agencies in 2013-14, an average of 350,524 reports every business day.
They received 118 suspicious matter reports related to financing of terrorism.
Parliamentary inquiry finds no link between halal certification and terrorism and food prices increases
DOES HALAL FUND TERRORISM?
In its report, which was published in parliament this week, the committee found the practice of halal certification was misunderstood and the industry was under-regulated. This compromised the integrity of the system and allowed “the proliferation of questionable conduct by certifiers of questionable expertise and intent”, the report stated.
But the inquiry also found no links between halal certification and terrorist activity by extremists.
The committee, which received more than 1450 submissions, said while the inquiry was set up to investigate all food certification, the vast majority voiced concerns about, and opposition to, halal food certification.
We do not in any way endorse or support or want to be associated with terrorism.
Muhammad Khan, CEO Halal Australia
Next Quote (This particular article basically concluded that whilst no evidence has been found of links between Halal Certification and Terrorism, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist….they are just well hidden. Have a read)
THE limitations of our security and crime authorities were on public show the past week when they admitted they’ve found no direct links between halal certification and terrorism.
There’s a difference between ‘found’ no evidence – and ruling it out.
The authorities haven’t rule out the links, because they can’t. They are limited by lack of jurisdiction between countries without powers to investigate overseas bank accounts.
Plenty of crimes are committed every day, which go unsolved. Plenty of crooks have walked from the courts because of a lack of evidence.
That doesn’t mean crimes are not committed. It means the crooks have cleverly covered their tracks – using methods to avoid detection.
Both the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Australia’s anti-money laundering intelligence agency, gave evidence at the public hearing on Thursday.
National manager of compliance at AUSTRAC Angela Jamieson told the inquiry:
“Of the information identified from this monitoring of reported financial transactions, none of these have been assessed as related to funding of terrorism with regard to halal certification fees.”
Halal certifiers do not directly donate money to ISIS, Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood (all proscribed terrorist organisations globally), which is why the authorities use the considered terminology, ‘no direct link’. But links there are. A giant web of global links out of the reach of our authorites.
Certifiers donate to Islamic charities publicly known to have direct links to terrorist organisations. These links have been found all around the world.
It’s a stretch to imagine the same charities’ Australian affiliates are the only squeaky clean branches, or funds raised from the Australian charities’ branches are isolated from the rest of the dirty pool.
Once those charities move the funds offshore it’s impossible for AUSTRAC and the ACC to track the money.
The funds are moved from one account to another to find their way to the intended end recipient, out of the limited reach of Australian authorities.
Don’t believe me?
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has found that smaller, local, community-based charities, especially informal ethnic and faith-based charities (i.e. Islamic) often fall outside the watchful regulatory eye of our government agencies and are especially likely to be used for financing terrorism.
AIC says terror funding is undertaken by exploiting legitimate charities where funds raised for charitable purposes are diverted to individuals or groups associated with terrorism.
Sham charities are common.
In a number of cases, the charity collects funds intended for humanitarian aid or welfare relief, but a percentage is specifically intended for the financing of terrorists.
Many of the implicated charities form part of a complex web, moving funds between multiple accounts held by various charities, sister charities, companies (both legitimate and fictitious) and individuals.
Multiple conduits are used in the country of money origin and transferred across different jurisdictions, before eventually being transmitted to the intended recipient(s) – terrorists.
Funds are first deposited into the bank accounts of charities, or of individuals associated with charities, before being transferred, using cash deposits, wire transfers or other remittance schemes.
Anyway that is just a few of the articles I read. I didn’t post them all here as it would become too long for a blog article. So here is my conclusion.
Halal Certification may be funding terrorism. But as far as the Government and our anti Terrorism agencies and the Australian Federal Police are concerned, there is no evidence that that is the case at this stage. I am not saying it does or it doesn’t. I am just looking for the evidence that clearly those with the passion and conviction that terrorism is being funded have. I just couldn’t find it.
In my reading I really only came across articles that seriously lacked any credibility in providing evidence of the claims they were making that Halal Certification funds terrorists.
So how about we all calm down.
I was disappointed by the reaction of some people on social media and even some who know me personally, attacking me for funding terrorism….which I have to say is a heinous accusation to make toward me. Particularly in light of the fact that there doesn’t seem to be hard evidence.
I am not a fan of Halal certification nor the push of Islam into Australia. I am a fan of not being irrationally freaked out. Islam is not a religion of peace as Muslims would have us believe. But the furore of Halal Certification and its funding terrorism, seems to me to be a rumour that was started and now Christians take it as Gospel. And now use it to slander each other.
I am open to be proved wrong and I invite people to post links in the comments section of this blog. One thing I would ask. If you post a link, it has to be a credible article involving the Australian experience. Posting some quote from Pauline Hanson for example doesn’t count as a credible article showing terrorist links.
Anyway, that’s what I think,
You may be interesting in some of my other Islam orientated Blogs:-
- How Islam Treats Women – Reviewing Four Books on This Topic.
- Honour Killings–Are they rooted in Islam?
- My Sermon Notes on Islam – Essential Basic Information
- And Now The Courts of Australia Silently Scream Allahu Akbar
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Here are the articles I have quoted from.