This is not exclusive to Australia. This blackmail is going on all over Europe. And America is not far behind. We are fighting similar supremacist measures in the States.
"Religious levy costs Queensland abattoirs thousands each month" By Natasha Bita Komang Erviani, Courier Mail, October 20, 2013 (thanks to Kenneth)
QUEENSLAND abattoirs are being slugged thousands of dollars a month through a religious levy on meat exports so powerful Muslim clerics in Jakarta can raise money for Islamic schools and mosques.
The Halal certification fees can cost some meat processors up to $27,000 a month.
The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI), the top Islamic body which orders fatwa religious rulings, has even banned a Brisbane business from operating - because it was not charging Queensland abattoirs enough to give the religious tick-off to export meat.
The scandal has stopped most of Queensland's Halal meat exports to Indonesia, as angry abattoir operators boycott the more expensive Halal certifiers endorsed by the MUI.
Australian companies that certify meat as Halal, or legal under Islamic law, must be accredited with Indonesia's MUI - which approves just one certifier per state or territory.
The MUI has suspended Brisbane based Australian Halal Food Services (AHFS) for engaging in "unfair competition'' that could "weaken (the) Halal certification movement".
Certifiers must donate a share of their revenue to mosques and Islamic schools.
AHFS - which refused to comment on Saturday - sponsors the As-Salaam Institute of Islamic Studies, based in Eight Mile Plains. It has also spent funds repairing and maintaining mosques in Rochedale and Rockhampton.
One big Queensland meat processor, which did not want to be identified, claimed it had been quoted $27,000 a month in Halal certification fees through another MUI-endorsed certifier - four times more than AHFS had been charging.
JBS Australia - the nation's biggest meat packer and exporter with more than 8500 employees - has been unable to export beef from Queensland to Indonesia.
"We need to look at options (for hiring certifiers) rather than be dictated by one supplier of a service,'' JBS director John Berry said
But MUI chairman Amidhan Shaberah said AHFS had been suspended for trying to work interstate, as well as Queensland. He said setting minimum fees and restricting one certifier to work in each state was "part of our control''.
"We have to standardise the charge to avoid any unfair competition between certifiers,'' he told The Sunday Mail during an interview in Jakarta.
The federal Department of Agriculture confirmed it had no power over approvals for religious certifiers. A spokesman said the Government "values our close relationship with MUI".
Foods not considered halal include:
- swine/pork and its by-products
- animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
- carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
- foods contaminated with any of the above
According to the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America