Have you heard those 'Halal food funds terrorism' stories? Yes? Read this.


halal certification
The Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company dropped its Halal certification due to pressure on social media. (Image via ABC)




Claims money spent on fees to become Halal-certified go towards funding terrorism are “absolutely wrong”, a business who provides the certification has said.

Fazal Muhammed from the Queensland Halal Certification Service was the one to provide Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company with its Halal label.


The company faced an attack from people who claimed the fee it paid had been channelled into funding terrorism in the Middle East.

It cited negative publicity for a decision to end its $50,000-per-year yoghurt supply deal with airline Emirates.

Mr Muhammed said he charged companies $1,000 per year to be Halal-certified and that money was then spent locally on health and education.

He said the social media attack on Muslims was hurting local communities and local businesses.

“I think they have been misguided, that’s all. This benefits Australia, benefits locally, benefits people here, working here, that are trying to raise their families here and [this attack] is hurting them,” Mr Muhammed said.

“I don’t know where they get that every Muslim is bad … we’re not.

“I can tell you my family has been here for over 150 years and they’ve never had a problem. They’re all upstanding citizens, my kids, my children they are born and bred here, my grandchildren are born and bred here.

“They’ve grown up here, helping locally, local communities. We don’t have time to worry about other people, we just try to raise a family here.”

He said he only certified a handful of companies each year as he was only a domestic certifier and those providing certification to large exporting companies must register with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service.


Mr Muhammed said the Australian Government was doing the best it could to regulate Halal certifiers.

“People don’t realise that the Australian Government is dealing with a lot of Muslim countries that are helping to fight terrorism,” he said.

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The Australian Government is reportedly doing the best it can to regulate Halal certifiers. Image via ABC.

“I’m originally from Pakistan and we have the biggest problem, in Pakistan there are so many innocent people getting killed by terrorism in Pakistan.”


The Dairy Farmers Association said it was disappointed a small South Australian dairy producer did not seek its help before dropping Halal certification due to a campaign of “irrational bullying” on social media.

David Basham of the Dairy Farmers Association urged any other companies which faced such pressures to enlist the help of their industry associations.

“This has come back to this small milk company, without the resources to defend themselves, they’ve decided it’s easier to walk away than actually try to defend this,” he said.

“It’s particularly unfair to put that sort of pressure on a small, little milk company that’s just trying to operate … a very good business.

“Disappointingly this time, Fleurieu didn’t come to us to seek our help but we are there to help.”

He said other companies might be able to learn from the attack against the Fleurieu company if they too came under such pressure.

“I would suggest they contact their industry bodies and talk to them and see whether there’s something that can be done to assist them through the process because we don’t want to see them losing markets through irrational bullying campaigns,” he said.

“I just think it’s an irrational fear that some people believe in and I think that this is just bullying. It is lifting it to a profile that is actually benefiting those who are fighting in the Middle East.”

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Fleurier milk and yoghurt. Image via Fleurier.

The Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company has operated for about eight years and a chance to supply Emirates with yoghurt came up about two years ago.

It said the deal was a coup for the company and great publicity had come from it until recent days.

Under the Halal dietary requirement set out in the Koran, Muslims consider food preparation techniques as well as the ingredients.


South Australia’s Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith urged local exporters to keep working with the multi-million-dollar Middle Eastern market.

He said they needed to resist misinformed bullying of consumers.

“I encourage South Australian exporters to put enterprise and job opportunities ahead of the extreme views of a minority,” he said.

“We need to continue building relationships with the Middle Eastern markets and broader Muslim community.

“South Australia is well placed to benefit from the growing appetite of the global Muslim community because we are leaders in the supply of premium natural products and the preparation of food.”

Mr Hamilton-Smith said that in the past year SA businesses had exported $839 million of products to the Middle East and it was an incredibly important trading partner.

“Prejudice has no place in Australia. One of our key friends and trading partners Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world,” he said.

“We should embrace these opportunities rather than exclude them.”

This article originally appeared here and has been republished with full permission.