Friday, 22 May 2015

Submission to the Third party certification of food Enquiry

Submission by Anthony Cox

Halal means what is permissible under Sharia which is Islamic law. It does not just apply to foods and beverages but every aspect of life. If something is halal it is part of Islam. Making things, foods, actions etc halal means they become part of Islam.

Halal is the process by which Islam replaces the social, economic, political and legal structure of a host society.

Other ways Islam subsumes the host society are through the building of Mosques and visible symbols such as the burqa.

There are over 370 mosques in Australia which, per capita, is more than six times the number of Buddhist and Hindu temples. It is much more than the conventional (sic) religions such as Catholicism and Anglicanism. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated: 
A mosque is our barracks, the domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets and the faithful are our soldiers."
In 2010 France banned the burqa based on a Parliamentary Commission to Study the Wearing of the Full Veil in France. This Commission had found the burqa was an infringement of the principle of freedom, a symbol of subservience and a negation of the principle of equality.

In 2014 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld France’s banning of the burqa. In addition to the principles found by France the ECHR also found the burqa was an an affront to the country's tenets of secularism and a security risk, preventing the accurate identification of individuals.
Other European nations have followed or plan to follow France’s lead in banning the burqa but a limited ban in Queensland has failed.

The building of Mosques and the wearing of the burqa as well as food certification are part of the halal process.

Section 116 of the Australian Constitution says:
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
Section 116 has four limbs. The first three limbs prohibit the Commonwealth from making certain laws: laws "for establishing any religion"; laws "for imposing any religious observance"; and laws "for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion". The fourth limb proscribes the imposition of religious tests to qualify for any Commonwealth office or public trust.

The first limb is of relevance to halal. In Attorney-General (Vic); Ex Rel Black v Commonwealth ("DOGS case") [1981] HCA 2; (1981) 146 CLR 559 (2 February 1981) the High Court found that Section 116 did not encompass laws that benefit religions generally; it only proscribed laws that established a particular religion.

Islam is a particular religion. Halal certification is the process by which Islam establishes itself. In Quick and Garran (1995) [1901]. The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth. Sydney: Legal Books. ISBN 1-86316-071-X establishment means "the erection and recognition of a State Church, or the concession of special favours, titles, and advantages to one church which are denied to others."

Allowing halal to continue could be construed as conceding special favours, titles and advantages to Islam.

It would seem that there are 2 possible legal principles affronted by halal. The first is described by the French banning of the burqa. The second is described by S.116.

Anthony Cox
21 May 2015

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On 13 May 2015, the Senate referred an inquiry into third party certification of food to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 November 2015
Submissions close 31 July 2015.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Standing Committees on Economics
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3540
Fax: +61 2 6277 5719


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