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19 December (06 December old calendar), 2014: Sermon for St. Nicholas

by 1389AD ( 45 Comments › )
Filed under Christianity, History, Orthodox Christianity at December 19th, 2014 - 7:00 am

From: Archimandrite Philip (Speranza)
Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2014 7:26 AM

Everybody loves jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas, right? But in truth, the “jolly old elf” of Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” a pipe-smoking grandpa with a bucket full of coal for naughty boys who don’t eat their cauliflower, is fantasy and a far cry from the wiry bishop who, at the 1st Ecumenical Council, pulled Arius’ beard and punched him in the face for teaching heresy.

Still, some of our images of St. Nicholas are reality-based. Consider our picture of Santa Claus (a corruption of the Dutch “Sinterklaas,” “St. Nicholas”) as the gift-bringer. That’s rooted in the real St. Nicholas tossing three bags of gold through a worried father’s window. Why? Let’s begin at the beginning. Nicholas was born in Lycia on the southwest coast of modern Turkey. His wealthy, pious parents, Theophanes and Nonna, read the Bible to him and faithfully taught him his prayers, but died while he was still young. His uncle, Bishop Nicholas of Patara, ordained young Nicholas a priest and made him his personal assistant. The zealous youth proved himself an inspiring catechist in the Christian community and an obedient servant to his uncle. During these years he showed great kind-heartedness and generosity by distributing his inheritance to the poor.

And it was during this time, when the three grown daughters of a formerly rich inhabitant were in danger of being sold into prostitution because of their father’s pennilessness, that young Nicholas literally threw his money around. Hearing of their plight, young Nicholas secretly visited the man’s house at night and threw a bag of gold in at the window to provide a dowry for one of the girls. The eldest daughter was soon married, and Nicholas again made secret donations for the other two daughters, with equally happy results. And according to one version of the story, one of St. Nicholas’ gifts landed in a sock that was hanging by the fire to dry.

But what’s crucial here is that Nicholas lived the truth of Proverbs 14:21, that “he who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.” To put it another way, the “old elf” was jolly because he’s generous. And he was generous because, firstly of all, he looked beyond himself, and took the time and made the effort to notice what was happening to other people, like that family. Others likely stayed away from them, because a man who’d lost his fortune was “bad luck” or “bad news” or just plain “bad.” But St. Nicholas took the Lord Jesus at His word in Matthew 25:40, “Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” And secondly, Nicholas took Sacred Scripture seriously when, in 2 Corinthians 9:11 the Apostle teaches that we “are enriched in everything for all liberality [generosity];” that whatever we have over and above our own needs God intends us to share with the poor. Nicholas had a heart for obedience to the written word of God and the living Word of God, Jesus Christ; and he both talked the talk and walked the walk.

When he was young, St. Nicholas made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During the voyage, a fierce storm came up; but through the prayers of the saint, the waves were calmed, and passengers and crew were saved. When he returned some three years later to Asia Minor, Nicholas was made archbishop of Myra. Difficult years followed for the archbishop and his flock, forced underground by the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s brutal, pitiless persecution of Christians. The archbishop, himself in hiding, nonetheless did his best to encourage his people, until the day he too was betrayed and thrown into prison. In jail Nicholas continued to sustain and exhort his fellow believers to endure torture and death for the love of Christ. Mercifully, Diocletian’s died; the persecution ended; and Nicholas was released and returned to his duties.

As a bishop, Nicholas attended the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in AD 325, where he assailed the heretic Arius. In the middle of his hearing, Arius stood up on his seat in order to be better heard. Enraged by Arius’ denial that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, Nicholas lost it, strode quickly over to Arius, pulled him down by his beard, and punched him in the face. The scandalized Council fathers sprang upon Nicholas, stripped him of his omophorion (defrocked him as a bishop), and threw him in prison for his brutish behavior. That night Nicholas was visited by the Theotokos who loosed his bonds and vested him again in his apostolic garb. The bishops, astonished by this miracle, realized that Nicholas’ anger, although improperly expressed, was nonetheless righteous; and he was honorably restored to his episcopal see.

During one session of the Council, Nicholas appeared to be dozing. But he actually appeared miraculously to and by his intercession saved sailors whose ship was in danger of sinking during a storm at sea. The Council fathers resentfully charged Nicholas with sleeping through the entire council, whereupon the saint answered, “While you were talking, I was busy rescuing a disaster-driven ship at sea.” Some of the pious brethren took the ship to be a metaphor for the Church. Others dismissed his words as the babblings of an old man. But not long after the council, the rescued sailors returned safely home and, traveling through Myra, recognized Nicholas as their deliverer. Not surprisingly, every Orthodox Christian sailor for the past 1500 years has sailed under the protection of St. Nicholas.

Archbishop Nicholas peacefully fell asleep in the Lord on December 6, 343. He was immediately recognized as a saint and the patron of travelers; and Christians around the world still seek his intercession to be delivered from flood, poverty, or any misfortune. St. Nicholas’ incorrupt relics were venerated for centuries in the local cathedral church of Myra. Like those of many other saints, his bones exude sweet-smelling myrrh, through which God has worked many miracles of healing for those anointed with it. During the Middle Ages the Turks conquered Byzantine Asia Minor and were a constant threat to Christianity in that region. In 1087, solicitous for the safety of St. Nicholas’ venerable remains, Italian sailors, who were devoted to this saint, plotted to steal the body and in May of that year brought it back to their home village. St. Nicholas’ relics were thus taken from Myra to the city of Bari, where the saint’s body continues to exude holy myrrh 17 centuries after his death. Every year, on May 9th, the rector of the basilica in Bari crawls into a small opening in the crypt to drain the holy myrrh out of St. Nicholas’ tomb into a glass jar. The myrrh is diluted with water and serves as anointing oil for pilgrims to Bari from across the globe, including the late Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kiev, of blessed memory.

Sadly, here in North America, we’ve forgotten the true St. Nicholas, who’s not nearly as much fun as our Santa: a funny, fat, white-bearded egalitarian who gives kids whatever they want (and knitted sweaters from Grandma that they don’t want) whether they were nice or naughty, because he’s a fair Santa. The real St. Nicholas seems to just spoil the story. (And if children stop believing in the Santa who flies down from the North Pole with his reindeer, won’t they stop getting presents?) And if we tell Orthodox children different St. Nicholas stories, won’t it wreck Christmas for someone’s precious child when she hears one of our kids tell her at school: “Santa doesn’t live at the North Pole. He sleeps by the Adriatic Sea, sweating off myrrh for lame pilgrims”?

Maybe. But telling the truth is not being a spoil-sport; it’s spreading the good news. The wonderful reality of St. Nicholas’ life is that he deeply loved the Lord Jesus Christ and so ardently believed Christmas is about the incarnation of God that even at the risk of his own life he took the Lord Jesus at His word when, in Luke 12:8, the Lord promises, “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God;” and he was willing to courageously proclaim and defend his faith, despite Diocletian’s tortures. And if he accosted the deceiving unbeliever Arius, it was because the real St. Nicholas was passionate enough to both defend the truth of Christ’s divinity and provide just reproof to a sinner. It’s a privilege to be corrected from the Word of God by a godly person, even if Arius was too foolish to receive it. As Proverbs 17:10 so wisely observes, “A rebuke goes deeper into a wise man than a hundred blows into a fool.”

Look: far from being unexciting or overly religious, the real story of the real St. Nicholas is exactly the gift kids (and grownups) need today. Most of us do not need more stuff. What we do need is someone who inspires our moral imagination and both challenges and encourages us in the virtues of love, generosity, courage, justice, and evangelism. And through his example of following Jesus Christ no matter what, St. Nicholas gives us exactly that gift we so need.

Much more here.

PSA: Before selling a vehicle, be sure to remove all advertising stickers and logos

by 1389AD ( 88 Comments › )
Filed under Cars & Trucks, Jihad, Open thread, Syria, Terrorism at December 18th, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Texas City is a busy deep water Gulf Coast seaport. While we may never know how the truck got to Syria, it is possible that the vehicle was stolen from a used car lot or other subsequent owner and then sent to the Middle East in a shipping container.

Older vehicles are likelier to be stolen because they lack anti-theft electronic keying systems. It’s wise to install anti-theft mechanisms on any work truck that carries advertising decals and insignia, and to remove or paint over these insignia before disposing of the vehicle.

BizPac Review: Shocked Texas plumber’s former work truck shows up in jihad terror mission photo; his phone blows up

(h/t: Grumpy Elder)

Former Mark-1 plumbing truck

It doesn’t always pay to advertise.

That’s what a Texas plumber is learning after getting barraged with threats from people who’ve seen a Ford truck he used to own show up in a picture posted on Twitter by an Islamist militant group — fighting in Syria!

Mark Oberholtzer, the longtime owner/operator of Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City, told the Galveston Daily News he doesn’t have a clue how his old truck ended up in Syria. But he wishes it hadn’t – particularly with the distinctive “Mark-1 Plumbing” decal on the driver’s side a door and an anti-aircraft gun blazing away in the bed.

He said he sold the truck three years ago, and expected the decals would have been removed by the dealer.

AutoNation told KHOU-TV that the truck would have likely been sold at auction and would have changed owners multiple times before ending up in Syria.

“How it ended up in Syria, I’ll never know,” he told the Daily News.

The phone calls started Monday, he said. By the next day, more than a 1,000 calls and faxes had come in, he said – some of them threatening.

“A few of the people are really ugly,” Oberholtzer said.

Oberholtzer’s son, Jeff, was amazed by the turn of events.

“To think something we would use to pull trailers, now is being used for terror, it’s crazy,” he told KHOU. “Never in my lifetime would think something like that.”

Seriously, who would?

More here.

Not every vehicle shipped overseas is stolen. But too many of them are:

 

Sony bows before the “indomitable fist” of Juche!

by Rodan ( 42 Comments › )
Filed under Entertainment, Humor, JUCHE!, Movies, North Korea, Religion at December 18th, 2014 - 7:00 am

Juchefist

(North Koreans doing the “Iron Fist” of Juche in a march.)

The Juche regime of North Korea has made Sony tremble. The Interview, a comedy about a CIA assassination of Kim Jung Un has made his regime very angry. For months, the Juche regime demanded Sony not release this movie, since it was disrespecting one of the Gods of the Juche pantheon. Sony did not take these threats serious, and as a result, leaks emerged that have embarrassed the studio.

Now the Juche regime via hackers is demanding that theaters do not play the Interview or there will be more leaks. Bowing to these threats, Sony announced plans to not  release the Interview.

With theater chains defecting en masse, Sony Pictures Entertainment has pulled the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview.”

U.S. officials have reportedly linked a massive cyber attack against Sony to North Korea, which is at the center of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy.

“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public,” Sony said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

In announcing the decision to cancel the holiday debut, Sony also hit back at the hackers who threatened movie theaters and moviegoers and who have terrorized the studio and its employees for weeks.

“Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like,” the statement reads.

A few hours after making the announcent, a studio spokesman said that Sony had “no further plans” to release the comedy, either on VOD or DVD.

If the tactics of the Juche followers reminds of of Islamic tactics, there is a reason for this. Both are invented totalitarian ideologies bent on enslaving the human soul. Just as Muslims get violent when Muhammad is insulted, the Juche regime also gets violent when a member of the Kim family is mocked.

Another aspect that is being overlooked, Sony was originally a Japanese company. North Korean propaganda is very anti-Japanese and that nation is considered demonic within the pantheon of the Juche religion. Expect the Juche regime to play this up as a victory over Capitalism, America and Japan.

The North Koreans are already bragging about this victory over SONY on Twitter.

 

‘Seventy Two Virgins’ wine sold to fund Aussie counterjihad group Q Society

by 1389AD ( 102 Comments › )
Filed under Anti-Jihad, Australia, Food and Drink, Humor, Open thread at December 5th, 2014 - 6:00 pm
Hal & Al wine label

Hal & Al’s Fine Australian Wine: halalwinesaustralia.com :)

“And of the fruits of date palms and vines, from which you draw wine and goodly provision, there are indeed signs in that for a people who apply reason.” Sura An-Nahl 16:67

Hal and Al
The only photo of Hal and Al
that survived the great fire of Smyrna.
Hal (on the left) is talking while Al pours
wine for friends the night before the fire.
They boarded a steamer to Haifa the following
day; went on to Bombay, and arrived in
Darwin on 29 February 1923.

Although the early Mohammed was reportedly as much a friend of wine as most of his contempories in Mecca, he later turned his mind to other pleasures. The namesakes of our label, childhood buddies Hal Bagelstein and Al DeLepanto, highlighted the sad irony in Mohammed’s turn from vines to women. How peaceful the world could be today, if only Mohammed had kept with the vines.

Having left this world for their own patch of paradise long ago, Hal and Al now gaze down on us, wondering what is done to the Lucky Country they loved so much. We, who are left to dwell here for a little longer, value their free spirit and sharp sense of humour.

It is our firm commitment to serve you the best from the rich red soils of Australia, to do so in the right spirit and for the right reasons.

Our first offering in time for the 2014 Festive Season carries the label ‘72 Virgins’ and is a very drinkable sparkling wine sourced from the picturesque Barossa Valley, South Australia.

Share and Enjoy

This is a fundraiser project in good humour by Q Society of Australia Inc – ABN 11 883 362 342. Wine sold by Skipngirl Productions Pty Ltd ABN 15158718177 – License Nr 90100824 (Vic). [Order here.]

News coverage:

 

Petro-War!

by coldwarrior ( 90 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Energy, Islam, Open thread at December 2nd, 2014 - 6:00 am

Cheap oil can be both a blessing and a curse as AEP explains in this analysis:

Saudi Arabia and the core Opec states are taking an immense political gamble by letting crude oil prices crash to $66 a barrel, if their aim is to shake out the weakest shale producers in the US. A deep slump in prices might equally heighten geostrategic turmoil across the broader Middle East and boomerang against the Gulf’s petro-sheikhdoms before it inflicts a knock-out blow on US rivals.

Caliphate leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has already opened a “second front” in North Africa, targeting Algeria and Libya – two states that live off energy exports – as well as Egypt and the Sahel as far as northern Nigeria. “The resilience of US shale may prove greater than the resilience of Opec,” said Alistair Newton, head of political risk at Nomura.

Chris Skrebowski, former editor of Petroleum Review, said the Saudis want to cut the annual growth rate of US shale output from 1m barrels per day (bpd) to 500,000 bpd to bring the market closer to balance. “They want to unnerve the shale oil model and undermine financial confidence, but they won’t stop the growth altogether,” he said.

There is no question that the US has entirely changed the global energy landscape and poses an existential threat to Opec. America has cut its net oil imports by 8.7m bpd since 2006, equal to the combined oil exports of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

The country had a trade deficit of $354bn in oil and gas as recently as 2011. Citigroup said this will return to balance by 2018, one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in modern economic history.

“When it comes to crude and other hydrocarbons, the US is bursting at the seams,” said Edward Morse, Citigroup’s commodities chief. “This situation is unlikely to stop, even if prevailing prices for oil fall significantly. The US should become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products combined by 2019, if not 2018.”

Opec has misjudged the threat. As late as last year, it was dismissing US shale as a flash in the pan. Abdalla El-Badri, the group’s secretary-general, still insists that half of all US shale output is vulnerable below $85.

This is bravado. US producers have locked in higher prices through derivatives contracts. Noble Energy and Devon Energy have both hedged over three-quarters of their output for 2015.

Pioneer Natural Resources said it has options through 2016 covering two- thirds of its likely production. “We can produce down to $50 a barrel,” said Harold Hamm, from Continental Resources. The International Energy Agency said most of North Dakota’s vast Bakken field “remains profitable at or below $42 per barrel. The break-even price in McKenzie County, the most productive county in the state, is only $28 per barrel.”

Efficiency is improving and drillers are switching to lower-cost spots, confronting Opec with a moving target. “The (price) floor is falling and may not be nearly as firm as the Saudi view assumes,” said Citigroup.

Mr Morse says the “full cycle” cost for shale production is $70 to $80, but this includes the original land grab and infrastructure. “The remaining capex required to bring on an additional well is far lower, and could be as low as the high-$30s range,” he said.

Critics of US shale may have misunderstood its economics. There is a fast decline in output from new wells but this is offset by a “long-tail phase” for a growing number of legacy wells. The Bakken field has already reached 1.1m bpd, and this is expected to double again over the next five years.

Other oil projects around the world may be more vulnerable to a price squeeze, including the North Sea, the ultra-deepwater ventures in the Atlantic off Brazil and Angola, Canadian oil sands, or Russia’s contentious plans for the Arctic in the “High North”. But the damage will be gradual.

In the meantime, oil below $70 is already playing havoc with budgets across the global petro-nexus. The fiscal break-even cost is $161 for Venezuela, $160 for Yemen, $132 for Algeria, $131 for Iran, $126 for Nigeria, and $125 for Bahrain, $111 for Iraq, and $105 for Russia, and even $98 for Saudi Arabia itself, according to Citigroup.

Opec may not be worried about countries such as Nigeria, but even there a full-blown economic and political crisis could turn the north into a Jihadi stronghold under Boko Haram.

The growing Jihadi movements in the Maghreb – combining with events in Syria and Iraq – clearly pose a first-order security threat to the Saudi regime itself.

The Libyan city of Derna is already in the hands of the Salafist group Ansar al-Shariah and has pledged allegiance to Islamic State. Terrorist movements in the Egyptian Sinai have also rallied to the black and white flag of IS, prompting Egypt’s leader Abdel al-Sisi to call last week for a “general mobilisation” of all leading Arab and Western powers to defeat the spreading movement.

The new worry is Algeria as the Bouteflika regime goes into its final agonies. “They have an entrenched terrorist problem as we saw in the seizure of the Amenas gas refinery last year. These people are aligning themselves with Islamic State as part of the franchise,” said Mr Newton.

Algeria exports 1.5m bpd of petroleum products. Its gas exports matter more but the price of liquefied natural gas shipped to Europe is indirectly linked to oil over time.

It is an open question what will happen to Algeria, Iraq, and Libya if oil prices hover at half the budget break-even costs for a year or two, given the extreme fragility of the region and political risk of cutting subsidies.

The Sunni Salafist tornado sweeping across the Middle East – so strangely like the lightning expansion of Islam in the mid-7th century – is moving to its own inner rhythms. It is not a simple function of economic welfare, let alone oil prices.

Yet Saudi Arabia’s ruling dynasty tests fate if it is betting that the Middle East’s fraying political order can withstand a regional economic shock for another two years.

Much more analysis here

Marcellus Shale – SW liquids rich $24.23
Marcellus Shale – Super Rich $25.63
Utica – Wet gas $32.39
Mississippian Horizontal – East $42.15
Utica – Liquids Rich $44.04
Eagle Ford – Liquids Rich $46.05
Niobrara – Wattenberg $46.10
Wolfcamp – N. Midland (Horizontal) $53.92
Eagle Ford – Oil Window $55.29
Wolfcamp – S. Midland (Horizontal) $61.57
Mississippian Horizontal – West $64.05
Wolfberry $64.63
Bakken Shale $64.74
Wolfcamp – N. Delaware (Horizontal) $68.54
Uinta – Green River $68.77
Uinta – Wasatch (H) $72.15
Granite Wash – Liquids Rich $73.10
Horizontal
Uinta – Wasatch (V) $74.95
Barnett Shale – Southern Liquids $84.45

Center breaks evidence of CAIR/Muslim Brotherhood links to Ferguson protests

by 1389AD ( 131 Comments › )
Filed under CAIR, Crime, Muslim Brotherhood at November 21st, 2014 - 7:00 am

On YouTube:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W0v55NeLXo

Published on Nov 19, 2014 by securefreedom
Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and Trace Gallagher file a report on Muslim Brotherhood coordination and exploitation regarding the Ferguson protests ostensibly devoted to finding justice for Michael Brown. American Muslim Brotherhood groups have used the protests as an opportunity to promote their anti-police and Anti-American agenda.

Missisauga, Ontario 11/23/14 2pm: JDL Canada memorial vigil at Palestine House

by 1389AD Comments Off
Filed under Anti-semitism, Canada, Hamas, Headlines, Israel, Palestinians at November 20th, 2014 - 12:10 pm

JDL Canada will be holding a memorial vigil at Palestine House to honour the memory of the 5 civilian victims that were mercilessly slaughtered while praying in a Jerusalem synagogue yesterday.

Palestine House is the nerve-centre of support for the terrorist organization Hamas, here in Canada.

Palestine House is on record supporting this most recent horrific civilian massacre and encouraging further terror attacks. (See reports attached below).

JDL Canada will be asking the authorities to lay criminal charges against the members of the Board of Directors of Palestine House for their incitement to violence and support for terrorism.

BUSES WILL LEAVING THE FRESHCO PLAZA ON THE NORTH-WEST CORNER OF BATHURST + STEELES AT 12:30 PM

________________________

DATE: Sunday, November 23, 2014

TIME: 2:00 P.M.

PLACE: PALESTINE HOUSE
3195 ERINDALE STATION RD.
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO L5C 1Y5

Much more here.
 

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero begins rebuilding…

by 1389AD ( 189 Comments › )
Filed under Orthodox Christianity, September 11 at November 19th, 2014 - 7:00 am

…thirteen years after it was destroyed in the 9/11 attack.

New St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero

HuffPo has the story.

You can help:

According to Christian Today, “St Nicholas has raised $7 million of the $38 million needed to rebuild the church. Donations can be made on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.”

Designboom has more photos and a video.

Deport the Muslims, keep the canines!

by 1389AD ( 167 Comments › )
Filed under Dhimmitude, Dog Day Afternoon, Open thread, Spain at November 3rd, 2014 - 4:00 pm

(h/t: Gramfan)

Something is grotesquely wrong with people who hate dogs.

Larry Pickering has the story:

A report from Spain this week claims two Islamic groups based in Lérida, a city in the north-eastern region of Catalonia where 29,000 Muslims now make up around 20% of the  population, demanded that local officials regulate all dogs in public spaces so as not to “offend Muslims”.

Muslims leaders demanded that dogs be banned from all forms of public transportation including all city buses as well as from all areas frequented by Muslim immigrants.

Muslims said the presence of dogs violates their religious freedoms and their right to live according to Islamic principles.

After the municipality refused to give in to Muslim demands, the city experienced a wave of dog poisonings. Local media reported dozens of canine pets were poisoned in Lérida’s working class neighbourhoods of Cappont and La Bordeta.

These districts are heavily populated by Muslim immigrants and the poisoning of dogs has continued unabated.

This  follows dog-related controversies in other European countries.

In Holland, Muslims who live in The Hague and who now make up more than 12% of that city’s population of 500,000, have campaigned to rid the city of all dogs. Muslims view dogs as offensive and unclean.

“A ban on them would be a sure vote-getter”, one Muslim spokesman said.

[…]
More here…

As an antidote, click here for a truly heartwarming dog story.

Understanding Halal Certification Schemes

by 1389AD ( 160 Comments › )
Filed under Australia, Dhimmitude at October 28th, 2014 - 7:00 am

(Part 1 – 12 complete)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVPngzSE94o

Published on Aug 30, 2013 by Q Society of Australia Inc

Please note this is not about halal food. As Q Society’s spokesman Andrew Horwood points out: “Halal food itself is not of concern to us. Nearly all our food is naturally permissible to Muslims and observant Muslims can make food of unknown origin halal by proclaiming ‘bismillah’ over the food before eating.*

What is of concern are the recently invented certification schemes, designed to permeate the supply chain from feeding trough to super market shelves and restaurant kitchens; including many non-food goods and services.”

According to meat industry groups and research, two thirds of chicken and lamb meat and over half the beef sold in Australia now comes from Halal-certified suppliers. Most dairy products as well as other food and many non-food items are certified to sharia standards, but not always labelled.

Islamic organizations have estimated the value of the global halal certification market at USD 2.3 trillion in 2013, growing by 20% per year. No other religious group has imposed a similar tax-like scheme on the general public.

Investigative researchers in France, Canada and the USA have found links between halal certifying organisations and shop fronts for terrorist groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Similar research in Australia is yet to be undertaken.

Grand Mufti Dr Mustafa Ceric has suggested at an international conference in 2010, that Islam can conquer the world through the Halal (certification) movement.

We politely but firmly object. Q Society has three simple and fair policy proposals:

1. Apply the ‘User Pays’ principle
If observant Muslims insist on special rituals and halal certification for their food, then Islamic community organisations should provide these services and cover the fees and extra expenses for the suppliers. Religion is always a contentious issue and should never be imposed onto others.

2. Insist on clear labelling
All products and services from halal-certified suppliers should be clearly labelled by one standard symbol. This way the consumer can recognise when meat, meat-based products or other products and services come from halal-certified sources. Then consumers can make an informed decision

3. No more discrimination
In most Australian abattoirs Muslim males only are employed as slaughterers. Non-Muslims and women are not halal. This is discrimination on religious and gender grounds. We understand that halal-slaughtered meat is important to observant Muslims. We propose if abattoirs require exemption from our non-discrimination laws, that they be owned and operated by a religious organisation. This is similar to religious schools, for which Australia allows certain exemptions from non-discrimination laws.

* Nowhere in Islamic scripture does it say Muslims should eat only halal-certified food. Most observant Muslims know perfectly well that nearly all our food is by default halal:

Koran Sura 2:173 (Al-Baqarah) reads: “He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swine flesh, and that which hath been immolated to any other than God. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Koran Sura 5.5 (Al Ma’idah) prescribes: “The food of the People of the Book (that is Jewish and Christian people) is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.”

And from the hadith narrated by Aisha (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 34, Number 273) Muslims know: “Some people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Meat is brought to us by some people and we are not sure whether the name of Allah has been mentioned on it or not.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Mention the name of Allah and eat it.”

Action Points:

Watch our halal certification information video. Share it with your family and connections.

Read, download and distribute our Q on: Halal Food and Halal Certification paper and our petition form from our website qsociety dot org dot au

Pick up a stack of our “Why Swallow This?” fliers at the next Q meeting and do an hour of letter boxing each week in your neighbourhood.

Talk and write to your local state and federal MP and Senators. Ask them to consider our three policy proposals

When shopping ask for non-halal certified options. You are not a bad person if you do not want to support Islamic organisations with your shopping dollar.