Anti-Muslim Group Presents Petition To Halal Inquiry With 13 Signatures


Update: Since this story was published New Matilda has been contacted by Deborah Robinson, who said she had not been aware of the submission and that the Q Society was yet to make its formal submission to the Inquiry.

“I have no idea how it ended up on the parliamentary website because we certainly didn’t send it in,” she said.

She did not dispute that the petition itself was put together by the Q Society, and when asked further questions, including whether another member of the Society could have sent it in, she hung up.

The submission, which had been vetted by the parliamentary committee before publication, is no longer available on the parliamentary website. An Administrative Officer working for the committee said they could not currently reveal the name of the person who submitted the document, which may yet be returned to the website. We wait with bated breath.

One of the country’s most prominent anti-Islamic groups has presented a 13 signature strong petition to the Australian Parliament calling for any costs of halal certification to be borne by ‘Islamic community organisations’.

The Q Society – which has long campaigned against Islamic practices including halal certification, and protests against “nihilistic multiculturalism” on its website – presented the petition as a submission to the ongoing Senate Inquiry into food certification.

“This petition draws the attention of the House to a business model developed by Islamic organisation [sic]to impose ‘Halal Certification Schemes’ on all Australians,” the petition says.

“Halal slaughter can be seen by non-Muslims as [an]objectionable religious rite and idol worship. We do not wish to be subjected to unwanted religious practices.”

According the latest data from the Bureau of Statistics, 23,823,490 Australians had not signed the petition at the time of writing.

The primary petitioner Deborah Robinson, who has previously appeared in the media as the Q Society’s Deputy President, is the only signatory listed, with the other names redacted for privacy reasons.

Despite its underwhelming submission, the Q Society has been at the fore of anti-Islamic campaigns in recent years, helping bring Dutch politician Geert Wilders to Australia, and teaming up with people like Kirralie Smith to campaign against Islamic cultural practices.

The Senate’s Inquiry into food certification, initiated by South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, has so far published almost 370 submissions.

While the inquiry is supposed to look at a range of food certification processing, including kosher, organic, and genetically modified, the overwhelming majority of submissions have taken aim at halal.

Judging by the content of those published so far, food industry groups and halal organisations who welcomed the inquiry as a chance to have a reasonable conversation and dispel myths about the process are set to be disappointed.

The overwhelming majority of submissions have been made by individuals angry about halal.

While their determination to inhibit halal certification and ‘creeping sharia’ are undeniable, their actual understanding of what those words mean, as well as their grasp of English language conventions and basic word processing practices, have been less convincing.

The RSPCA has not raised objections to halal abattoirs in Australian, except where exemptions to standard practices of halal and kosher slaughter have been allowed, while groups like Cadbury Australia have said the cost of their halal certification does not flow through to consumers.

In a major investigation into organised crime, terrorism, and money laundering, the Australian Crime Commission found no links between the “legitimate halal certification industry” and criminal activity.

Max Chalmers is a former New Matilda journalist and editorial staff member. His main areas of interest are asylum seekers, higher education and politics.