Kirralie Smith is a permaculture farmer from northern New South Wales and a mother of three. She is also the public face of the virulent campaign to boycott halal food and products.
Halal means permissible for Muslims to eat or use, and Smith’s Facebook page “‘Boycott Halal in Australia” has 41,000 supporters. She speaks at events organised by “Islam-critical” groups such as the Q Society, which has also been involved in local campaigns to stop mosques being built. Her “Halal Choices” website, she says, gets 80,000 visitors a month.
She says her objection is not to Islam itself but the extra cost she thinks is imposed on Australian consumers by companies paying to have products – everything from milk to pies and shampoo – certified halal.
Halal products are certified as being free from anything that Muslims are not allowed to eat or use (such as pork and alcohol). The products must be made and stored using machines that are cleansed according to Islamic law.
Large processing plants will have Muslim staff members who are accredited in some instances to bless the factory. Halal slaughtering of animals in Australia is done after they are stunned.
Smith and her supporters claim halal certification is a scam by Muslim interests to raise money for mosques and therefore for “jihad.” They base this assertion on media reports in France, Canada and the United States claiming certification funds had been paid to organisations linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Yet neither Smith nor her unofficial patron, the Q Society, could elaborate on the Australian situation.