Crowdfunding Terrorism Through Halal Certifications

Middle East (SCF) – Although it is well known that the Wahhabist governments, royal families, and top businesses of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain directly finance jihadist terrorists in Syria, Iraq, and countries around the world, many consumers are unaware that percentages of their purchases of Muslim «halal» (imam-certified) food products eventually end up in the hands of jihadist organizations. Halal refers to any food product that can be eaten by observant Muslims. Anything other than halal is «haram» and prohibited for Muslims. Haram includes pork, blood, or meat from approved animals but which have been strangled or slaughtered with blunt knives.

Food and drink producers pay Muslim halal certifiers fees to certify their products as halal. According to Australian One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson and others, certain Muslim halal certification agencies use profits from certification fees to fund terrorist attacks around the world. During an election campaign in Queensland in 2015, Hanson told reporters: «ASIO [Australian Security Intelligence Organization] has picked up that this money has been funded through an organization to fund Syria and the terrorism there». ASIO, all too quickly, denied the charge.

Even if a small percentage of imams who certify products as being halal are passing the profits on to terrorist organizations, it potentially represents a large amount of money. Malaysian studies have valued the worldwide halal food industry as between $600 billion to $2.1 trillion. Halal certifications are usually paid by food companies at set annual rates. Considering all the firms worldwide that pay such fees to imam halal certifiers, this amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars. Some halal certifiers have become quite wealthy from the halal certification scheme. Halal certifiers have also been quite secretive about who receives donations, with some admitting only that the funds go to Islamic madrassa schools and mosques. However, many of these madrassas and mosques are linked to the Wahhabis.

Some Muslims have opined that halal certification is nothing more than a money-making scam, with the most ridiculous aspect being halal certification for dog food. It is ironic that the same imams who declare dogs to be «unclean» animals also willingly charge pet food manufacturers to certify food for the «unclean» beasts to be halal. Other Muslims have conceded that the halal certification scheme has become as financially corrupt as segments of the Jewish kosher product certification system. South African Muslim authorities have pointed out, to the dismay of the halal certification industry, that the Koran forbids imams from charging money to certify food as halal. Yet, the practice continues with fees charged for halal «stamps» on food, in some cases, indirectly propping up various jihadist groups with large sums of ready cash.

Indonesia, which is experiencing rapid «Wahhabisation» in what has historically been a moderate majority Islamic nation, places ultimate authority for halal certification with the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI). In turn, MUI authorizes halal certifiers in 23 other nations. The Indonesian government, which is rapidly falling under the influence of radical Wahhabist clerics internally and from abroad, intends to require all food sold in Indonesia to be halal. This move will further increase halal certification profits for MUI and, hence, several radical imams in Indonesia and other countries.

The Wahhabist-promoting Muslim World League (MWL), funded by the Saudi government and headquartered in Mecca, certifies as halal all food products exported to Saudi Arabia. The MWL requires halal certification to be carried out by imams pre-certified in the countries-of-origin, which means that companies exporting to Saudi Arabia are paying into the coffers of imams approved by the Wahhabists.

A large amount of halal certification revenues come from fast-food chains that have been pressured into paying the fees to sell halal products. In 2010, the second-largest French fast food chain, Quick, began serving halal-only food in 22 of its restaurants in France. The decision resulted in an outrage across France. Members of the French political left and right criticized the move by claiming that halal-only Quick restaurants would quickly become safe hangouts for Muslim gangs, including jihadists. Few Fench realized that Quick also paid huge certification fees to sell halal food. In 2015, the American chain Burger King bought Quick and announced that it was not only continuing Quick’s halal policy but eliminating all pork and bacon products from its 509 restaurants across France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

McDonald’s Malaysia requires all McDonald’s in peninsular west Malaysia to allow only halal birthday cakes into its restaurants. The move was in concert with McDonald’s policy, as was the case with Quick and Burger King in France, of offering only halal menus to customers.

The government of majority non-Muslim Sarawak in east Malaysia saw this move by McDonald’s as a «halal camel» with its nose under the tent in Sarawak. The government of Chief Minister Adenan Satem criticized the move on the peninsula as an affront to «Sarawak’s multi-cultural and religious society.» A spokesman for the chief minister, Michael Tiang, told the Borneo Post, «If McDonald’s Malaysia were to implement the same policy at its fast food outlets in Sarawak, I believe that non-Muslim consumers might resort to boycotting the fast food chain.» In June 2016, McDonald’s Malaysia was accused of bowing to Muslim halal extremist pressure by discontinuing its «Quarter Pounder with Cheese» menu offering.

Halal Certification, Wikimedia Commons

Tiang, acutely aware that Wahhabists are trying to proselytize among the state’s non-Muslim population, particularly school-age youth, warned the Malaysian government, the Wahhabis, and McDonald’s that, «In order to preserve such harmony, the state government has been very merciless towards extremists, religious bigots, and racists by denying their entry to the state.» McDonald’s replied to the Sarawak government’s and public’s outrage by revealing the requirement for certified halal cakes in its outlets in peninsular Malaysia came from the Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) for halal certification, an entity linked to the Wahhabists. JAKIM has been at the center of programs aimed to spread Wahhabist Islam throughout the eastern Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah.

JAKIM is on record sympathizing with Malaysians who joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to fight in a jihad against what were perceived as enemies of Islam. JAKIM stated that Malaysian Muslim joined ISIL out of a sense of «courtesy» and «sympathy» after witnessing the suffering of other Muslims around the world.

The Western corporate media has been entirely sympathetic to the halal certifiers and their scam industry that lines the pockets of militant jihadists. Not only was Australia’s Hanson roundly condemned by the Australian government and media but one of her anti-halal colleagues, Kirralie Smith from New South Wales, was sued by Australia’s leading halal certifier for defamation. The halal industry, backed by the Saudis and Emiratis, is vicious against its critics. When South Australia’s Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company decided to no longer pay its $1000 halal fee, Emirates airlines dropped its $50,000 a year contract with the firm to supply yogurt for its flights from Australia. The company said the loss in business was not worth the public perception that its fees might be used to support terrorism.

With the established links between halal certifiers and Wahhabist jihadists around the world becoming widely known, the public is growing tired of placating Islamic scam artists who have not only discovered a way to get rich but also to line the pockets of jihadists in the process.


This report prepared by Wayne Madsen for Strategic Culture Foundation.