When everyone’s favourite Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie gets an idea in her head, it’s generally pretty hard to tell her anything otherwise. The outspoken, brash Senator voted most likely to resemble the “wacky” Aunt who gives you a deck of porn cards and a gift voucher to Off Ya Tree for Christmas addressed the Upper House late last night, delivering an address that, among other things, very vehemently asserted that “halal money” funds “terrorism.”
Her reasoning? A Parliamentary Library study commissioned by the Senator that she says returned some “surprising facts” that alarmed her. This study was prompted after she allegedly received hundreds of emails from concerned residents.
Among other reasons, the legal loophole that states that Halal certifiers aren’t required to disclose their fees, and the lack of an auditing process that properly identifies the usage of funds gained was enough for that particular equation to be closed with “= terrorism” as far as Senator Lambie was concerned. Lambie also threatened to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to attempt to legally prevent Halal from funding terrorist activities.
“Given that our enemies in Islamic State are receiving a steady cashflow to control their caliphate in Syria and Iraq, why isn’t there a legal requirement in Australia for halal certification fees to be disclosed? And given that our nation is on high terrorism alert, while hundreds of Australian Islamic State sympathisers are fighting our ADF forces in Iraq, why is there is no formal reporting or auditing mechanism in Australia to ascertain whether monies paid for halal certification are misused?“
“(This) could allow financing of terrorists and Australia’s enemies through halal money.”
Now, I’m not exactly a great authority on the subject, but I’d wager the reason that Halal Certification isn’t required to disclose if they fund terrorism likely boils down to two key points.
1) It doesn’t.
2) Much in the same way that not everyone who receives Centrelink benefits is a cannibal, everyone who Halal Certified food is produced for is not directly engaged in the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
Just in case you were actually wondering how the Islamic State gets all its funding, the ABC explained the whole scheme. And as it turns out, it’s far more interesting than xenophobic Senatorial babble.
But, hey. Let’s just steer into the skid instead. Lambie stated she was implored to act after receiving a bunch of emails on the subject, and if that’s all it takes for an issue to be raised in the Senate, we should all take full advantage of that – no matter how cockamamie the concern.
Senator Lambie’s Parliamentary contact form can be found here. Look, I’ve even gotten us started.
Photo: Stefan Postles via Getty Images.