Halal Certification and Islamophobia
A Critical Analysis of Submissions Regarding the Review of Third Party Certification of Food in Australia Inquiry
In recent years, there has been growing concern regarding halal certification, which has resulted in targeted campaigns against halal food and products. On 13 May 2015, the Australian Senate commissioned a six month parliamentary inquiry into food certification processes in Australia, but given focus on the halal certification process. A central component of the investigation involved seeking public submissions, with 1,492 received in total. The Senate released a report of its findings on 1 December 2015. All public submissions and the Senate report are analysed in this paper. This article first argues there is an emerging link between targeted campaigns against halal certified products and related processes, and broader Islamophobic campaigns against Muslims living in Australia; demonstrating how Islamophobic discourse takes shape. Second, while the context may differ, the Islamophobic narrative remains effectively the same even as it pertains to halal certified foods. Finally, the article will demonstrate that a small segment of the Australian public used the commissioned Inquiry into the Third Party Certification of Food as an opportunity to whip up antiMuslim sentiment within the wider Australian community.
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