The Daily Telegraph
AUSTRALIAN food manufacturers are paying millions of dollars for halal certification — only to see some of the money sent overseas to help pay for a $5 million mosque development in Indonesia.
The mosque is being built by the head of Indonesia’s halal certification authority, which controls access to the giant Indonesian market.
The disclosures, made last night on ABC’s Four Corners program, follow an exclusive investigation by The Daily Telegraph that revealed Australian businesses were paying millions of dollars for halal certification to gain access to lucrative overseas markets.
The Islamic Co-ordinating Council of Victoria’s deputy chairman Ekrem Ozyurek confirmed to the program that some of the profits from the certification of red meat in Australia were going towards a $5 million mosque development in West Java.
“It’s going for the purpose of [an] orphanage or something they are building and they need that money to build that orphanage or a mosque, that kind of thing ... there’s a possibility that some money might be given to them, yes,” he said.
The project is being built by Amidhan Shaberah, who heads the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), gatekeeper to the Indonesian market. Former Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said local certifiers had offered thousands of dollars to the MUI in return for favourable treatment.
A senate food certification is has received almost 1500 submissions.