Halal Racketeering in Norway

It seems that the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN), like so many other Islamic organizations around the world, is running a halal-certification racket, and using Mafia-style methods to persuade businesses to participate. The IRN, in effect, makes them an offer they can’t refuse.

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated an article from Rights.no about the coercive tactics used by the IRN:

Does the Islamic Council of Norway operate like a Mafia organization?

Businesses and restaurants reveal that they feel pressured to buy a halal certificate from the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN) at an annual cost of NoK 6,700 [$816, €715, £566]. If a business fails to purchase such a certificate, IRN will send people over to the business to make a scene and create an uncomfortable atmosphere, they say. Not only that: If these businesses go along and purchase a certificate from the IRN they can only buy meat from five specific retailers. IRN will check to make sure that this mandate is being honoured, and if they find discrepancies, the business in question will have to forfeit 10% of its total earnings from the last six months. These are methods that one associates with the Mafia.

The claim is as follows: IRN will send “customers” to various businesses and restaurants that don’t have an IRN halal certificate. These “customers” will point out loudly that such a certificate is missing, and raise serious doubts as to whether the meat being sold at the business or restaurant is in fact halal. IRN is also accused of sending customers to “their own” businesses and restaurants, i.e. those who have already purchased an IRN certificate.

These are the methods used to pressure businesses to purchase IRN certificates, according to an NRK article.

Mohammed Namik runs the halal butcher shop Grønlandstorg Kjøtt in the Grønland neighborhood of Oslo. He sells only halal meat, but without an IRN certificate from the Islamic Council of Norway, also known as IRN.

Namik refused to pay the organization an annual fee of NoK 6,700, which would force him to buy meat from only IRN-approved suppliers.

“They (the Islamic Council of Norway) drove several of my customers away.”

When Namik rejected the deal, he found that several customers questioned whether he actually sold halal meat. According to Namik these customers were sent from IRN, and he perceived it as a deliberate pressure tactic to buy a halal certificate.

“We had customers who claimed that we did not sell halal meat because we lacked an IRN halal certificate. The fact that IRN hasn’t authorized us does not mean that we don’t sell halal certified products. We buy all our meat from Nortura, which is IRN-certified,” says Namik.

Reminiscent of Halal-Mafia Methods

NRK contacted six businesses for comments, and of those four wanted to remain anonymous. The culture of fear prevails?

One of the businesses has received dozens of questions on Facebook about whether their meat in fact is halal.

Others have been beset by customers who claimed loudly that their products are not halal because they are not IRN-certified.

The restaurant Meze Grill at Grünerløkka in Oslo says that several customers reacted to the fact that the restaurant didn’t have an IRN certificate. When the owner decided to check what such a certificate entailed, it almost knocked him over.

The restaurant’s owner, Redouane Mrabet, finally felt obliged to purchase a certificate, but it turned out that the contract was a lot stricter than he had at first anticipated.

“You are obliged to purchase all your meat from five meat suppliers. What happens if you buy from another supplier?”

“IRN will take 10% of my overall revenues from the last six months.”

“What do you think about it?”

“It’s pretty bad,” says Mrabet.

The Secretary General of IRN confirms that the latter is correct and that it is stipulated in the contract.

Yes, one’s thoughts invariably go to the Italian island of Sicily. IRN makes about NoK 1 million [$121,800, €106,800, £84,440] annually on their halal business, and at the end of 2014 they had built up a nice surplus of NoK 1.4 million [$170,520, €149,520, £118,216].

Note: The photo accompanying the article is of Mehtab Afsar, the general secretary of the Islamic Council of Norway (Islamsk Råd Norge, IRN)

13 thoughts on “Halal Racketeering in Norway

  1. This is likely happening in far more places than you think .
    The first reaction i can think of : ask if a business or a restaurant is
    halal-certified and if this is the case , leave . Ask in the supermarket
    which products are halal-certified and don’t buy them . Find grocery
    stores that have not caved in to cavemen . Create/find online platforms
    where information about halal-certification-rackets are made available and
    individuals or organizations are exposed .They must already exist, though .
    Buy locally from the small farmer whose sales-stall you pass by every day .
    Buy from local sources whenever you can ; chances are you might even avoid
    gmo (at least in europe…but watch out for ttip). In many ways this halal-
    certification-racket reminds me of the eu-certification of practically anything ,
    and there have been reports of unpleasant procedures here also in case of non-compliance….

  2. How can an organisation formed to charge a fee based on the requirements of a so called religious body enforce a collection of 10% upon the takings of a private business? It couldn’t be enforced in my country, the courts wouldn’t have a bar of it. Surely the best way to deal with this is to use fresh wild fish and beautiful lean pork as one’s source of protein.

    • And have some of your own “customers” who could show up on short notice to have friendly conversations with the other “customers.”

  3. There is only one final solution for this and that would be to completely “eliminate” in a 24 hour offensive the entire IRN organization with traditional Mafia-style methods (easily said of course). These criminals only understand and respect one thing.

  4. Surely it can be demonstrated that the Islamics taught the Mafia how to do it. I would suggest that criminals who lived during the Islamic occupation of Sicily saw how rich the pickings from the jizya shakedown were, and decided to have a go themselves when the Islamics were driven from the island.

  5. The Mafia originated in Sicily, some suggest under muslim rule during 9th-11th centuries. Even today, Northern Italians can sometimes jokingly refer to Sicilians as the “Arabs of Europe”.

    * Mafia (or Maffia) is suggestive from the original Sicilian for “swaggering braggadocio”, and likely came from the Arabic word “Mahias” or is a corruption of the Arabic word ‘mu afah’, in which ‘mu’ is interpretted as ‘inviolability, strength, vigour,’ and ‘afah’ something akin “to secure, to protect.’

    * “Protection” rackets are run along the same lines as the shariah practice of ‘jizyah’.

    * there’s the code of “honor” and “vendetta” — as in History Channel’s “Omerta: Code of La Cosa Nostra” .

    * The code of Omerta is very much like the prohibition against speaking ill of Islam or speaking out against Islamic atrocities by other Muslims.

    * the only way out of the Mafia is death (or the Witness Protection Program).

  6. Everybody has been aware of this scam for some considerable time. Why do national governments not act? Are they too afraid of confronting islam or are they in receipt of large amounts of petro dollars.

    • Yes, Peter, a very interesting question and one that deserves further scrutiny. Racketeering is against the law in Scandinavian countries and the EU. Why isn’t there government intervention? Most likely crooked politicians, money and favours exchanging hands, death threats against the proprietors and their families, and fear of Muslim reprisal. Carax’s “final solution” is the best answer — a vicious crackdown that would leave the Muslim horde in a shambles.

    • Thanks for the information…I need to start getting beef from a local guy. One farmer was all set to cut up the steer he’d killed. Since it is/was a very large animal, he was moving it with his backhoe. The carcass fell out and the intestinal material spilled out all over the rest of the meat.

      They buried the steer.

      Once the farmer had recovered from the loss and could talk again, he was able to recognize his mistake as part of his learning curve. I didn’t ask if he’d looked at a bunch of You Tube videos before he did this. After all, it wasn’t his first butchering; it was his first time using a backhoe to move it.

      We are fortunate to live close to the sources of meat. Keeps it real. When I make broth out of chicken feet rather than opening a can, it reminds me of that.

      • About three years out of four, DH and I purchase a butchered lamb from an independent raiser approx. 1 hour northeast of our house. She focuses on the fiber of her sheep, but has learned over the past 10 or so years that having some available lambs is also helpful to her bottom line.

        I’ve asked her whether she knows the methods “her” butcher uses. She told me he’s a Lebanese Christian. But the butcher facility (not a shop) is so loud when I go to pick up the lamb that the man can hardly hear me, nor I him.

        I saw a contraption in the facility that *looked* like a stunner; I’ll have to push her again this year to find out what method the butcher uses for the kill.

  7. This is a complicated matter. Most New Zealand lamb is halal, but generally not labelled in the UK, yet NZ does enforce welfare standards, as, I believe, is the case with most, if not all kosher slaughter.

    If I go into a Jewish deli (there’s a great one in Charing Cross Road), I know what I’m getting; if it’s a Subway (mmm, yum yum!) I may not.

  8. The german Islam newspaper ISLAMISCHE ZEITUNG has written oince that the Certificates are against the Koran and they are right.

    1st:Koran say all is allowed if its not forbidden like Pigs etc.
    2nd.Koran says dont forbidd what Allah has allowed.But many of this Certifications Guys want that you only buy from them.

    So this sh..is against Islam.

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