Back to Africa


“Back to Africa” (1816- ) is the idea that blacks in America should go back to Africa. Its most famous champion was Marcus Garvey in the 1920s, but in America the idea goes back at least to the founding of the American Colonization Society (ACS) in 1816.

The ACS lasted till 1964. It founded Liberia, sending 13,000 blacks there from the 1820s onwards. Among ACS supporters:

  • White slave owners, who saw free blacks as a threat to slavery, both as possible troublemakers and as living examples that gave lie to the idea that blacks were fit only to be slaves.
  • Ordinary whites, who feared free black labour, who thought America was for whites.
  • Martin Delany and other blacks, who saw America as too racist for blacks ever to have much of a future there.

White abolitionists and most blacks were against the ACS: they saw blacks as…

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Max Wallace & Robert Nola: Asset rich churches should pay fair tax

Many were dismayed when the Auckland City Council voted, 10 to 6, to give the Anglican Cathedral in Parnell a donation of $3 million for further development. Does the Anglican Church also need public money to rebuild the Christchurch Cathedral?

Charities expert Dr Michael Gousmett has alleged that Church Properties Trustees, the owner of the cathedral, has assets of $180 million with a further $40 million to come from insurance and other income.

So, just how wealthy are New Zealand churches? Members of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists have investigated the information available on the databases of the Charities Commission Register available on-line.

Our best attempt to analyse the commission’s complex data finds that something in the region of 4000 registered religious charities hold $7.3 billion in equity with $1.4 billion in liabilities.

When we include entities that have religion as a secondary purpose, we estimate the figures climb to over 6500 registered religious charities with $11 billion in assets and $2.1 billion in liabilities. As might be expected, we found the Catholic and Anglican churches are the wealthiest in New Zealand with total assets running into billions.


By any measure, churches are seriously rich.

As well as being wealthy, they pay few taxes. According to the Charities Act 5(i), charitable purposes include the advancement of religion. This charitable activity obtains its funds from tax-exempt passive investments, pre-tax income of individual donors, and some active commercial interests, such as the Seventh Day Adventists’ company Sanitarium.

As the data indicates, churches have become corporate onshore tax havens which are subsidised by taxpayers so that the religious can pursue their penchant for the supernatural.

The question that arises is whether, in 2013, the tax-exempt status of religion, as distinct from their welfare activities, can be justified. Of course we do not deny that truly charitable works should be tax-exempt but we question the legitimacy of the advancement of religion as a form of charity in itself.

It raises an ethical dilemma for churches with which they need to wrestle: (1) Material wealth is transient and spiritual wealth is the main purpose of a religious life; (2) Their God (in part through the workings of the state) provides the wealth of the world for them to enjoy.

Most churches frequently mention their heartfelt commitment to relieving poverty. But clearly churches have significant assets which increase in value over time. Much of this could well be put to the serious relief of poverty, which, we might have thought, would be the giving away of material wealth in order to better realise their true spirituality.

New Zealand is becoming an increasingly secularised country. At the last Census a declining half of the population said they were Christian but a rising third said they had no religion.

The idea of religion as charity is an old one having its origins in The Statute of Charitable Uses of 1601 introduced in the reign of Elizabeth I.

Recently, courts have looked at this question. In a 1985 case, Centrepoint Community Trust v Commissioner of Inland Revenue, the court questioned the social utility of the charitable status of religion on the grounds that religion was personal and asked why should some members of the community bear a heavier burden of taxation merely because the beliefs of others entitle their organisations to exemptions from taxation?

In a 2005 case, Hester v Commissioner of Inland Revenue, the court raised similar concerns.

In our view, the courts’ concerns are well made; it is time that this ancient exemption for churches from taxation was reformed by removing the advancement of religion from the Charities Act. Other forms of personal belief supported by common law rather than statute should also be reviewed.

Max Wallace and Robert Nola are members of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists.

Ramadan 2013

“Beware! Halal food funds terrorists.” Stickers with this slogan were sold in July by a candidate of the Australian political party One Nation, and condemned by the country’s Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes as “offensive, grotesque and designed to inflame hatred.” He added: “People are encouraged to put the stickers on food products in supermarkets, which isn’t just racial discrimination, it’s also vandalism.”

What the sticker says, though, is apparently taking place in the USA and Canada where Campbell’s Soup and other companies have paid the Hamas-linked Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for their halal certification, in France, where it is claimed that 60% of halal food is controlled by organizations belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and the so-called “halal tax” is the organization’s main source of funding. In the UK, major supermarket chain Morrisons is not only indirectly but even directly giving money to the Islamic National Zakat Foundation. I’ll explain what that is about in a minute.

“Ritual slaughter” is the slaughter of animals for food following religious prescriptions. The Muslim method to produce halal (“lawful” or “permissible”) meat consists of cutting fully conscious animals’ throat while the name of Allah is uttered and letting them bleed to death. The Jewish method of producing kosher meat shares with the Muslim one the fact that the animal is not stunned before being killed.

Laws of Western countries generally require that animals are stunned to render them unconscious before slaughter, but allow exceptions for both Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter.

Government advisory bodies, like the Farm Animal Welfare Council and the British Veterinary Association in the UK, have produced reports and made declarations saying that ritual slaughter causes ”intolerable cruelty” and have repeatedly demanded that it be banned.

The Muslim Council of Britain claims that most halal meat comes from stunned animals, but in reality a very low voltage is used in their electrocution, resulting in inadequate stunning.

This makes it objectionable to most non-Muslims on animal welfare grounds. Christians and others – Sikhs in Britain currently have an anti-halal petition – also consider the utterance of Allah’s name at the moment of slaughter as idolatry.

And a major concern is that halal meat is just no longer for Muslim consumption, but is sold to “infidels” in ever greater quantity the world over.

To get an idea of the extent of this phenomenon, one of the most influential halal certification bodies, the Halal Food Authority, now estimates that a staggering 25% of the entire UK meat market is halal. But Muslims are about 5% of the UK population, therefore there is as much as 5 times more halal meat than Muslims.

In Britain halal meat is routinely served and sold to non-Muslims who don’t even know that they’re eating it, let alone want to do so. Schools, hospitals, hundreds of restaurants and pubs, sporting venues like Wembley football stadium and Ascot race course, all the main supermarkets chains – none excluded – fast-food and pizza chains have been drawn into what commercially must look like a win-win situation for them: Muslims complain and demand halal, non-Muslims don’t complain, adapt and tolerate. Especially if they’re not informed and food is not properly labelled.

In dhimmi Britain, when pork or other non-halal food is accidentally discovered in school menus, as recently happened,  it causes a fervor, hits headlines, the food is immediately removed and the responsible sacked, but it’s nearly impossible to have halal meat – which non-Muslims don’t want – removed from schools or at least not served to unbelievers. In an increasing number of schools halal is the only meat served. Is the only way to ban halal food in schools to “contaminate” it with pork, as someone suggested?

What’s happening with halal is that we are experiencing for the first time in the West Islamization on a large scale. Great numbers of people are forced to live according to Sharia law whether they like it or not, which is the essence of Islam and its supremacist nature.

Christian Concern reported the words of the Operation Nehemiah Halal Campaign, run by the Barnabas Fund:

There is an open campaign by Islamic food agencies to integrate halal into the mainstream market and to extend it to non-Muslims. The World Halal Forum held its annual conference in London earlier this month (November), and has identified the UK as a pilot project for halal in Europe…

The spread of halal is often part of the commitment to Islamic mission (dawa) and the Islamisation of non-Muslim societies. The imposition of sharia practices on non-Muslims may be interpreted as an act of Islamic supremacy.”

That it is a question of supremacy and economic profit and not religious compliance is shown by the fact that Islam specifically exempts its faithful from the obligation to eat halal food if none is available:

He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful. Quran (002:173)

Every time you drive around London you are subjected to the sight of myriad halal signs, a constant reminder of the transformation of Britain into an Islamic country. You can even measure this process of Islamization by the number of halal signs that you see multiply in the same streets and areas.

If women in the hijab and burka are the visible representation of Muslim presence in the West, halal signs are the visible symbol of Muslim supremacism taking hold of it – at least women who veil themselves don’t impose their dress code on others.

We are witnessing a Muslim takeover of an increasing share of the food industry and other industries, with consequences on the job market of Britain, a nation with a high level of unemployment, especially among the young. Halal products include not just meat, but also a long list of goods containing slaughterhouse by-products like gelatin and collagen, which are ingredients in many various foodstuffs – from Easter eggs to cat food – cosmetics, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, and other products.

It is a multi-billion dollars industry, and growing.

All halal products require certification by a Muslim agency, which the agency is paid for.

The principle of “zakat” in Islamic law makes it obligatory for all Muslims to give 2.5% of their income to charity – only in aid of their coreligionists, of course. Zakat has to be distributed among 8 categories of recipients, one of which is the jihadists fighting in Allah’s cause. From Mission Islam:

Zakat can be given in the path of Allah. By this is meant to finance a Jihad effort in the path of Allah, not for Jihad for other reasons. The fighter (mujahid) will be given as salary what will be enough for him. If he needs to buy arms or some other supplies related to the war effort, Zakat money should be used provided the effort is to raise the banner of Islam.

According to Islamic law, it would not be permissible, or “halal,” for Islamic organizations providing halal certification not to pay zakat, which under Islamic law is obligatory for all Muslims, on the fees they charge.

Therefore, whenever you buy one of the many halal-certified products increasingly found in our Western countries, even without your knowledge and against your will, you are indirectly contributing to Islamic terrorists, killers of Christians in the Middle East, al-Qaeda-linked groups and so on. Buy halal and you fund jihad against Israel.

Many Islamic “charities” have known links to terrorism and Islamic extremism. In early July the Gatestone Institute published a report documenting the many links discovered between the Islamic Relief Worldwide charity, with headquarters in the UK, and terror groups with an anti-Western agenda. Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) consists of a “family of fifteen aid agencies” which “aim to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people.” What looks like an innocuous — indeed philanthropic — charity is, according to this report, “an extremist organization with a pro-terror agenda… [which] has worked with a significant number of organizations linked to terrorism.” Western governments, the United Nations and the European Union should be more careful about whom they donate their money to, since they all gave tens of millions of dollars to IRW, whose most important branches include Islamic Relief UK and Islamic Relief USA. The report says:
IRW’s accounts show that it has partnered with a number of organizations linked to terrorism and that some of charity’s trustees are personally affiliated with extreme Islamist groups that have connections to terror.
Those organizations and groups, over the years, have included Hamas and Hamas-related bodies like Al Wafa and Al Tzalah; terrorists in Chechnya; al-Qaeda; the Yemeni Al-Eslah organization, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood; terrorist and Muslim Brotherhood groups operating in various European countries; and many more.
What makes IRW, which is one of the world’s largest and most influential Islamic charities, more dangerous is that it has acquired legitimacy among Western politicians and public figures. Even heir to the British throne Prince Charles has expressed support and appeared at IRW events. But there has been very little scrutiny of IRW and its branches.

In sum, although halal is on its surface an animal cruelty concern, it is also a crucial area of conflict between the West and those who want to force Islam, literally, down our throats. It also empowers Muslims culturally, ideologically, politically and, last but not least, economically, in a terrifying way.