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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘SWIFT’

Denmark Bans Meatballs to Accommodate Muslims

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

One of the largest hospitals in Denmark has admitted to serving only halal beef — meat that is slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic guidelines — to all of its patients regardless of whether or not they are Muslim.

The revelation that Danes are being forced to eat Islamically slaughtered meat at public institutions has triggered a spirited nationwide debate about how far Denmark should go to accommodate the estimated 250,000 Muslim immigrants now living in the country.

The halal food row erupted in July when the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet reported that Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen has been secretly serving only halal-slaughtered meat for the sake of its Muslim patients, for the past ten years. The hospital serves more than 40,000 patients annually, many (if not most) of whom presumably are non-Muslim.

Halal — which in Arabic means lawful or legal — is a term designating any object or action that is permissible according to Islamic Sharia law. In the context of food, halal meat is derived from animals slaughtered by hand according to methods stipulated in Islamic religious texts.

One such halal method, called dhabihah, consists of making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck that cuts the jugular vein, leaving the animal to bleed to death. Much of the controversy involving halal stems from the fact that Sharia law bans the practice of stunning the animals before they are slaughtered. Pre-slaughter stunning renders the animals unconscious and is said to lessen their pain.

Amid a surge of public outrage over the decision to serve only halal beef, Hvidovre Hospital’s vice president, Torben Mogensen, has been unapologetic. “We have many patients from different ethnic backgrounds, which we must take into account, and it is impossible to have both the one and the other kind of beef,” he says.

“First,” Mogensen adds, “I do not think that a slaughter method as such has anything to do with faith. Second is, of course, that all chickens in Denmark are halal slaughtered, and it has to my knowledge not caused anyone to stop eating chicken.”

Mogensen also says the hospital is not trying to “push the Islamic faith down the throats of non-Muslim patients”

In a press release, Hvidovre Hospital states, “We introduced halal meat both for practical and economic reasons. It would be both more difficult and more expensive to have to make both a halal version and a non-halal version of the dishes. Then we have two production lines. It requires more people, more equipment and more money.”

The hospital advises non-Muslims to take it or leave it: “We always have alternatives to halal meat such as pork, fish or vegetarian dishes. It is a question of attitude.”

According to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, there is no comprehensive inventory of the number of hospitals in Denmark have halal meat on the menu. But officials at the University Hospital in Aarhus, the second-largest urban area in Denmark after Copenhagen, say the decision by Hvidovre Hospital to serve only halal is an example of political correctness run amok.

In an interview with the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Ole Hoffmann, the head chef of Aarhus University Hospital says: “We have never had a patient ask for halal meat, and therefore it is an issue that we have never discussed. I think it is a strange decision. If there was a desire to serve halal meat, then we would of course consider it, but we would never completely eliminate non-halal meat.”

 

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

Thumbing its Nose at SWIFT Ban, Iran Relies on Alternative Methods to Continue its International Banking

Friday, March 16th, 2012

On Sunday, May 27, 2012, Iran announced that they have successfully bypassed the SWIFT ban, and have an alternative financial network setup.

On March 16, 2012, JewishPress.com described the system that Iran had set up in anticipation of the SWIFT ban in the article below.

 

Five years ago, the SWIFT clearing system ban on Iranian banks, which goes into effect Saturday, would have yielded satisfactory results. But nowadays Iran is relying on rogue financial systems created by South-American countries, and on its trade with India, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, to maintain the flow of money, goods and services for which it continues to pay with oil.

The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, a clearing system used by the world’s major banks, announced Thursday that as of Saturday it will obey the European Union’s ban on blacklisted Iranian financial firms, including some 40 Iranian banks.

The SWIFT ban is an inconvenience

But an article by Otto Reich and Ezequiel Vazquez Ger in the Miami Herald suggests the SWIFT ban will present nothing more than an inconvenience for Iran, because the latter has prepared for just this occasion, utilizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to set up reliable alternative connections for money transfers by Iranian financial institutions.

Essentially, Iran will continue to trade internationally, with the support of ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América – Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas) countries: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

The ALBA countries have created SUCRE (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional – Unique System of Regional Compensation), which is a virtual currency unit which makes it possible for ALBA members to bypass foreign banks’ supervision.

Ahmadinejad has been preparing for this scenario for years

This system has been used effectively by the belligerent Iran, practically since its inception. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been a frequent traveler to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador, making more than half a dozen trips to the region since his election in 2005.

Reich and Vazquez Ger cite confidential bank reports dating back to November 2008, which suggest that the Central Bank of Ecuador authorized the establishment of “a mechanism for deposits and payments to facilitate foreign trade” with Iran. The two authors say that the Central Bank of Ecuador approved in closed sessions a system that would allow the confirmation and payment of letters of credit for foreign trade transactions between it, the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) and the International Development Bank in Caracas, Venezuela (BID).

Both the EBDI and the BID are on the U.S. Treasury’s blacklist of companies doing business with Iran’s military, but the Central Bank of Ecuador chose to ignore this fact when jumping into bed with Iran and Venezuela. Immediately after signing the agreement, the Iranian bank opened up for BID a lavish credit line of $40 million for “importation of Iranian goods and services to Ecuador.”

Reich and Vazquez Ger point out that the fact that Ecuador uses the US dollar as its currency means that once Iranian money gets into the country it is automatically injected into the economy.

But some believe that in the end the ban may work

But a high-placed Israeli financial officer told the Jewish Press Friday that any country that chooses to cooperate with Iran would be blocked sooner or later, as the need for trade with the West inevitably arises. This means that the rate of flow of Iranian money out of Iran will remain limited, despite Iran’s publicized South American rogue connection. “Any country that wants to avoid a direct confrontation with the US would opt out of a cooperation deal with Iran, including even Venezuela. Should the US at some point threaten Venezuela, it, too, would drop Iran like a hot potato.”

India-Iran avoid the dollar for rupees

Another venue for uninterrupted Iranian trade has been cultivated over the past few years with the government of India. Earlier in March the semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Tehran and New Delhi have announced that they are planning to hit $25 billion in annual bilateral trade over the next four years, with payments for Iranian oil made in rupees.

J.E. Dyer, a retired US Naval Intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004, told the Jewish Press in an email:

“I have been watching this for a while. India and Iran have arranged to increase trade, including Iranian oil, outside of SWIFT. They are dealing in rupees, but the point for Iran is that she can buy things she needs with her rupees. Long-term value isn’t the issue right now. China and Russia dropped the US dollar as their trading currency a while back, and China in particular has been essentially importing Iranian oil on a barter basis, for goods. No need for SWIFT.

“The Latin American countries have been helping Iran evade US/EU sanctions for a while, and so has Turkey.

The SWIFT ban may backfire by causing economic realignments

“I predicted weeks ago that excluding Iran from SWIFT wouldn’t bring Iran to her knees. Instead, it will give a world in flux new reasons to coalesce differently for power and influence. I don’t think North America and the EU have the economic power now to make Iran holler Uncle! What we can do is force a realignment that has a strong probability of rebounding to our disadvantage.

Choked: The EU Is Cutting Iran off SWIFT Operations

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The AP reported that the European Union is working on regulations that would shut out Iran’s banks from the financial clearinghouse SWIFT, which is used by virtually every country in the world.

The move is part of an unprecedented escalation of economic pressure by the United States and the EU meant to halt Iran’s suspected drive for nuclear weapons.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, said last week it would comply with EU instructions to cut off the Iranian banks once it has clarity on what new rules will require.

The Brussels-based SWIFT, which handles cross-border payments for more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 210 countries, must comply with EU regulations because it is a European entity. The group is an essential way station for international transactions, electronically converting currencies and processing payments such as those for Iran’s crude oil exports.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/choked-the-eu-is-cutting-iran-off-swift-operations/2012/02/24/

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