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Boycott Toblerone? Europe's Far Right is Bitter as Chocolate Declares Itself Halal-Certified

The Toblerone recipe itself has not changed and the certification is merely a formalization of the halal status of its chocolate, but this did not deter right wing leaders from calling it "proof" of the Islamization of Europe, by making beloved products into "Muslim food".

Shantanu David | News18.com

Updated:December 20, 2018, 5:17 PM IST
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Boycott Toblerone? Europe's Far Right is Bitter as Chocolate Declares Itself Halal-Certified
(Photo: Reuters)

As Christmas season approaches each year, people around the world see it as a time to celebrate love, togetherness, peace and harmony among all mankind. Ideally, it's seen as a time to put differences aside and instead come together in joy and solidarity.

Not if you're a member of Europe's far-right though, as a 'Boycott Toblerone' hashtag has been trending on social media timelines of the continent's right-wingers, who are dismayed to know that the iconic Swiss chocolate now comes with a Halal certification.

The furor began when far-right group leaders and social commentators cottoned on to the fact that the Swiss chocolate's Bern-factory became halal-certified in early 2018. While the Toblerone recipe itself has not been changed and the certification is merely a formalization of the halal status of its chocolate, this did not deter right wing leaders from calling it "proof" of the Islamization of Europe, by making beloved products into "Muslim food".

CNN reported that after conservative commentators found out that the Bern factory got its certification in April, the federal spokesman of Germany's nationalist AfD party took to social media to deride the company. Jörg Meuthen sarcastically wrote, "Islamization does not take place -- neither in Germany nor in Europe. It is therefore certainly pure coincidence that the depicted, known chocolate variety is now certified as 'HALAL.'"

This apparently prompted his followers to take to their own social media accounts to demand a boycott of the internationally beloved chocolate.

Incidentally, the term 'Halal' is an indication that a food or service is permissible according to Islamic law, meaning it does not contain pork or liquor and, in case of meat products, that animals are slaughtered by Muslim butchers in accordance to Islamic tenets.

Mondelēz, the company that owns and produces Toblerone, confirmed to CNN that the factory in Bern achieved a halal certification eight months ago, but also noted that the production process was not altered. "The certification did not result in any change to our beloved traditional Toblerone original recipe," Mondelēz said in a statement emailed to CNN. "Due to the inherent nature of Toblerone chocolate its production process essentially meets the halal criteria anyway."

This is something that was pointed out by several social media users, as well, many of whom ridiculed the boycott as nothing but Islamophobia.

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