Toblerone becomes target of far-right boycott after halal certification

Swiss chocolate maker attacked by anti-Islam protesters after revealing its products are suitable for Muslims

Tom Barnes
Thursday 20 December 2018 14:41
The makers of Toblerone announced the chocolate bar has been halal certified since April
The makers of Toblerone announced the chocolate bar has been halal certified since April

Toblerone has become the unlikely target of a boycott by the far-right after its manufacturers announced the famous triangular-shaped chocolates had been declared halal.

Mondelez, the US-based confectionery giant which produces Toblerone, announced this week its factory in Bern, Switzerland, had been awarded the status, which certifies the bars are permissible for Muslims to consume under Islamic dietary laws.

The company said it had not altered the ingredients of the product in order to earn the designation and had been producing halal-friendly chocolate since April.

“The Toblerone's original recipe remained unchanged,” a spokesman for Mondelez told German-language Swiss newspaper Blick.

However, the certification appeared to alarm some, including Jörg Meuthen, the federal spokesman of Germany’s far-right AfD party, who described the move as part of a wider trend of “Islamisation” in Europe.

“Islamisation does not take place - neither in Germany nor in Europe,” he wrote on his official Facebook page, sharing an article about Toblerone’s new certification.

“It is therefore certainly pure coincidence that the depicted, known chocolate variety is now certified as HALAL.”

Although several commenters appeared to agree with Mr Meuthen, with many calling for consumers to boycott the product in protest, others mocked the outrage over the news and drew attention to similar scares over the halal certification of other food and drink.

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“After Coca Cola, McDonalds and Fanta now also Toblerone - I'm slowly becoming worried about the diet of patriotic Volkskörpers,” one said, referencing a racially-specific Nazi term for the German people.

“I don't see a problem with this. What do you want to do about this?” another wrote. “Halal means that it can also be eaten by Muslims. No one would be outraged if it said ‘gluten free’ on the packet.”

Halal designation is applied to food and drink that is permissible for Muslims to consume, while non-halal items are considered haram, or forbidden.

Restrictions largely apply to meat, with pork to be avoided altogether and other animals slaughtered using a specific method, but halal authorities certify all manner of food products to assure Muslims they meet their dietary requirements.

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