Members of Europe’s far right have called for a mass boycott of Toblerone, after discovering that the popular triangular chocolate bar is halal-certified.
Halal is an Arabic word that denotes that a food or service is permissible according to Islamic law. It excludes foods containing pork or alcohol, and requires that animals are slaughtered by a Muslim by a cut to the throat, without being stunned.
Toblerone has not changed its recipe, but some online commentators have taken badly the news that its factory in Bern, Switzerland, achieved a halal certification in April — with the federal spokesman of Germany’s nationalist AfD party claiming it showed the “Islamization” of Europe.
“Islamization does not take place — neither in Germany nor in Europe,” the AfD’s Jörg Meuthen wrote sarcastically on social media. “It is therefore certainly pure coincidence that the depicted, known chocolate variety is now certified as ‘HALAL.'”
The post prompted some of his followers to react with similar outrage, with several people throughout Europe tweeting that they would not be purchasing the product in the future.
“I will never, EVER buy another toblerone!!! #BOYCOTTTOBLERONE,” one Twitter user wrote. “Too bad, I like to eat. But I don’t like Muslim food,” another said on Facebook, while a third announced: “Toblerone is now on my list!”
But others ridiculed the outrage, pointing out that most mass-produced foods are already halal-friendly and that Toblerone has always met the criteria anyway.
“Anyone who has the power and time to get upset about such nonsense must not be surprised by the (ridicule),” one said.