Toblerone has become the unwitting subject of far-right anger in Europe, after it was revealed that it’s halal-certified.
The popular pyramid-shaped chocolate bar’s ingredients have not changed and have always been halal — meaning it is permissible for Muslims to eat.
But its recent official halal certification caught the eye of Jorg Meuthen, a far-right personality in Germany.
Meuthen, who is the spokesperson for the country’s federal nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, wrote about it in a Facebook post earlier this week, suggesting the certification signals the “Islamization” of Europe.
“Islamization does not take place — neither in Germany nor in Europe,” he wrote. “It is therefore certainly pure coincidence that the depicted, known chocolate variety is now certified as ‘HALAL,’” he wrote with sarcasm.
That post and other similar ones were shared across social media, with many calling for a boycott of the Switzerland-made chocolate.
Some Twitter users posted using the hashtag #BoycottToblerone.
Others poked fun at the boycott, noting that many foods and drinks — including water — are halal.
Mondelēz, the company that produces many well-known chocolates such as Toblerone, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Christie products, explained that the halal certification was officially achieved eight months ago.
In a statement to Global News, the company noted that here is only one Toblerone factory in the world, in Switzerland, and it is halal-certified.
“Toblerone has been an international brand for decades, sold in over 120 countries and at almost every airport around the globe,” it read.
“Our ambition is to make products everyone can enjoy. That is why it is important to us to respond to the different preferences and food requirements of our broad range of consumers worldwide.”
What exactly does halal certified entail?
Food products, from meat to snacks like chocolate, are certified halal after going through third-party inspections. The inspections ensure that the products are prepared by rules set out by Islamic practices and law.
There are several organizations that do this in North America, including ones like Ontario-based Halal Monitoring Authority and the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of Canada.
Certified halal products can be labelled as such in stores, similar to other certifications, such as for kosher or gluten-free products.
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