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Europe Far-Right Boycotts Chocolate for Halal Certification

Toblerone chocolate bars come in a variety of sizes, but recently changed the shape of two of its smaller bars sold in the UK

WASHINGTON, DC – Far-right groups in Europe are calling for a boycott of Toblerone chocolate after the product earned a halal certification.

“Food is something universal and that’s why the haters latch onto it,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for Muslim advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations told USA Today.

“It’s something that touches everyone and they see this as a productive vehicle for their bigotry.”

Hooper called anti-halal movements a recurring example of Islamophobia.

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The popular chocolate maker has gained a halal certification, which allows Muslims to consume the product.

The certification was issued last April, yet the hashtag #BoycottToblerone has gained popularity among extremists and far-right groups after a spokesman for the far-right Alternative for Germany party, known as AfD, brought it to the forefront last week.

“Islamization does not take place – neither in Germany nor in Europe,” AfD spokesman Jörg Meuthen posted on Facebook.

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

The concept of halal — meaning permissible in Arabic — has traditionally been applied to food.

Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat filthy and unhealthy to eat.

Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.

Now other goods and services can also be certified as halal, including cosmetics, clothing, pharmaceuticals and financial services.

Halal food is consumed not only by 1.5 billion Muslims around the world but also by at least 500 million non-Muslims in the $2 billion global industry.