03:31 GMT +323 January 2020
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    Since the beginning of the migrant crisis in Europe, the number of refugees, the majority of whom are Muslims, has been steadily growing, leading to divisions within the European Union over issues such as national security, border control, asylum policy, the EU refugee quota system, etc.

    In April of this year, the American company Mondelez that owns Toblerone reportedly decided to certify the world famous Swiss chocolate as halal. It became public only in December after an article in the Swiss newspaper Blick was published, sparking heated public debate.

    "Islamisation 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'", Jörg Meuthen, a Federal spokesman for the party Alternative for Germany (AfD) says in a Facebook post.

    After the changes in the policy by the company that produces Toblerone were revealed, it was not only politicians who took note, but social media users as well. The latter started intense discussions on Twitter under the hashtag #BOYCOTTTOBLERONE.

    While the majority of Twitter users were outraged by the decision of Toblerone's parent company, Mondelez…

    …there were those, who saw nothing bad in the new certification rules.

    Valérie Moens, a Mondelez spokesperson later explained that the halal certification doesn't imply that the product itself will change as Toblerone satisfied the halal-criterion before the official certification, according to the Huffington Post.

    The company's spokesperson noted that the decision was motivated by Mondelez's "ambition… to make products everyone can enjoy".

    "That is why it's important to us to respond to the different preferences and food requirements of our broad range of consumers worldwide", the Huffington Post cites Valérie Moens as saying.

    The translation of word "halal" is Arabic for "permissible", and is used by Muslims to verify whether the product satisfies various Islamic requirements. The halal certification procedure in turn reportedly implies that the products produced have to be approved by imams.

    READ MORE: 'Not Halal Enough': Finland's Strict Slaughter Rules Roasted by Local Muslims

    Since the beginning of the European refugee crisis the number of individuals seeking asylum has significantly increased and was estimated at 25.8 million (4.9% of the overall population) of Europe as of mid-2016, according to the Pew Research Center.

    Related:

    Halal Banking: Int'l Watchdog to Unveil Islamic Finance Rules With IMF Approval
    Halal No More: China Reportedly Bans Arabic Labels on Halal Food
    Finnish Muslim Politician Claims Bullying Amid 'Halal' Debate
    Tags:
    halal, chocolate production, Twitter, Mondelez, Alternative for Germany (AfD), European Union, Europe
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