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Turn up the flame and stir

Posted by Devra First  October 18, 2010 06:14 PM

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According to this story in the Washington Post, some US activists have started a boycott of Campbell's. Why? Because the company sells halal-certified soup in Canada.

The boycotters, led by Pamela Geller of the blog Atlas Shrugs, say their objection is not to halal food. It's to who is doing the certifying: the Islamic Society of North America, "an organization that government prosecutors alleged had ties to the terrorist group Hamas in a 2007 conspiracy case," according to the story. ISNA denies any such ties. The boycott group also alleges ISNA has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

At any rate, objecting to the who rather than the what may be too subtle a distinction for Facebook. A page there calls on people to "BOYCOTT Campbell Soup for their certification of their products as halal- and supporting The Muslim Brotherhood." Some "friends" of the page have posted anti-Muslim comments and content. It seems at least some of the Facebook page's 3,600+ fans actually do object to halal food.

Would the boycotters be satisfied if Campbell's were to switch to another organization that does halal certification, one that they deem acceptable? Is there one that they deem acceptable?

I somewhat doubt the main intent of the boycott is to affect the company's actions or sales. Making a can of Campbell's soup is easy: add water, turn up the flame, and stir. Apparently it's no more difficult to bring people to a simmer.

Hate the sinner, not the soup.

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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