KUALA LUMPUR—The Cadbury brand faces a backlash in Malaysia after it emerged that batches of chocolate contained traces of pork, a substance forbidden by Islam.
Mumbrella Asia reports that a number of Muslim groups have called for a boycott of all Cadbury products and said that a holy war, or Jihad, needs to be waged against the company. The groups also say that all of Cadbury’s factories in Malaysia should be shut down.
The groups say the Mondelez-owned chocolatier was attempting to “weaken” Malaysian Muslims with forbidden substances.
A spokesman for Muslim group Perkasa Selangor told reporters today: “They have betrayed us Muslims by putting ‘haram’ elements through the foods we consume in our body, to weaken us Muslims. That is why Muslims are weak, divided.”
Ustaz Masridzi Sat, president of Perkid, said that most social problems involving Muslims in Malaysia come from the consumption of non-Halal food.
“Because the person eats pork it is difficult to guide him to the right path. When the day of judgment comes, that person will be wearing a pig-face because of what he has eaten. We need to unite, we must declare jihad,” the Malay Mail is reporting.
Although Cadbury’s has withdrawn the products, it is coming under fire on its Facebook page, and has since moved to clarify the situation. A Cadbury spokesperson wrote:
"We at Cadbury Malaysia understand that customers are disappointed to hear of the news on the recent test by the Ministry of Health on two of our products. We hear you and we value your comments and feedback over this issue.
We understand how important Halal is to the Muslim community. It is also of the highest importance to us here at Cadbury. Ensuring that all our products made here in Malaysia are Halal is something we take very seriously. Since our first learning of this, we have been actively engaging with the concerned authorities to investigate the issue with the highest urgency.
Meanwhile, we are withdrawing all impacted Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut (with batch number 200813M01H I2 that expires on Nov 13, 2014) and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond (with batch number 221013N01R I1 that expires on Jan 15, 2015) immediately.
We would also like to reassure you that all other products made in Malaysia are not impacted by this test. We greatly appreciate your patience as we work through this matter."
Cadbury’s positioning in Malaysia is currently around making the country happier through its ‘Share the happiness’ campaign.