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Popular Soup Boycotted Due to Halal Line of Products

Bloggers call to boycott Campbell Soup after it introduces halal line of soups in Canada, certified by an organization with possible Hamas ties.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/20/2010, 5:34 AM / Last Update: 10/20/2010, 10:34 AM

The latest outrage in North America is related to none other than one of the most famous canned soups.

Internet blogs have been calling for a boycott of Campbell Soup products after its Canadian subsidiary introduced a line of soups certified as halal, meaning they're prepared according to Islamic dietary laws.

The halal soups were introduced by Campbell Co. of Canada in a few Canadian markets in January. They are designated with a special label, are available only in Canada, and the company has no plans to offer a similar line in the United States, according to company spokesman John Faulkner.

Earlier this month, blogger Pamela Geller, who runs the popular Atlas Shrugs blog, began calling for a boycott after getting wind of the halal soups. She was soon joined by other bloggers calling for a boycott of one of the most famous canned soups in America.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Geller explained that she has no objection to the halal certification, but rather objects Campbell's decision to have its Canadian products certified by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization which has been accused in 2007 and 2008 of being linked with the Hamas terrorist organization. Prosecutors wrote that ISNA possessed “a wide array of testimonial and documentary evidence expressly linking” it with Hamas and other radical groups.

“No one is suggesting they not have halal food,” said Geller. “I'm not against halal food any more than I'm against kosher food. My issue is who's doing the certifying.”

ISNA was also included on a list of conspirators in a Dallas court case against the Holy Land Foundation for allegedly channeling charity funds to Hamas. In 2008, the jury decided that five officials of the Holy Land Foundation were guilty of financing Hamas. ISNA denied any connections to the Foundation. There have also been allegations that ISNA has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist political movement founded in Egypt in the 1920s which is strongly linked to Hamas, but is not on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations

Meanwhile, the Campbell Soup boycott has spread its wings and has even appeared on Facebook. A Facebook page opened for the purpose of promoting the boycott urges consumers to “Boycott Campbell Soup for their certification of their products as halal and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The page has attracted nearly 3,500 supporters in only two weeks, many of whom have posted anti-Muslim comments ranging from aggressive to merely hostile. Despite this, Faulkner said Campbell hasn't noticed any effect on its sales.

Campbell's soups are not kosher,.The only soup that was certified kosher,  the vegetarian vegetable soup, lost its Orthodox Union kosher stamp in 2006 and was then certified kosher by the less known half-moon K,  Kosher Overseers of America.

Recently, three Canadian residents were arrested as part of an alleged hometown plot. One of the detainees is Khuram Sher, who appeared on “Canadian Idol”, Canada’s version of the popular television program “American Idol”, in 2008. The suspects are charged in connection with a plot to make and detonate improvised explosive devices as well as financing terror groups operating in Afghanistan.