Monday, October 18, 2010

Finding evil in every bowl!

If American conservative bloggers and commentators have their way, Americans will soon put down the soup spoon and say No Thanks to a Canadian made tomato soup, providing they can find a bowl.

In a move that seems to highlight the growing sense of the "us against them" debate that seems to  take over American sensibilities at times, the latest flash point of potential danger it seems is as close as a kitchen cupboard.

In this case, the movement to boycott Campbell's halal based soup has used the Conservative blog Atlas Shrugs to launch the action against 15 soups made by a Canadian subsidiary of the New Jersey based soup company.

Certified as halal food, the soups qualify as being prepared according to Islamic dietary laws. A certification that many followers of Islam use for their grocery shopping requirements.

The problem for Pamela Geller who is the creator of the Atlas Shrugs blog site isn't so much the dietary requirements of halal food, but rather, the folks that do the certification, which is the Islamic Society of North America.

Campbell's selected ISNA after consultations with professionals and scholars on Islamic foods and nutrition.

For the conservative blogger however, there's more than just vegetable stock in those recipes from the  Islamic Society. According to Geller, INSA has ties to terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

That's a connection which the organization denies it has, having previously condemned religious extremism and violence. And as for the Muslim Brotherhood,  the US State Department doesn't feature them in its most recent listens of foreign terrorist organizations, which would suggest that the conservative commentators need to update their terror lists.

However, in the spirit of don't let the facts get in the way of a good boycott, both of those announcements seemingly haven't had much impact on the conservative groups.

In fact, since the plans for  a boycott were formulated a number of other conservative bloggers and commentators have banded together to move the boycott plans forward, including the introduction of a Facebook page called Boycott Campbell Soup, which as of Sunday counted some 3500 members who vow to put down their spoons.

Beyond the idea that boycotting a food product seems rather silly, not to mention nutrition denying, the fact is the move seems to be counter productive to the perceived awareness goals of the Conservative commentators.

The fact is, (though apparently lost on the boycott group) the soup isn't even available in the USA, and at this time Campbell's has no plans to introduce their line of halal soups are in the States.

Which would suggest that it's going to be a rather long drive north for American conservatives and Islamophobes to turn down a bowl of soup.

The Globe and Mail features some background on the bid to put down the soup spoons of America.

The bloggers and Facebook users anxious to bring down the Campbell's tomato soup sales clearly must be aficionados of the old Seinfeld show, we imagine they have as their spiritual leader the Soup Nazi, and what could be their call to arms?

No soup for you


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