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Muslim groups in Malaysia declare jihad on Cadbury

Muslim groups in Malaysia have declared jihad on chocolate producer Cadbury after two of its products were found to contain traces of pig DNA.

KUALA LUMPUR: It is one of the world's most loved chocolate brands.

And it is no different in Malaysia. Cadbury is easily found throughout the country, even in the smallest of sundry shops.

So when the health ministry announced that two batches of Cadbury chocolate bars had traces of pig DNA --- many Malaysian Muslims were furious.

One group says Muslims feel so contaminated by the non-halal chocolate they would cleanse their blood if they could.

Cadbury's halal certifications for the two product lines have been suspended, pending investigations into just how the locally produced chocolate became contaminated.

Some Muslim groups want Cadbury out of the country once and for all, declaring jihad on the chocolate manufacturer.

"I think Cadbury should be shut down; Cadbury should pay for the mistake," said Sabariah Abdullah, Secretary General, Islamic Information & Services Foundation. "But we must also tell Cadbury do not start something that can trigger sensitive feelings among communities.

"We feel the anger by the communities is very appropriate. It's too much to say we shouldn't be behaving like this."

Muslim groups held a press conference this week announcing plans for legal action against Cadbury.

But what grabbed headlines was Sabariah's demand that the company pay for Muslims to have their blood cleansed.

"That was said as a rhetorical statement, to show how angry we are, to the point that we feel like cleansing the blood," she said. "You're lucky that Islam doesn't say that but the feeling is like that; we feel like we have been contaminated."

But in an earlier statement, Cadbury Malaysia assured the Muslim community investigations into the incident were a priority.

Still, Malaysian Muslim groups are cautioning other nations to be wary about Cadbury products in their country.  

"We urge Muslims in Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei to also check on their chocolates," said Sabariah. "Don't trust Cadbury just like we trusted them."

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