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Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 12:47 GMT
Malaysia's Muslims boycott Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola cans
'Our program will hurt Coca-Cola,' Nadzim Johan said.
Thousands of Muslims in Malaysia have begun to boycott the soft drink Coca-Cola, to protest against American interference in Muslim affairs, a consumer association has said.

"The boycott is in response to Western interference in the internal affairs of Muslim countries in the guise of fighting terrorism," Nadzim Johan, executive secretary of the Muslim Consumer Association of Malaysia (MCAM), told the French news agency AFP.


We want all Malaysians to participate in the campaign to say no to Coke

Nadzim Johan, MCAM Executive Secretary
"It is to drive home a point to stop the interference and abuse," Mr Nadzim said. "It is also a fight against discrimination, not just against Muslims but everyone."

The campaign, which is being spearheaded by the MCAM, was launched on Wednesday when members of the consumer group publicly emptied dozens of Coca-Cola cans.

Mr Nadzim said the campaign would last three months, after which MCAM would assess the impact it was making, and possibly launch a similar action against another firms such as McDonald's.

Eid festival

Those taking part in the campaign include the 7,000 member Muslim Restaurant Operators of Malaysia, as well as many other catering operators.

Additional participants include the National Union of Telecom Employees and the Motor Vehicles Association of Malaysia, according to the Malay Mail.

"We want all Malaysians to participate in the campaign to say no to Coke," Mr Nadzim said.

He said he expected the boycott to particularly hurt the soft drinks giant during the coming Eid al-Fitr festival.

Muslims are due to celebrate Eid on Thursday or Friday, to mark the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.

Mr Nadzim said the campaign will hurt Coca-Cola, but he also acknowledged it was "not going to run them out of business, nor will it end Coke's operation in Malaysia."

See also:

21 May 02 | Middle East
12 Nov 02 | South Asia
09 Mar 02 | England
24 Sep 02 | Country profiles
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