Nissan Retlev-Katz tells me that “the Coca Cola company has a Myths and Rumors webpage on its main website. There are only three subheadings under this page, but the massive global company felt it necessary to devote one entire section solely to rumors propagated in one geographic area – the Middle East. It won’t surprise you to know that of the 7 rumors listed, one says the company is ‘Jewish’ and another that it donates money to Israel.”
Among the rumors Coke refutes here:
Rumor: Boycotting Coca-Cola makes a statement against America and American (foreign) policies
Rumor: The Coca-Cola Company is a Jewish company. (Variations of this rumor suggest that the company is affiliated with the Mormon religion.)
Rumor: Warning not to buy Coca-Cola due to possible contamination by terrorists
Rumor: Coca-Cola contains material making it unsuitable for vegetarians and Muslims
Rumor: Coca-Cola contributes profits to Israel
Rumor: Coca-Cola runs advertising that is offensive to Muslims
Rumor: Anti-Muslim messages appear in graphics (No Mohammed, No Mecca)
Coke’s legacy had spurred the launch of an alternative soft drink company, Mecca-Cola, some three years ago. It was designed to cash in on anti-American sentiment around the world. Mecca-Cola was introduced in France in 2002, and is now exported throughout Europe and the Arab world….
New Islamic consumer products penetrating the North American market, mostly in the snack and fast-food sector, contain political markers and frequently subtle political insinuations.
In most cases these messages are anti-American, anti-Semitic or anti-multinationals — while at the same time cleverly promoting subliminal Islamist ideas. In essence these products, marketed with western techniques, serve as a means of condemning the very concepts used to bring them to consumers’ shelves….
Another beverage with clear political markers is France-based Mecca-Cola. The site of this beverage, which is among the leaders of the cola wars, identifies the business as having charitable goals. Mecca-Cola claims to be anti-materialist and anti-capitalist, labeling the marketing origin of western top beverages as based on corruption. One argument is that others, namely western and American products, do not share their revenue with zakat (charity), whereas Mecca-Cola claims to be assigning 20 percent of its income to charity.
While insisting it has peaceful goals, the Mecca-Cola website leaves no doubt most of their donations go “to the Palestinian people who are experiencing indifference and general complicity, these being the most wretched and most contemptible acts of Apartheid and Zionist fascism.” This beverage, marketed and sold in North America turns any food store or cooler selling Mecca-Cola, to a political billboard aimed also at the U.S.
One battlefield of the cola wars is in Iraq. The campaign there is noticeable more in Baghdad where, Arab and Muslim brand names bitterly campaign against American bottling plants re-opened after 13 years of boycott. The fact American Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are now available angers Muslim zealots. They are doing their utmost to harm the marketing of “infidel cola,” suggesting the buyer should prefer drinks produced and bottled in Egypt, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon, and whenever possible purchase an explicit “Arab-Muslim drink.” One report on Pepsi distribution in Iraq suggests that in 2003 Pepsi sold 7.2 million bottles a month, indicating the figure is down more than 60 percent from its pre-war sales figures. A report from a Baghdad supermarket quotes the owner saying he is going to stop selling Iraqi-bottled Pepsi until the formation of an elected Iraqi government expected next year. This political linkage, laced with nationalist elements, is felt in many places across Iraq and the region….
The phenomenon of Muslim or jihadi products is anchored in the Arab boycott of western, American and Israeli products. The boycott is now entering a new phase of combating American symbols by introducing Muslim symbols in look-a-like products. These are sold worldwide and in the last few years have begun to compete with American symbols in America itself. Intelligence analysis of the phenomena suggests the need to examine the labeling and advertising of each product suspected of sharing profits with terrorism. An Israeli analyst told G2B Arab and Muslim countries systematically inspect each and every product they import to guarantee there is no connection to Israel.