Thursday, February 02, 2006

American Arab/Muslim Food Company suspends dealings with Danish Firm over Prophet Mohammed insults


Feb. 1, 2006 708-222-8330

Chicago food distributor SUSPENDS all Business with Denmark-based Arla Foods

Cicero, Il. Feb. 1, 2006 - Ziyad Brothers Importing, one of the largest distributors of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food products, announced today it SUSPENDED all business with Denmark-based Arla Foods.

Nemer Ziyad, vice president of Ziyad Brothers Importing, said the decision is in response to the insulting and offensive caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published by Denmark's leading newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and the growing controversy.

"I am furious with what the newspaper did. I am disappointed with the hesitation of the Government of Denmark to speak out against this. I support free speech, but I believe that we must speak out when free speech crosses the line and incites hatred, as the publication of these extremely offensive cartoons has done," Ziyad said.

"We have enjoyed a relationship with Arla Foods, acting as the exclusive distributor of three of its most popular products here in the United States. We are encouraged that this issue may be resolved, but until it is properly resolved, we must take this action"

Ziyad Brothers Importing is the exclusive American distributor for three of Arla's most popular products, Puck Cheese and Puck Cream, and Lurpak Butter. Ziyad said the three food items are very popular with customers. Ziyad said the decision to suspend the product line will have a significant impact on Ziyad Brothers Importing revenues, but he added, "We will always stand by and support our community."

Ziyad said, "This isn't just about being Muslim or Arab. What Jyllands-Posten did crossed the line. It is wrong. I would do the same thing in any other similar circumstance involving any other religion. All people have a responsibility to speak out whenever an act of hateful incitement occurs and touches on the community."