Members of the Dutch Muslim community are boycotting Aldi and Lidi supermarkets following a rumor that the grocery stores will donate sales to Israel. The call for a boycott, which spread very quickly, came from an anonymous source on January 10th, saying “do not go shopping today at Aldi and Lidi. The entire sales of 10 January 2009 are going to Israel.” “It appears as though the entire Islamic community in the Netherlands received the message on Saturday via SMS or e-mail. And otherwise, the call was also picked up in the mosque. The rumor went through the Netherlands as fast as an Internet virus spreads. Muslims – from young to old, from moderate to fundamentalist – passed the message on en masse to each other,” wrote Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.
Chairman of the Moroccan Imam Union in the Netherlands, Yassin Elforkani, said that he is sympathetic towards the call for a boycott, saying that it is the only thing many people feel they can do in a feeling of powerless about the events in Gaza. While the exact source of the call for boycott has not been identified, Ibrahim Yerden, a cultural anthropologist who lectures at the University of Amsterdam, says the supermarket boycott was launched by a small group of Muslim activists in the Netherlands.