Feb 21 2010
FRENCH FAST FOOD chain's 'all-HALAL' (Islam-approved) menu incites charges of discrimination AGAINST non-Muslims
Politicians from both sides of the aisle say Quick chain, which has 350 branches, is imposing jiyza (‘an Islamic tax’) on its customers.
A French fast food chain has decided to serve only halal meat in eight restaurants, sparking criticism from politicians that its menu discriminates against non-Muslims. A Socialist mayor has threatened a law suit for discrimination against customers who do not want to eat according to Muslim dietary laws.
The uproar, like France’s drive to ban Muslim face veils and its state-led debate on national identity, has come just ahead of regional elections next month.
The 5.5billion euro halal market in France is growing strongly, according to a survey carried out last December, citing increasing demand among young Muslims for halal produce.
Marine Le Pen, vice president of the far-right National Front, launched the accusations on Sunday, saying clients ‘are forced because of halal meat to pay a tax to Islamic organisations’ that certify the food was produced according to Muslim dietary laws.
Socialist Mayor Rene Vandierendonck in Roubaix, a town near Lille with many Muslim residents, threatened a law suit.
Lionnel Luca, a conservative parliamentary deputy, called for a boycott to restore ‘freedom of choice’ in the Roubaix Quick.
Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire told the daily Le Figaro: ‘When they remove all the pork from a restaurant open to the public, I think they fall into communalism, which is against the principles and the spirit of the French republic.’
Escalating her attack, Ms Le Pen said yesterday that President Nicolas Sarkozy supported a ‘forced Islamisation of France’ because an arm of the state-owned savings bank, the Caisse des Depots et Consignations, held 99.63 per cent of Quick’s capital. (Follow the money!)
The U.S. fast food chain McDonald’s, which has about 1,150 branches in France, does not serve halal meat but in Europe they do. Another U.S. chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken, says it does.
France’s five million Muslims make up about eight per cent of the overall population. UK DAILY MAIL