Archive for September 9, 2010

There is a very important day coming at the end of this week, so I plan on rocking the light-hearted stuff now. And although the topic may be light, the calorie count probably is not.

In France, there is a rash of Islamophobia. And no, not for the reasons you may think. A while back, the country went all Arizona on Muslims and decided to ban the burqa – the face, body, ninja mask thing worn by only a few hundred women in the country. Relations have been tense since because of a dimwitted country president and now we have the fast food universe telling Muslims, “You can’t have it your way.”

The next step in racial profiling - Halal onlyIn an interesting article found in the Washington Times, we see a fast food empire in Europe called Quick that has rapidly found itself in the ire of non-Muslims across the continent for the food it serves, in particular, a Halal burger.

The No. 2 burger chain behind Mickey D’s has decided to market its product to more than just an aged demographic, but a religious one when it removed bacon burgers from its menu and replaced them with a version that is permissible under Islamic law – or Halal – using proper beef and a slice of smoked turkey.

Nice, right? Eh, depends on who you ask.

It’s discrimination” against non-Muslim customers, [Mayor of Roubaix, Rene] Vandierendonck said. The mayor has filed charges with justice authorities against Quick for what he says is prejudicial religious catering. He has also lodged a complaint with France’s main antidiscrimination authority on the matter. “Yes to diversity, no to exclusion,” Vandierendonck told Le Monde‘s website last week. “I congratulate Quick for adapting its offer to consumers by providing halal, but it goes too far when they propose only that.” (Taken from a similiar Time article).
Was this a savvy business decision or religious kowtowing? Whatever the reason, folk in France are looking to pork up anything they can in spite. It is a little of the opposite of pushing for equality, isn’t it? This is more of a case if the country is segregated, then we will give them a reason to stay that way.
I don’t know, kind of like creating highways for horse-drawn carriages in Amish country, sans the fears of extreme terrorism. Evidently, the company’s marketing strategy has a second strike against itself:
Perhaps a bit strangely, the chain launched its halal-only burger restaurants in the middle of Ramadan, a month when devout Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Quick says the date was purely a coincidence.
I believe Muhammad said it best, “Doh!”
The reason for the outrage over this burger ballyhoo is nothing more than fear – people are afraid this exclusive meal will force all other customers to leave the restaurant and only Muslims to visit it. And if I am a countryman in a country that apparently wants nothing to do with a Muslim man, I don’t think I would be too crazy about that scenario. Would you?

Stephane Gatignon, the mayor of the Paris suburb of Sevran and a member of the environmentalist party Europe Ecologie, says he is worried the Quick in his town will become a Muslims-only hangout, preventing ethnic groups from mingling. On top of that, “It’s stigmatizing,” he told the Associated Press. Quick is saying, “in these towns, there are only Muslims, but in a town like Sevran, there are not only Muslims, there are a lot of other religions here, too. Everyone has to find their place.”

Nice. By the looks of things, that place will be resting comfortably under the golden arches, or whatever geometric shape Quick has. Happy Kwanzaa everyone. Get your gift cards soon.