In France, Halal = discrimination

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Snert Snert's picture
In France, Halal = discrimination

[url=http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2010/02/18/12933576-ap.html]A French town filed a legal complaint Thursday accusing a branch of a mainstream fast food chain of discrimination because it only serves burgers prepared according to Islamic dietary law.[/url]

 

This is just beyond bizarre. Apparently all the good people of France are having their rights trampled if they can't order pork in a Muslim restaurant.

 

Quote:
"It's very good that a restaurant like Quick offers halal (meat), but why get rid of what there is everywhere else? The fact that they do not offer other choices to non-Muslim clients is not acceptable."

 

Here's a choice: eat somewhere else. It's not like Muslims have never had to. Isn't this from the same country where soup kitchens regularly and purposely serve ONLY pork soup, on the laughable grounds that it's some kind of grand French cultural tradition?

Star Spangled C...

Yeah, not like there's a shortage of restaurants in France to choose from. Are they gonna go after kosher restaurants next? How about vegetarian restaurants that "deny" customers the "right" to order a steak? Never realized that a pork chop on demand was a constitutional right.

Unionist

Don't like France much, eh Snert?

Actually, I'd like to know more about this story before passing judgment. I'm trying to imagine public reaction in (say) parts of Toronto if (say) Macdonald's, or maybe IGA, decided to stop offering any dairy or pork or seafood products and using only properly slaughtered and koshered beef - and if some politician said, "that's an excellent initiative, offering a kosher option, but what about the rest of the customer base?"

 

Unionist

My, you folks are quick to pass judgment. Especially "not like there's a shortage of restaurants in France to choose from". Sounds as if "Quick" is a big fast-food chain, but I'd like to hear more about that. It sounds as if they've converted a "regular" branch to halal. Does that mean people have to travel to the next town to get the fast food they like now? I agree, this isn't "discrimination", but I'd like to understand why people really are complaining.

And further to SSC's point - there's no evidence that anyone in this piece is saying that a halal-only establishment is discriminatory in itself. If that's what this mayor is saying, then of course we should pass swift judgment on him. But does anyone seriously read from this story that the mayor would target halal or kosher butcher shops??

Caissa

I can't even fathom how someone might think this is discriminatory other than in the sense of the word meaning "choosing."

Caissa

I don't think I'm passing judgement, Unionist, and I would like to know more as well.  On the surface, it seems bizarre. At times I struggle with understanding some of the attitudes towards Islam in France.

j.m.

Actually, halal in terms of meat options has only created one change: smoked turkey instead of smoked bacon.

These people go to a burger joint to eat handburger and fries! Unless they order triple bacon handburgers - hold the hand - it is hardly exclusionary.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

Apparently all the good people of France are having their rights trampled if they can't order pork in a Muslim restaurant.

 

Unionist?

 

I dunno, if'n you don't like it, go to Flunch.

Unionist

[url=http://www.roubaix.maville.com/actu/actudet_-Liberte-du-commerce-ou-disc...'s some information.[/url]

This is the only fast-food joint in the region, apparently. When the chain launched its halal sandwich test a few months ago, no one complained - but Quick was presenting it as an option, never announcing that it might be exclusive. When they implemented it, however, they eliminated the bacon burger and replaced it by the halal turkey burger (and j.m., I don't think we're talking about beef burgers with garnishes here...) at seven outlets, including Roubaix.

Quick explained (correctly) that halal and bacon can't co-exist on the same grill. So, it seems to have been a commercial decision - don't pay to install an extra grill, and don't set up a new halal-only outlet. I'd like to see evidence that anyone (mayor or otherwise) would complain about either of these two options.

Unionist

Snert wrote:
Apparently all the good people of France are having their rights trampled if they can't order pork in a Muslim restaurant.

A "Muslim restaurant"? Are you serious? Did you read what you linked?

There are Muslim restaurants, butcher shops, groceries, all over France. Got any links to discrimination complaints?

This sounds like a Hérouxville story to me - except that Roubaix isn't playing the role of Hérouxville according to script. They haven't said anything against Islam yet. Maybe Fox News can go to work on this file and squeeze out something better.

 

Star Spangled C...

Presumably, the restaurant made a purely business decision. I don't know this particular town but I would assume that there's a large Muslim population and the restauarant wanted their business. I've been to areas in New York where certain fast food chains like Subway have strictly kosher restaurants. I don't see this as a big deal at all. Restaurants decide their menu and options based on what they think will get them the most business. If they made the wrong decision here, they'll reverse it.

j.m.

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://www.roubaix.maville.com/actu/actudet_-Liberte-du-commerce-ou-disc...'s some information.[/url]

This is the only fast-food joint in the region, apparently. When the chain launched its halal sandwich test a few months ago, no one complained - but Quick was presenting it as an option, never announcing that it might be exclusive. When they implemented it, however, they eliminated the bacon burger and replaced it by the halal turkey burger (and j.m., I don't think we're talking about beef burgers with garnishes here...) at seven outlets, including Roubaix.

Quick explained (correctly) that halal and bacon can't co-exist on the same grill. So, it seems to have been a commercial decision - don't pay to install an extra grill, and don't set up a new halal-only outlet. I'd like to see evidence that anyone (mayor or otherwise) would complain about either of these two options.

I don't think they're talking about bonified HAMburgers unless the news is getting it all wrong (already there is a discrepancy between smoked beef and smoked turkey). It appears that it's just about getting bacon off the menu:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jUpTPEgAnl2...

Quote:
The Quick restaurant in Roubaix has served only halal food since November. Burgers once served with bacon now come with smoked beef instead of pork.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0218/Burqas-No-bacon-burgers-...

Quote:

In a statement issued Thursday, Quick France says the decision to go pork-less "is not religious" and notes that the eight restaurants are not authentically halal, since beer is also served there. In the eight, smoked turkey is substituted for bacon in what would ordinarily be a bacon burger.

Anyways, the restauarants don't appear to be halal. As you said, Unionist, the grill is halal but they are still serving beer at Quick, which isn't halal.

Also, pork is restricted in the bible.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
This is the only fast-food joint in the region, apparently.
 

Listen, I know how life-shattering something like this can be. Remember McDonald's "McRib" sandwiches? Remember when they took them off the market? Oh the fucking humanity!! That was the ONLY place you could get them, Unionist! And they took them away from me. And silly me, I was unaware that I could, or should file an official complaint about this because I was under the evidently mistaken impression that restaurants are free to serve, or not serve, what they wish. 

Quote:
A "Muslim restaurant"? Are you serious? Did you read what you linked?
 

Uh, it's a restaurant that now serves only Halal food. I think you're splitting a pretty fine hair here, but I can correct it if you'd like, to say "Halal restaurant". 

Quote:
There are Muslim restaurants, butcher shops, groceries, all over France. Got any links to discrimination complaints?
 

Let's wait and see how successful this complaint is.

 

 

 

Unionist

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Presumably, the restaurant made a purely business decision.

Of course they did. From my link above:

Quote:

À 200 m du Quick roubaisien, un restaurant KFC (une autre chaîne) affiche depuis deux ans que toutes ses préparations sont à base de viande de poulet halal.

So, a halal-only KFC 200 metres away, and no complaints of discrimination after two years of halal-only operation. Or today. How's that work?

Quote:
Jusqu'à présent, personne n'y avait trouvé à redire. Par ailleurs, les premières remontées chiffrées de l'opération menée par Quick à Roubaix feraient apparaître depuis décembre une hausse moyenne du chiffre d'affaires du restaurant de près de 30 %. Commercialement, le choix de Quick serait donc payant...

30% increase in Quick's revenues. No kidding it was a business decision. Apparently, no one in the Muslim community asked for a halal-only menu - as I mentioned above, it's just more cost-effective that way for Quick. And if it's true they still serve beer, so much for the "Muslim restaurant" story.

Sounds to me like Roubaix residents have lost access to one of their favourite fast-food meals and the mayor is expressing their frustration. If this is Islamophobia, the world will have less problems.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

So, a halal-only KFC 200 metres away, and no complaints of discrimination after two years of halal-only operation. Or today. How's that work?

 

Presumably, Halal chicken tastes the same as non-Halal chicken. If KFC came with a side of bacon, perhaps there would be complaints.

 

But I'm not sure what the lack of other complaints is supposed to indicate? When it was proposed that nobody be permitted to vote with a veil on, was it in any way significant that women shop for groceries with a veil on all the time, and nobody complained?

 

Honestly, I just find it funny that these complainers actually feel like they're the victims of discrimination. To say "Oh, we liked [old Coke] better, and we wish that change hadn't occurred" is fine. To act like the removal of bacon from a restaurant menu constitutes discrimination is laughable. You seem to have unexpected sympathy for people whose oppression consists solely of not being able to have the fast food they want, when and how they want it.

j.m.

Unionist wrote:

Sounds to me like Roubaix residents have lost access to one of their favourite fast-food meals and the mayor is expressing their frustration. If this is Islamophobia, the world will have less problems.

This is clearly about a public looking for a way to engage in Islamophobia. I won't take it as benign as it is an obvious example of the reproduction and normalization of Islamophobia.

If the concerned residents didn't make it about Islam they would realize that they could sit down and enjoy their damn smoked turkey handburger and fries with a beer and be marginally healthier for it. And they wouldn't have to feel the need to "sizzle their own bacon" everytime they leave the house, or engage in PORQuerias!

Unionist

Snert wrote:

Quote:

So, a halal-only KFC 200 metres away, and no complaints of discrimination after two years of halal-only operation. Or today. How's that work?

 

Presumably, Halal chicken tastes the same as non-Halal chicken. If KFC came with a side of bacon, perhaps there would be complaints.

You just got my point. No one is complaining about Muslim or halal etc. They just don't want to see their own favourite dishes become inaccessible. At least, that's the way it appears.

Quote:
Honestly, I just find it funny that these complainers actually feel like they're the victims of discrimination.

I think it's the only legal angle the mayor has found to fight this - and I agree, it's not "discrmiination" at all.

Quote:
You seem to have unexpected sympathy for people whose oppression consists solely of not being able to have the fast food they want, when and how they want it.

I have absolutely no sympathy for them, nor do I believe there is any "right" to eat crap. My point is simple - the attempt to turn this into an Islamophobia thing is very very far from proven, and I've cited a fair bit of evidence that would seem to indicate the contrary.

Oh, and I don't understand j.m.'s last post at all.

Star Spangled C...

I look at it this way: I prefer Diet Coke to Diet Pepsi. Certain restaurants have exclusive deals whereby they only serve Pepsi and I can't get my coke. It's a business decision that they made. If I don't like it, I'm free to go to another restuarant. I don't think it even really has anything to do with religion.

j.m.

Unionist wrote:

Oh, and I don't understand j.m.'s last post at all.

Okay.

I think this is just a small manifestation of the symbolic and ostensible physical violence that are part of Islamophobia, and  part of the naturalization of this violence in Europe. Thus, I don't think it's benign.

Bacon is very fatty anyways, so they could appreciate the turkey as a healthier option as they eat crap.

The latter comments were opportunities for bad puns (porqueria  - spanish for 'bullshit')

George Victor

Just as this thread has nothing to do with anything except a tempest in a teapot, winkled out by a champiion of navel thought.

Unionist

Yes, GV, that about sums it up!

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
My point is simple - the attempt to turn this into an Islamophobia thing is very very far from proven, and I've cited a fair bit of evidence that would seem to indicate the contrary.

 

When Coca-Cola decided to switch to "New Coke", consumers who missed their old favourite simply said so. Nobody whined that they were being discriminated against. Certainly not as poor, downtrodden "non-Muslims". We all know how non-Muslims never get a break.

 

If this isn't about Islamophobia, couldn't the mayor have said "we liked the bacon because it tasted good and we wish they hadn't removed it in order to make the menu more accessible"? Nobody twisted his arm to say "The fact that they do not offer other choices to non-Muslim clients is not acceptable". If he wants to contend that a lack of bacon on a menu limits his choices as a non-Muslim then he's welcome to tell us all how that has nothing to do with Islamophobia, and is just some really cryptic way of saying "I like bacon".

 

George: I'm going to go grab some lunch now, but I've arranged with Sven to take my shift while I'm gone. Please direct your vacuous scoldings to him for the next hour or so.