Halal Burger Sparks Latest Muslim Debate in France
Following French President Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial debate on national identity, the latest debate surrounding Muslim identity has turned the tables. Halal Burger is the latest point on controversy in France regarding Islam tradition. French fast-food joint Quick has added Halal Burgers to the menus of a select few of the chain's 362 stores and critics are complaining the over the halal beef and a slice of smoked turkey burgers that replaced the bacon burgers previously available.
The debacle was started after René Vandierendonck, the socialist mayor of Roubaix, complained that his local Quick store added the Halal Burger on November 30, 2009. Citing that the Halal Burger is discrimination against non-Muslim customers and furthermore went so far as to file charges with justice authorities for "prejudicial religious catering." Vandierendonck also filed a complaint with France's main anti-discrimination authority against Quick.
In a statement to Le Monde's website last week, Vandierendonck said, "Yes to diversity, no to exclusion. I congratulate Quick for adapting its offer to consumers by providing halal, but it goes too far when they propose only that."
What do you think? Does the Halal Burger, merely one item on the menu aimed at Muslim consumers, qualify as discrimination against non-Muslim customers or is Vandierendonck taking things too far?