Europe: The halal market grows

This is Beurger King Muslim, a fast-food clone with an important difference: it is halal, serving hamburgers and fries that conform to Muslim dietary laws.

“I used to go to McDonald’s once a week, but all I could eat was the Filet-O-Fish sandwich,” said Ms. Guenineche, a fashionable French-Algerian girl in low-slung jeans and a tight top who, despite wearing her long hair loose, eats only halal. “Now I come here.”

American fast-food restaurant chains have long tailored their menus to local tastes and habits around the world, but one market they have largely missed is the growing Muslim population in Europe, five million strong in France alone. Europe’s observant Muslims have had to thread their way through a world laden with pork-filled wursts and bloody beefsteaks, taking meals outside their homes at the occasional kebab shop instead.

Now there is Beurger King Muslim, whose name is a play on that of the famous American hamburger chain and the French slang word “beur,” which means “Arab.” The restaurant’s logo is a globe with a burgundy ring around it and the Arab world covered by the letters BKM, which are also the initials of the restaurant’s three founders, Morad Benhamida, Abdelmalik Khiter and Majib Mokkedem.

But not only in France the halal market is booming. UK’s largest supermarkets chain has launched halal meat counters:

Store manager Emma Grant, said: “Demand in the store for Halal products is high and customers are delighted with the quality of the foods they can find here. The launch of the new counter means greater local choice and convenience for new and existing customers.”

This is the second Halal Meat Counter that the Birmingham-based National Halal Food Group has opened for Tesco customers within the region. Chief Executive Muhammed Yaquoob, said: “The launch of the counter in Hodge Hill means that customers can readily obtain a range of high quality meats which meet specific spiritual requirements.

Well, the market is just answering to new demands. This is just another evidence of the change that is happening. I don’t think forbidding it is the solution, despite being a result of the application of Sharia Law. Whatever the reasons for opening halal shops and restaurants, this could be just another cause of “ghettoizing” more the Islamic communities. This has two consequences: radicalization and lack of assimilation in the country.

Photo | Facebook.

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