French politicians are up in arms over a fast food firm’s decision to serve only halal meat at several of its restaurants with a strong Muslim clientele.
The menu, at eight branches of the Quick chain, discriminates against non-Muslims, according to critics.
Leaders of the local authority in Roubaix near Lille are now taking legal action.
“In the interests of my fellow citizens, including Muslims, we must beware of ending up with a sort of apartheid,” said Roubaix’s Socialist Mayor, Rene Vandierendonck
But, while one far-right politician slammed what she calls a ‘forced Islamisation of France’, some say the move simply responds to demand. The French halal market is growing strongly.
One female customer said she travels to a branch of Quick in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil, precisely because it is halal. Otherwise, she said, she would not use it.
Another woman added: “Before, there were not many customers but now there are a lot more. It is popular.”
For strictly secular France, it is another sign of Islam becoming more visible in society, something some are finding difficult to swallow.