The Belgian fast-food chain Quick is experimenting with halal restaurants in France (see also here). Those branches serve only products which comply with the Islamic food requirements. Since mid-December, eight France Quicks changed over completely to halal food: Toulouse, Marseille (2), Roubaix, Villeurbanne, Argenteuil, Garges-lès-Gonesse and Buchelay.
A notice at the door informs the visitors of the Islam-law abiding character of the place. The meat is approved by experts linked to the local mosque and the Great Mosque in Paris.
Halal meat must be bled out meat from a restricted number of permitted animals, which are slaughtered without stunning and according to the Islamic requirements. Meat from carnivores or animals which died on their own, as well as pork which is mentioned explicitly in the Koran, are forbidden. The whole production chain where the meat is processed must also comply with the ‘purity requirements’.
The circumstances in which the animal was bred, the quality of its food and shelter, the manner and distance of transport could all play a role in the decision whether the meat is halal.
The news about the French Quick branches was reason enough for the Belgian Vlaams Belang to sound the doomsday alarm, since “if it rains in Paris, it drips in Brussels”.
“This issue is not as innocent as it looks at first sight,” responds Vlaams Belang. “Big warehouses, stores and restaurants who sale or serve halal products are giving in to the pressue of radical Islam, which demands blind adherence to Shaira. Just by offering these products, people are giving radical Muslims the opportunity to further force their strict Islamic laws.”
“By opening Islam-correct halal restaurants, Quick stimulates the rising Islamization,” says the pary in a presss release. “If Flemish branches would also give in to the pressure of Sharia law, Vlaams Belang and Steden Tegen Islamisering (cities against Islamization) will no question act.”
It seems that Quick isn’t going to do so. “We’re certainly not going to open any halal restaurants in Belgium in this fashion,” says operational manager Dorian Verfaille of Quick. “The situation in France with its suburbs is socially and economically completely different than by us. What eventually might happen, dependent on the success in France, is that in existing restaurants we will add one or two halal dishes to the menu. Just as we now already offer vegetarian burgers. But certainly not in the short term.”
Verfaille admits that halal branches can expect a lot of approval. “The first, in Toulouse, seem to run very well. We nevertheless had no publicity for it, everything happened via word-of-mouth advertising.”