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In the wake of the Quick fast-food chain’s decision to offer halal meat products, French politicians Fadela Amara and Cécile Duflot weigh in that the complaints against the possibility are excessive. Amara explained that because as a private business Quick does not offer public services they should be able to sell whatever they please. The consumer can choose. The real problem, she added, is that “elites in this country don’t accept its diversity . . . secularism is respecting the practices of one another.” Duflot warned of Islamophobia: “No one is chocked that there’s a kosher Franprix [grocery store].”
Le Figaro points to a report on halal meats (see reports section of Euro-Islam website) which claims that 32 percent of meat prepared in French abattoirs is halal or kosher, and is sometimes sold as non-halal.
There is an increasing trend among European intellectuals, politicians, and essayists to describe Islam as a major cause of the current identity crisis of most European countries. Christopher Caldwell’s book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West [see “New Book Stokes Fear of a Muslim Europe” by Bruce B. Lawrence], is based on the same simple premise that permeates today’s political and public discourse on Islam: Europe’s Muslims are responsible for the radical transformation and increased vulnerability of the continent’s culture and identity.
Thanks to youtube user Speakmymind02 for posting this video.
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Leading Muslim scholars are laying the theological foundations for a “Euro-Islam” which would reconcile their religion with the challenges of modernity. But just how compatible is Islam with secular Western values? The air in the conference room is stale, and the dour mood among those present is not much better. The room smells of sweat, cigarette smoke, cold coffee — and plenty of problems. That comes with the territory at a meeting of some 100 social workers who work in flashpoints like the London boroughs of Hounslow, Eastleigh and Ealing. In their districts they often have to deal with angry youth gangs, unemployment and failed integration policies. Today, on this particular Thursday, they have gathered here in the large hall of the Holborn Bars conference center to learn that multiculturalism also has positive aspects and, most importantly, that no one needs to be afraid of Muslims. Dieter Bednarz and Daniel Steinvorth