Friday, February 19, 2010

Barbier Joins Le Pen

For commentary on this amalgame, see here. Notice how the Islamophobic arguments are spinning out of control. The foulard was to be banned in schools, first, because of a tradition of laïque education (never mind that it applied to teachers, not pupils) and, second, because young women were being oppressed by their brothers and fathers (never mind that some chose to wear the scarf on their own). Then the burqa was to be banned everywhere, because republicanism requires equality between the sexes (though I have yet to see a female priest, political parties violate the parité law, men's and women's wages for equal work are not equal, etc.) and because unidentified "radicals" were "testing the Republic" by placing their female operatives in "ambulatory prisons." Now, a fast-food chain tries to pick off a little market share by recognizing that there are a lot of potential Muslim customers, and Christophe Barbier, defender of those two bastions of civilization, BHL and la République française, vows un baroud d'honneur: We shall stop them in Roubaix! But surely it isn't the Salafists who are urging the faithful to eat ... hamburgers!

An excellent editorial by Claude Weill can be found here:

Il est de bon ton de dire que le débat sur l’identité nationale a fait pschitt. Malheureusement, je ne le crois pas. Le mal est fait. Ce vaste défoulement collectif organisé sous l’égide du ministère de l’Immigration a produit son venin, qui ne cesse de diffuser au sein de la société française.

UPDATE: Charles Bremner's comment is here.


satchmo said...

Bravo Claude Weill and thanks for that link. That is indeed one of the better statements I've seen.

Plus, for no very good reason, I always enjoy seeing the usage, "une foultitude."

MYOS said...

It puzzles me. It's not a public place, it's not related to the republic: it's a business venture.
If they want to offer hallal beef and kocher chicken and tofu for vegetarians, if there is a market for it, and if it does not mean they only serve a specific type of customer, then why the outcry?
BTW, hallal does not just mean "with a prayer over it", there's a specific way of killing the animal that makes it less sanguine, kind of like kosher beef is a bit less "red" than its more common counterpart. However the taste does not change, which means customers are only losing out if they want real bacon on their burger, not "turkey bacon".
I liked the comment in the other post : when did cheeseburgers become posterboys for Frenchness?
It's a total lose-lose situation: no way will Quick give up on a 5 billion euro market, no way can the law regulate what restaurant foods serve (as long as the products are healthy), and what is the Roubaix mayor trying to prove, that it's a constitutional right to eat bacon on burgers?

Boris said...

Viewed from here, it seems you lack a little real life experience.
Restaurants that serve hallal meat have been around in France for decades. Couscous, Turks, "Greeks", all kind of outfits ...; and there's never been a eyebrow raised over this.
Butchers are also becoming more and more hallal butchers, as the old ones retire. One has to say that generally (and I don't know of exceptions), the quality greatly declines. It may have to do more with the smaller means of Muslim family, but it seems also due to indifference to quality. The presentation, the choice of meats and cuts, is reduced to bare minimum, and many little things make the non-muslim customer feel ill at ease. Obviously low standards of hygien being probably the primary one.
Now this may be beside the point in this case - the main point is that this meat has received a label and money has been paid for that : money that goes to Mosques, or whatever...
So it is in effect, a kind of religious tax.
Maybe not shocking if you go out to eat in a presumably Muslim place, but it becomes problematic when in a large national chain.

Boris said...

I'd like to add smthg :
When France was prouod of its success at integration, a factor that was shown as determinant was food.
Good food helped people to feel good, but also the French were always very interested to try new things, and each wave of immigrants brought a blooming of restaurants.
Now this always has worked by addition = more restaurants, more cuisine, more choice, not by substraction.
The Quick affair is one among a million that show how in the recent years the muslim immigration is not integrating, and some of its members want to impose their way in France.
It can be due to sheer numbers, to determination, to the weakening of French identity (through combined forces of globalization/merchendisation etc.) . It may well be, and I am more and more inclined in that direction, that Islam, esp. as it is today, is not compatible with democracy. Islam badly needs a way to reform, that would allow it to evolve, but alas we have witnessed the opposite.
Also of interest :

MYOS said...

re: le mal est fait --
An UMP candidate brings up a PS candidate's personal "criminal" record because he's a person of color.
(He does not do that for JP Huchon who has been convicted!!)
Elsewhere, the UMP leader for Brittany meets a philosophy professor handing out PS pamphelts. Her reaction: asking whether he's French. When, offended, he says yes, she asks to see his "carte d'identité!" All because the professor is Black.
This is a disgrace for France.

MYOS said...

Read elsewhere: "why do the media focus on one QUICK in Roubaix, when in fact so many families of all faiths can't feed their kids properly in the ROubaix area?"

Roubaix is very poor and this "issue" is obscuring other issues that the candidates may feel powerless to change.

MYOS said...

It may be that this "issue" simply is a local PS/UMP feud. Might explain also why the Argenteuil and other 6 Quick restaurants no one's suing anyone.

MYOS said...

more "venom"