Meat often enters French politics, usually through the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Front National (FN). In almost every recent election cycle, the FN pushes for the adoption of new anti-immigrant laws and regulations, especially targeted at France’s considerable Muslim population.
The FN often uses identity politics and racist rhetoric to get out its message. Over he past decade, the FN has also highlighted its anti-Muslim rhetoric by sponsoring soup kitchens that serve soupe au cochon (pig soup), so that only non-Muslims will benefit from the food donations.
Now, the FN is attacking halal meat (the Muslim equivalent of the Jewish Kosher process of slaughtering meat). The FN wants all halal meat to be labeled as such so that French consumers can choose to avoid halal meat and instead buy “traditional” meat.
The candidates for the French presidency will increasingly have to address identity politics during their election campaigns. NPR reports on this story.
NPR also provides an update on Muslim bistrots that serve halal meat.
Northern Illinois University students in French and Mediterranean history courses will be interested in this story.