Archive for French Politics

Halal Hysteria Courtesy of Islamophobic French Politics

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by loonwatch

This is not the first, and I hazard to guess not the last time halal hysteria has reared its stupid head in France.

France: Halal Becomes Political Issue for presidential race

As the race heats up among Elysee hopefuls, halal meat has become a political issue for France’s presidential candidates for getting support for the country’s top post.

“There is no controversy here,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told supporters in Rungis in the southern suburb of Paris on Tuesday, February 21, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.  “Every year we consume 200,000 tons of meat in the Paris region and 2.5 percent of it is kosher or halal.”

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front party, said last week that all meat in Paris was halal.

“All the abattoirs of the Paris region have succumbed to the rules of a minority. We have reason to be disgusted,” Le Pen told a rally in Lille on Saturday.

Adding to the controversy, a documentary was aired by France 2 alleging that slaughterhouses around Paris have switched meat production entirely to halal methods.

The documentary said that all the abattoirs in the greater Paris region were producing only halal meat, selling some without labeling it as such to avoid the cost of running separate lines for halal and non-halal customers.

The concept of halal — meaning permissible in Arabic — has traditionally been applied to food.

Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.

Halal meat is a booming market in France and growing demand for it on school, hospital and company canteen menus has already caused tension and misunderstandings between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Officials say most of the meat consumed in and around Paris is slaughtered outside the region and much of it still comes from slaughterhouses that use non-halal methods.

Home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim minority, estimated at between five and six million, France has for years been debating how far it is willing to go to accommodate Islam, now the country’s second religion.

The country has come under fire from Muslim groups for a series of measures authorities say are aimed at protecting France’s secular tradition, including a ban on wearing hijab (headscarf) and full-face veils such as Niqab and the Burqa.

Marine Le Pen Poll Rating Shock for French Politics

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2011 by loonwatch

Marine Le Pen is very anti-Muslim.

(hat tip: Europeans Against Islamophobia, a new Facebook page. I suggest everyone Like the page.)

Marine Le Pen poll rating shock for French politics

(BBC)

An opinion poll suggesting far-right leader Marine Le Pen could win the first round of next year’s presidential election has caused a shock in France.

The survey for Le Parisien newspaper puts the National Front leader, who took over from her father Jean-Marie in January, ahead of all other candidates.

It gives her 23% of the vote, 2% ahead of both President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist leader Martine Aubry.

However, some analysts question the accuracy of the online poll.

Online surveys are arguably less reliable than telephone polling, and Le Parisien’s poll assumes Ms Aubry will be chosen as the Socialists’ candidate, while the party has yet to decide.

Jean-Marie Le Pen was the shock runner-up in the first round of the 2002 election, only to be massively defeated in the second against Jacques Chirac.

Unwise to ignore

Nonetheless, for the new far-right leader to be ahead of both President Sarkozy and Ms Aubry is an astonishing result, the BBC’s Hugh Schofield reports from Paris.

A story on the website of the left-of-centre daily Liberation says “politicians are hesitating between prudence and panic after the poll”.

On the basis of this opinion poll of 1,618 people, Ms Le Pen would automatically qualify for the second round run-off with one or other of the two mainstream party leaders.

In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen achieved second place, not first, in the first round, and his poll ratings were never as high as his daughter’s are now, our correspondent notes.

Marine Le Pen, 42 , has proved a canny successor to her father.

Where he was a brash provocateur with a devoted but clearly circumscribed following, her trump card is a kind of woman-on-the-street ordinariness which potentially has an even wider appeal among working and middle class voters, our correspondent says.

She has been at pains to junk some of the more overtly offensive aspects of the National Front’s programme.

She is riding high on the sense of dissatisfaction that is not so much a wave as a permanent condition in France, our correspondent says.

As this poll suggests, there is in the country an entrenched appetite for anti-establishment, curse-on-all-your-houses populism – which the mainstream parties would be most unwise to ignore.