Skip to Content

French author argues ‘halal’ is a recent invention

The French anthropologist Florence Bergeaud-Blackler argues in her book, Le marché halal ou l'invention d'une tradition [The Halal Market or the Invention of a Tradition] that strict Islamic dietary laws were invented by multinational corporations.

Published: July 5, 2017, 11:31 am

    Read more

    Paris

    Bergeaud-Blackler says that the “halal” food label, which is religiously permitted food for Muslims, was “recently invented” for a potential commercial market, in a collusion between Iranians and the multinational agrifood industry. In an interview with the French daily newspaper, Libération, she said:

    “I speak of invention of the ‘halal market’ in the sense that we are not dealing with an ancient tradition imported from Muslim countries. The halal market never existed in the Muslim world until food ‘big business’ created it and exported it. The halal convention was born in the 70s and 80s. At this time, two ideologies triumphed on the international scene: on the one hand, Muslim fundamentalism, including the proclamation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, and, on the other hand, neo-liberalism, with Thatcher and Reagan. This convergence, unscheduled and unexpected, would allow these two ideologies to work together to establish a halal food industrial protocol”.

    According to Bergeaud-Blackler, halal food, for centuries, had only been the prohibition of pork. All food, with the exception of pork, that had been produced both locally and non-locally, by “People of the Book” [Christians and Jews] was considered halal.

    However after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, halal became a food requirement sanctified by economic interests. In the 1970s, Iran and Saudi Arabia, engaged in a competition to spread their vision of Islam throughout the world, were aided by multinationals such as Nestlé, to set up the large global halal food market.

    A report by Thomson Reuters and DinarStandard estimated the halal food market in 2014 at $1.37 trillion, representing almost a fifth of the total food and beverage market worldwide, and an increase of 6.2 percent compared to 2013.

    “In Europe, the halal market is growing at an estimated annual rate of between 10-20 percent. It is a demand driven by a general desire for Sharia compliance among a growing Muslim population,” says Paulius Kuncinas, business analyst and managing editor at Oxford Business Group.

    Nestlé is currently number one worldwide, followed by Aldo’s, Cadbury, Kraft, Kellogg’s and others. Fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Red Rooster, KFC and Subway also have an halal meat option.

    Agrifood businesses helped to separate Muslims and non-Muslims food in European countries. “Splitting in two the space between what is permitted and what is not, creates a certain social anxiety and leads to a behavior of avoidance. When you eat exclusively halal, you do not invite home non-halal people, for fear this person will invite you in return. These patterns of avoidance combine with speech that rejects of “impure” food. The confusion between halal and purity is disturbing.”

    Gilles Kepel, professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, noted the same separation by means of nourishment: “By exacerbating the question of halal, the political actors of Islamism are leading a logic of rupture — Muslim children are incited to abandon school canteens, and this helps them to distance the youth from the school and from the nation”.

    Kepel believes halal food is the second battle Islamists are leading in France and in Europe after the veil. “Initially, halal is presented as a consumption pattern; halal is part of a demand for pluralism: we eat halal like vegan, organic or kosher. And retail companies are not mistaken: their supermarkets offer a wide range of halal products in the aisles, with an estimated market of 5 billion euros…. the political actors of Islamism… see halal as an opportunity for community control and they strive to radicalize and exacerbate…”

    Halal food has begun to be a major source of conflict in France. Companies face growing demands for halal food in canteens, and although they are not legally required to supply halal food, many companies fear that if they do not comply with the demands, they will be called “racist”.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Nordstream pipeline likely sabotaged

    The politically motivated sabotage behind the apparently serious and wanton damage to the gas pipelines Nordstream 1 and Nordstream 2 were likely ordered by a technically and militarily highly developed state. The aim of this crime, a very large-scale crime, could only have been to destroy any hope of further gas deliveries from Russia to Germany.

    Hungarian FM: Europe’s narrative about war no longer relevant

    New YorkAt the UN General Assembly in New York, Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjártó made an interesting observation: Europe has long since lost the "race of narratives" in connection with the Ukraine war.

    Industrialist: ‘The Americans control everything in the background’

    Burladingen German industrialist Wolfgang Grupp, the CEO of textile giant Trigema, does not understand why Germans suddenly see Vladimir Putin as a mortal enemy. He believes that the US is controlling everything in the background and are the only winners of this war.

    German secret service operates fake accounts to lure ‘right-wing extremists’

    BerlinAnyone who criticizes the German system is quickly labelled as an "extremist". But because the state still has not found enough "right-wing extremists", it has decided to help a little bit.

    EU states are fighting over the repeal of veto right

    BrusselsThe member countries of the European Union have revived the debate on whether to introduce majority voting on some issues of foreign or security policy instead of the current need for unanimous consent of all the bloc's states.

    Meat ads banned in Dutch city to fight ‘climate change’

    HaarlemThe city of Haarlem in the Netherlands has taken the radical decision to become the first city in the world to ban meat advertising in public places from 2024, due to its "climate impact", according to a decision drawn up by the environmental party GroenLinks.

    Orbán: ‘Dwarfs want to put pressure on an energy giant’

    BelgradeThe EU is targeting Hungary again. Brussels has now cleared the way for massive financial sanctions against Budapest as a tit-for-tat for Hungarian foreign policy, which includes strict neutrality on the issue of Russia sanctions and continuous gas supply contracts with Gazprom.

    Marine Le Pen blasts sanctions against Russia

    AgdeMarine Le Pen, the chairwoman of the RN group in the National Assembly blasted "a European Union hysterical about the war in Ukraine calling inappropriate and ill-considered sanctions" against Russia.

    A rejection of the unipolar world in Samarkand

    SamarkandIt was more than a symbolic gesture: At a meeting in Uzbekistan, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin and Chinese head of state and party Xi Jinping swore by the "boundless friendship" between their two countries. They underscored the common goal of a new world order not dominated by the West.

    Hungary loses ‘democratic status’ in EU Parliament

    BudapestThe EU Parliament has agreed that Hungary is not a democracy. A “hybrid system of electoral autocracy” prevails in the country, according to a non-binding resolution voted for by a majority of MPs on Thursday, the AFP news agency reported. The resolution had been pushed by several factions, including the Greens and the Social Democrats.

    Go to archive