PARIS -- Halal food, food prepared according to Islamic sharia law, is becoming an increasing part of the Western diet and has become a multi-billion dollar global industry.
But CBN News has discovered that some of that money is funneled to groups tied to terrorism.
Muslim halal food is creeping into the food chain not only in France, but worldwide, including the United States.
CBN News visited a butcher shop in a Muslim area of Paris. But it was no ordinary butcher shop. Our camera operator was warned to stop taping.
Why would a butcher shop care if it was being photographed? One reason, according to an Islamic expert we consulted, may have been that our camera operator, who is not a Muslim, was unclean and this was a halal butcher shop.
Halal is the Arabic term meaning legal or permissible. For meat to be halal, a Muslim must chant, "In the name of Allah; Allah is the Greatest," before slitting the throat of a fully conscious animal with a knife, and while facing the direction of Mecca.
The Fight Against Halal
The value of the halal food market in France alone is estimated at $7 billion, and has doubled in five years. France's second largest fast food chain, Quick, now serves halal-only menus in 22 of its restaurants, targeting France's large Muslim population.
But Quick's halal burger stands in France are almost completely owned by the French government, which means the government, whose constitution mandates strict secularism, is in the religious food business.
Leading the fight against Quick's sale of halal food is Charles Aslangul, a 21-year old city councilman, college student, and president of the Republican Order.
"We respect all religions, but I want to maintain the wall between the French state and the religious, and between a state-owned company and a religious food product. This should not happen with public money," he told CBN News.
When Aslangul began his campaign, he said the media treated him like a fascist. He was eventually charged with hate speech. A court found him innocent, and now the young French politician is suing Quick for false accusation.
"Islam is trying to impose itself in the public area. I am not stigmatizing Islam. I am simply describing the situation when Islam's radical wing tries to impose itself over our republican laws," he explained.
A Shill for Sharia, Terrorism?
So what's the big deal about halal food? To some Frenchmen who are seeing the growing Islamization of their country, it's a very big deal.
"Islam is introducing sharia into our society and that's not clear for people," Alain Wagner, a French activist with the Alliance Against Sharia, said. "When you see halal food in shops you think, 'Oh, it's just a kind of food.' No. it's sharia."
According to some experts, a portion of the proceeds from halal food sales in France go to groups tied to terrorism.
When a French consumer buys Halal food, part of the price paid goes as a fee to Halal Islamic experts. Some of those experts are certified by the UOIF, the Union of the Islamic Organizations in France, which the Simon Wiesenthal Center reports has strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational political organization that supports terrorism.
When French journalist and author Alexandre del Valle began investigating how the Muslims Brotherhood was attempting a mafia-style takeover of France's Halal food industry, his life was threatened.
"Nearly 60 percent of halal food is controlled by organizations belonging to the Muslim brotherhood," he explained.
Halal food is also spreading throughout Britain. A London Daily Mail investigation found that Britain's major supermarket chains, fast-food restaurants, even some hospitals and schools were serving halal food without telling those who were eating it.
Some British parliament members were outraged to learn they were secretly served halal meat.
In Canada, Campbell's now sells a line of halal-certified products. And In the United States, McDonald's, Walmart, and Whole Foods also offer halal choices.
Strategically Divisive Food
In North America, one of the halal certification organizations is the Islamic Society of North America. ISNA was an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror trial because of its ties to the terror group Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of the objections to halal food is that it contains a tax that non-Muslims pay when they buy it.
Journalist Del Valle said Halal food has been a brilliant political and business strategy for the Muslim Brotherhood.
"The food was two victories in one. We split people. We divide two societies inside a society. And we make money," he said.
Some say halal food is no different than Kosher, but Wagner disagrees.
"No, it's not like kosher food. Kosher-eating people are not preaching for the destruction of democracy. Halal is sharia. And we need to ban any sharia-related thing in our society," he said.
--Originally published Jan. 5, 2011.