Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Blips on the Screen: 1 Apr 08

Halal Food at KFC

Cross posted from the Detroit Free Press

by Niraj Warikoo - Free Press Staff Writer - March 30, 2008

Growing up in Dearborn, Zeinab Chami often was tempted by ads for Col. Sanders'original recipe, the finger-lickin' meal sold by fast-food giant KFC.

However, Chami was an observant Muslim, and the restaurant's chicken was not halal, meaning it wasn't prepared according to Islamic law. Her choices usually were limited to what her immigrant parents cooked or the occasional takeout from Middle Eastern restaurants.

But now she's able to get a taste of KFC. Last month, the restaurant's east Dearborn restaurant began selling halal chicken, a change that reflects the growing demand for halalproducts among metro Detroit's sizable Muslim population.

Underneath the colonel's bearded face, the store's sign reads "Now serving halal original & crispy." The juxtaposition of an American icon with Islamic tradition is a striking display of the changing landscape of southeast Michigan. Halal meat is
not new to Dearborn's butcher shops and Arab restaurants, but a growing number of national chains have been accommodating the local demand for Muslim food in recent years.

"A lot has changed just in the past decade," said Bilal Dabaja, 22, a Dearborn resident who eats halal. "More people want these products."

The change is similar to how the growing Jewish population decades ago led to kosher becoming part of the American food industry and vocabulary. The kosher symbols "K" and "U" can be seen today on everything fromHeinz ketchup bottles to Fruity Pebbles cereal boxes.

Read the complete article here:

"The change is similar to how the growing Jewish population decades ago led to kosher becoming part of the American food industry and vocabulary..."

In other words, Cheer up, folks. This is no different than your friendly Kosher Deli. This is just the latest group of hard working immigrants, trying to assimilate into their new American culture.

No different than your Chinese take out.

Or your corner Italian Pizzeria.

These new immigrants are really no different than all those Jews, Chinese, or Italians who preceded them. They're just people like you and me who want to fit in and become loyal American citizens. Just because they dress a little differently, and see things a little bit differently than we do, doesn't mean that we should be suspicious of them.

After all, when you get right down to it, we're all immigrants, aren't we?

I mean...

...we're all basically the same,

aren't we?

aren't we?


  1. I live for the day I'll find a restaurant billboard or marquee that says:


    Soon, I hope.

  2. lolol -- Love it Francis. I'll meet you there for lunch.

  3. I have no problem with Halal or Kosher or any other dietary law being promoted. I have a problem when it is insisted on being the only dietary law to be observed.

    I wouldn't want every resturant in the world to change to suit Halal (pulled pork and ribs are great!).

    I have friends who are vegetarians, they don't insist on resturants to stop serving meat, they just don't order meat dishes.