Food: Halal meat
Fight: In February and early March, halal meat improbably became a top issue in the French presidential election when a television documentary reported that most slaughterhouses around Paris were producing halal meat, prompting far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen to raise hackles about non-Muslims in the capital unwittingly eating halal. After initially dismissing the allegations, President Nicolas Sarkozy called for labels on meat explaining how the animals were slaughtered and reiterated his opposition to serving halal meat in school cafeterias. Sarkozy even deemed the halal hullabaloo the "issue that most preoccupies the French" despite, as the Guardian put it, "surveys showing that voters were less concerned about halal meat than they were about the weather and football."
Things really took a turn for the worse when Prime Minister Francois Fillon alienated the country's Muslim and Jewish communities by suggesting that the religious slaughter of animals was outdated. In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, it's unclear whether the issue will continue to play a prominent role in the campaign.
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