Muslims Have Beef with McDonald’s Settlement

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01 Halal cart 23rd St btwn Park & Lex, by flickr user jasonlam, licensed by Creative Commons

                       Stick to street meat

Ever want to know what’s really in a Big Mac?  In a recent settlement, McDonald’s was ordered to pay about $700,000 to parties effected by the fast food restaurant for selling non-halal chicken that was advertised as halal.  Halal, in the Islamic religion, is food that has been deemed edible.  Originally, the settlement was to be divided between a few organizations based around Dearborn Heights, MI.  However, other Muslims in the area are now calling into question the right of their own compensation.  The two McDonald’s in Michigan are reportedly the only fast food restaurants in the state where halal food is served.

Lawyer Majed Moughni had officially filed a complaint in Wayne County Circuit Court, requesting that the original settlement be reconsidered.  Members of the suit are simply requesting that the money be evenly divided between all of the effected parties.  As it stands, the $700,000 will be split amongst a Muslim health center, the Arab National Museum, and also the lead plantiff in the lawsuit.  The city of Dearborn, Michigan has the highest concentration of Arab Americans in all of the United States, raising the issue of spread-out compensation.  Under Muslim law, halal food has been properly prepared and allowed to be consumed by followers of the religion.

The challenge of the original settlement here is definitely an intriguing issue.  If there was such a strong opposition to the settlement, I would think there would have been more plaintiffs involved.  Perhaps, the large amount of $700,000 had something to do with the community speaking up about the issue.  I would certainly not doubt the sincerity of the Muslims in Dearborn; if my religion had specific rules about what I can and cannot eat, and I found out I was duped, I would be just as upset.  As a fan of both halal food and McDonald’s, I hope there is a positive resolution when both sides come back to the table.  You might even call that, a happy meal.