Halal and the political instrumentalisation of Islam
In the midst of the primary race to determine the right-wing candidate in the 2017 French presidential elections, contenders revived the idea that halal could provide the solution to funding Muslim worship in an effort to combat the perceived threat of foreign meddling in this issue. While it is clear that the commercialisation of halal products is a growing and potentially profitable market, it must be noted that the majority of the actors concerned have no direct connection with Islam as the market is currently being driven by large organisations and multinationals. It would be difficult to imagine how the French State could require non-Muslim actors to finance Muslim worship. Secondly, regarding the halal certification market, which is often targeted as a potential funding source of Muslim places of worship, it should also be pointed out that the profits made in this sector are significantly below those achieved in the commercial market of halal meat production. Thus, even if they did accept such a principle, the players in the halal certification market are far from being in a position to finance Muslim places of worship.
Another current issue related to the halal market in France concerns the formulation of a standard for halal that would be applied on all market participants. Unlike other labels the term halal does not enjoy specific legal protection. Given the widespread occurrence of fraud involving the marketing of meat and meat products that are falsely labelled ‘halal’, the establishment of a single standard for halal has become a pressing issue. After an unsuccessful initial attempt in 2007, a new initiative bringing together the main Muslim actors specializing in halal in France culminated in March 2016 in the adoption of a common Halal Charter comprising a set of halal-related precepts and criteria. In particular, the Charter stipulates that the definition of halal is the exclusive domain of the « Muslim experts in the profession » and bans all forms of stunning, whether before or after the bleeding, from ritual slaughter. But a year after its adoption, the material realisation of this historic decision is still off the agenda due to the hesitancy shown by the CFCM – a body brought into being by the French government in 2003 – which seems to be waiting on the say-so of French institutions before publicly rendering the adoption of the Halal Charter. And as long as the Charter remains in the drawers of the various actors, it is impossible to trigger the implementation process.
The interference from an allegedly secular State in the religious affairs of its Muslim fellow citizens reminds us that, as far as the treatment of halal issues is concerned, we are very often confronted by a partisan and / or highly political and discriminatory mindset rather than by reasoned argument, or arguments taken in the interests of the greater good.
 To fund such things as the maintenance and renovation of mosques or the payment of Imams.
 The CFCM (The French Council of the Muslim Faith), the three grand mosques (the Grand Mosque of Paris, Evry and Lyon) accredited by the French state to officially authorize Muslim slaughtermen, as well as Halal certification bodies and Muslim consumer associations.