Being a Muslim this is particularly shameful, but one of the few authentically halal places in Casablanca is the McDonald’s. It does not serve alcohol, nor does it have pork on the menu unlike most “Muslim” establishments nearby on the waterfront in Casablanca.
Surely the ultimate irony? The Trojan Horse of western cultural imperialism is the only one that feels the need to adhere to Islamic dietary principles in a predominately Muslim country.It speaks volumes about where the future of Islam will be.
Back to maccas. In a county that is poor and where the working class is resolutely observant only the secular middle classes can afford to eat at this place. The only other authentically halal places to eat were in the working class neighborhoods well away from our hotel. This was located on the waterfront next to the cathedral disguised as a Mosque.
So the Francophone middle class Casablancans turn up in droves on a Saturday lunch, ladies (not sisters) in backless sequin dresses with plunging necklines, men in safari suits, all plump and oily. Oddly in an American fast food place in an independent Arab Muslim nation on the African continent, the customers spoke to the staff in French.
When we arrived sweaty and disheveled in full Aussie tourist kit you can imagine the shock amongst the maccas set. It was impossible for them to process a Muslim women in hijab (which they see as stigmata of the illiterate poor) being able to afford lunch in MacDonald’s which is several months salary. So we sat down in the middle of proceedings and ordered ostentatiously off the menu in English.
Maccas food is quite tasty after a month of packet soup, but the novelty wears off very quickly. The burgers are so soft that one imagines that they can be sucked through a plastic drink straw. The chips were OK and they had Coke. In a pinch the paper napkins may also be edible.
However, it is essential that there be one genuine halal eating place in the foreshore at Casablanca, and western capitalism delivers it.
Jazak Allah khair to them
To sum up: Salvador Dali under the golden arches.