The power of the Islamic purse has broken new ground in France with the country's first primetime TV advertisement for halal food.

In a surprising development for a country poised to ban the burka, the advert for the first time directly targets France's five million Muslims, offering them microwaveable paella, lasagna and shepherd's pie prepared in accordance with Islamic law.

To make meat halal or permissible, an animal or poultry has to be slaughtered in a ritual way known as Zibah.

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