After the burka, France is now grappling with the bacon burger. The culinary import that was once anathema for Gallic patriots is at the heart of the latest bout of anguish over the rise of Islam in France.

Politicians, media and Paris penseurs have been piling in against Quick, a Franco-Belgian fast-food chain, over its policy of serving only halal meat in 8 of its 362 burger outlets. Smoked turkey has replaced bacon at the Islamically correct restaurants at Roubaix, on the Belgian frontier, and in Muslim-dominated suburbs of Paris and other cities.

A campaign for regional elections next month has heated a row that was ignited when Marine Le Pen, heir to her father Jean-Marie's far-right Front National and MEP for the Roubaix area, heard about the pork-free Quicks, which have been operating since last October without a complaint.

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