In the upcoming presidential elections in France, attitudes toward the French Muslim population are becoming a dominant topic of debate. France’s Muslim population is around 5 million people, the largest in all of Europe. According to Reuters, the newest issue on the campaign trail is halal meat. After a recent French documentary revealed that most abattoirs (slaughterhouses) in the Paris area have converted to halal methods of slaughtering animals sold for consumption. Much like Muslim niqabs or burqas, halal meat is seen as an identifier of Muslim identity. However, as French leaders like to point out, France is a secular country, which was the basis for the law banning Muslim veils. In a recent campaign rally, Sarkozy was addressing the issue of separate hours in public pools for Muslim women (who are not allowed to swim with men). He stated: “There is no place in the republic for xenophobia, there is no place for racism. … There is no place for pools with hours for men and hours for women.” As he rallies against xenophobia, it is apparent that the sentiment of xenophobia is rampant in his and other candidates’ campaigns. A competing candidate, Marine Le Pen, similarly spoke against Muslims: “All the abattoirs of the Paris region have succumbed to the rules of a minority. We have reason to be disgusted.” From the “disgust” with halal meat to the banning of Muslim veils alongside the claims of France’s lack of xenophobia and racism, the contradiction is apparent. But the real question is: why is there such a strong anti-Muslim sentiment in France?