Muslim group boycotts Burger King

WASHINGTON, DC: Burger King built its reputation as the fast-food restaurant that let customers have it their way. But American Muslims for Jerusalem aren’t going to be asking the chain to hold the pickles or lettuce any time soon.

WASHINGTON, DC: Burger King built its reputation as the fast-food restaurant that let customers have it their way. But American Muslims for Jerusalem aren’t going to be asking the chain to hold the pickles or lettuce any time soon.

WASHINGTON, DC: Burger King built its reputation as the fast-food

restaurant that let customers have it their way. But American Muslims

for Jerusalem aren’t going to be asking the chain to hold the pickles or

lettuce any time soon.



Claiming that Burger King is a partner in Israel’s attempt to decide the

future of the West Bank, the group is renewing its call for a worldwide

boycott by Muslims and non-Muslims.



Fahhim Abdulhadi, communications director for American Muslims for

Jerusalem, contends the boycott comes at a time when Burger King is

looking to expand its overseas markets. But Ken Bricker, a spokesman for

the American Israel Public Affairs Council, argued that the boycott call

will likely amount to little more than posturing.



’Boycotts like this traditionally do not work,’ he explained. ’In terms

of PR, they provide bang for the buck. But they’re difficult to

enforce.’ Despite Abdulhadi’s statements about Burger King coveting a

presence in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Bricker said that

he questions whether Muslims in the region are strong customers of the

chain.



The ’Occupation Just Tastes Bitter’ boycott was announced on August 5,

1999, just a few weeks after a Burger King franchisee opened a

restaurant on the West Bank. Following a series of protests, Burger King

asked the franchisee to remove its logo and products.



According to Abdulhadi, the fast-food chain’s presence on the West Bank

runs counter to the fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits attempts

by countries to move their civilian populations into the territories

they occupy. ’The franchise adds legitimacy to it,’ said Abdulhadi, who

noted that McDonald’s has thus far stayed away from the West Bank.



Burger King responded to a request for comment by faxing a statement

noting that the company and its franchisee had not come to any final

agreement about the use of the corporate logo and brand products, and

that the matter had been referred to ’international arbitration.’



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