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Catering to Muslims, American Style

From the International Herald Tribune

...Companies in the Detroit area, where there is a dense population of Muslims, are leading the change. A McDonald's there serves halal Chicken McNuggets; Walgreens has Arabic signs in its aisles. And now, Ikea, which recently opened a store in the suburb of Canton that has had trouble attracting as many Muslim customers as hoped, has been touring local homes and talking to Muslims to figure out their needs.

The store there plans to sell decorations for Ramadan next fall and is adding halal meat to its restaurant menu. Catalogues will be offered in Arabic, and female Muslim employees will be given an Ikea-branded hijab, to wear over their head if they wish.

Marketing to Muslims is, of course, mostly intended to increase the companies' sales. But advertising has also long been a mirror of changes in society...