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McDonalds - Target for Anti-American Feeling

Falling arches
McDonald's is under fire all over the world -- literally. With restaurant bombings and shutdowns on the rise, can the fast-food conglomerate withstand the heat of global anti-Americanism?

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By Michelle Goldberg


Dec. 5, 2002  |  Around the world McDonald's restaurants have been burning. One was torched in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 20. Another blew up in Moscow on Oct. 19, while less than a month before, a small bomb ripped through a franchise in a suburb of Beirut. According to Reuters, militants arrested in July for the bomb attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi had also been planning to bomb McDonald's. In December 2001, a McDonald's was bombed in Xian, in central China, and in September 2001 a pipe bomb exploded on a McDonald's in Istanbul.

On Thursday morning, according to early reports, a bomb tore through a McDonald's in Makassar, in eastern Indonesia, killing at least two.

While no one claimed responsibility for the bombing in Turkey (nor, yet, in Indonesia) the others were attributed to Islamic extremists. And, in fact, some Muslim fundamentalists have called for attacks on the burger empire. Arabic-language Web sites watched by scholars because they frequently publish dispatches from al-Qaida, have also targeted McDonald's and other global American companies, according to As'ad AbuKhalil, a research fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of "Bin Laden, Islam and America's New 'War on Terrorism.'"
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Last update: 18/12/2002; 5:01:20 PM.