In Paris, France a Halal food market has been ordered to sell pork and alcohol or face closure. Authorities in the city are threatening to carry out the forced closure if the store doesn’t begin selling products that are banned under Islamic tradition. The shop maintains that it has the right not to sell products that it finds “haram,” which means forbidden.
According to the lease, the Good Price mini-market must operate as a “general food store” according to local authorities. Their claim is that the community is not being properly catered to if these two particular are items are not made available.
Speaking to the media, the mayor’s chief of staff, Jerome Besnard, said, “The mayor of Colombes, Nicole Goueta, went there herself and asked the owner to diversify the range of products by adding alcohol and non-halal meats.” Further elaborating the chief of staff said: “We want a social mix. We don’t want any area that is only Muslim or any area where there are no Muslims.”
Authorities are taking legal action to revoke the business’ lease which is set to expire in 2019. The case against the store will be heard in October.
This whole complaint is a means by which to harass a Muslim grocery store. I would be interested to see if there was any case in France where a Jewish-owned establishment has been forced to make the same kind of concessions to the community. I’d imagine not. In fact, I think such a move would be met with accusations of anti-Semitism. However, since the shop is owned by Muslims there won’t be any public outrage against it. In fact, it will be taken as humorous, “haha we got those Muslims.”
I see little point in putting non-halal items into an Islamic market. No one is going to go to a Muslim market to buy those products. Forcing them will only lead to food waste. No one who goes there is going to purchase them; the food will sit unsold on the shelves. Food and money will be wasted in what is essentially a bullying tactic against Muslims.