Outrage after France tells Muslim shop to sell pork, alcohol

Muslims and non-Muslims around the world are outraged after a Muslim halal supermarket owner was told by French authorities to sell alcohol or pork, or face closure.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Two Muslim women shop at a halal supermarket in France. Image: AFP.

Updated Aug 8, 2016

A recent move by a French mayor along with the housing authority has generated anger from around the world.

The owner of a halal supermarket in the capital Paris was told to sell alcohol and pork to serve to its non-Muslim customers or else it will risk facing closure, The Telegraph reported.

Local authorities warned Soulemane Yalcin, the owner of the Good Price halal mini-market in Colombes, that his market was not following conditions stipulated in his lease agreement. 

The Colombes housing authority from which Yalcin rented his shop, said they had set the condition that his business must be a "general food store" that will serve the the whole community.

Picture of a halal butcher in Paris, France. Image: AFP.

“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,” the mayor’s chief of staff, Jerome Besnard, told The Telegraph.

Besnard explained the reason behind the move as, "We want a social mix.''

“We don’t want any area that is only Muslim or any area where there are no Muslims," he said, adding that the town’s reaction would have been exactly the same if a kosher shop had opened up on that spot.

However, Yalcin explains his perspective of the situation.

“It’s business,” Yalcin told Le Parisien.

“I look around me and I target what I see."

He also said that he is catering for the demand in the local area.

“The lease states ‘general food store and related activities’ – but it all depends on how you interpret ‘related activities’.

“All the stores that sell alcohol face security problems,” he told Le Parisien.

He said that ham and bacon were not sold because “there were many losses in the deli department,” which could be seen in the previous Franprix sales figures.

Yalcin's lease was due to end in 2019, however the housing authority have taken legal action to cease renting him the place before the agreed time period is up. 

Yalcin has defended his decision not to sell pork or alcohol at the shop, which opened in April 2015, and he has hired a lawyer to fight the housing authority’s bid to get him evicted.

His case is set to be heard in court on October 13.  

France has seen a number of terror attacks by radicals linked to

Other incidents

A town in southern France, decided to take action to put an end to another perceived breach of Republican principles. 

The mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau, close to Marseille, is trying to ban an event at a water park that is open only to women who wear burkinis (modest swimwear).

The event organised by a local community group said the need for modest swimwear was because there would be male lifeguards on duty at the Speedwater Park venue.

Burkinis are prohibited at municipal pools in France, as are events that are only for women, but private venues are in theory allowed to host them.

The event was organised by a Muslim community group, Smile 13, to "encourage women to join in with the community".

French authorities have also shut down about 20 mosques and Muslim prayer halls since December, according to the country's interior minister. 

Muslims attend Fridays prayer at Strasbourg Grand Mosque, where an imam preaches against terrorism in France, November 20, 2015. Image: Reuters

Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was quoted by AFP as saying, “there will be others.”

The prayer facilities were shut down as authorities believed they had been spreading radical Islamic ideologies.

TRTWorld and agencies