By Asmaa Bahadi
By Asmaa Bahadi
Rabat – Local authorities in Colombes, France forced a Halal supermarket, Good Price, to sell pork and alcohol or else be shut down.
Halal stores in France have no choice but to follow these binding rules and turn their stores into a general food store.
Good Price, a mini-market run as a franchise, replaced a regular local store a year ago. Consequently, people who are interested in buying non-Halal goods had to travel some distance to do their shopping.
The authorities in the Paris suburb claimed that the reason for this is that there are a number of citizens in some local communities that are not well-served if stores cannot provide a range of non-Hallal goods such as alcohol and pork.
According to British newspaper The Telegraph, Besnard Jerome, the mayor’s chief of staff, said that Nicolas Goueta, the mayor of Colombes, went herself to Good Price store and asked the owner to diversify the range of products by adding alcohol and non-halal.
The local community is divided between those who want the stores to sell all products that fulfill the needs of Muslims and non-Muslims, and those who want pro-Muslim stores.
Besnard He added: “We want a social mix. We don’t want any area that is only Muslim or any area where there are no Muslims.”
The mayor also confirmed that the authorities would treat kosher stores – selling Jewish foods – the same in the town.
According to the newspaper Le Parisien, Soulemane Yalcin, the owner of the halal food store, said: “I look around me and I target what I see. The lease states ‘general food store and related activities’ – but it all depends on how you interpret ‘related activities’”.
Mr. Yalcin has taken legal actions to bring the lease, which is set to run until 2019, to an end. The case will go to court in October.