A halal supermarket in a suburb in Paris has been ordered by the local authorities to sell alcohol and port or face being shut down. The Good Price discount mini-market in Colombes has been pulled up by the local housing authority for failing to meet conditions on its lease that states that the shop must act as a "general food store".
The local authority which leases the property to the supermarket, claims that by failing to sell these two items, all members of the local community are not being served properly. The Colombes local authority says that the store breaches French republican principles by giving priority to a certain group in the society rather than catering to all categories of people.
It is taking legal action to revoke the lease which runs until 2019. The case will be heard in court in October, The Telegraph reports.
"The mayor of Colombes, Nicole Goueta, went there herself and asked the owner to diversify the range of products [sold] by adding alcohol and non-halal meats," the mayor's chief of staff, Jerome Besnard told The Telegraph.
Besnard said that older residents in the area had complained that they no longer were able to get the full range of products at Good Price. The halal supermarket, a franchise, last year replaced another small supermarket at the site.
Residents are now forced to travel some distance to do their shopping, Besnard says. "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.
He pointed out that the town would have reacted the same if a kosher shop had opened at the same site.
Shop owner says he was just targeting customer demand in area
Soulemane Yalcin who runs the shop defended the shop's products, saying that he was meeting the needs of this customers in the large public housing estates.
"It's business. 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'," he told Le Parisien newspaper.
Pennes-Mirabeau seeks to ban burkini-clad event only at water park
In another row, Pennes-Mirabeau, a town in south of France, is seeking to ban an event at a water park organised by a local community group. The event is open only to burkini-clad women and children.
The organisers of the event claim that modest swimwear is required because there will be male lifeguards on duty at the Speedwater Park venue. The Telegraph said that burkinis are banned at municipal pools in France, including women-only events but this does not cover private venues.