A halal supermarket in France has been threatened with closure if it does not begin selling pork and alcohol products.
Soulemane Yalcin, the owner of the Good Price mini-market franchise in Colombes, was told by local authorities that the store had not been following the conditions of its lease.
The housing authority, from which Mr Yalcin rents his premise in the suburb of Paris, stated that the shop must act as a ‘general food store’ for the benefit of the entire community.
It claims that the store, which replaced a regular supermarket last year, is in breach of French republican principles by prioritising a certain group.
The Colombes housing authority has now taken legal action to bring an end to the lease, which is meant to run until 2019.
Nicole Goueta, the mayor of Colombes, visited the store to urge Mr Yalcin to begin selling both alcohol and pork, reported the Telegraph.
The mayor’s chief of staff, Jerome Besnard, told the paper that she asked the owner to ‘diversify’ his range of products on sale following complaints from locals.
He added that the area wants a ‘social mix’ where everyone can get hold of a selection of products.
Many of the older residents have been unable to complete their entire shop at the new store, following the closure of the old supermarket.
This has forced them to travel to other shops out of their immediate vicinity to buy pork and alcohol.
Speaking to Le Parisien, Mr Yalcin, who opened his shop in April 2015, defended his decision not to sell the products.
He claimed that he was simply catering to the demands of his customers in the area.
He 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 added that other stores selling alcohol in the area face ‘security problems’ and claimed Franprix sales figures showed there were ‘losses in the deli department’.
He has hired a lawyer to fight the case, which will go to court in October.