Halal Grocery Shut Down in Nanterre

What’s interesting about the following news report is that a French court was able to shut down a halal-only grocery store because the premises were owned by the municipality, and were thus covered by the laws on laïcité — that is, the store was required to cater to a general clientele, and not solely to members of a particular faith.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   It’s a neighborhood grocery store for more than five thousand inhabitants.
00:04   In its aisles the huge majority of products are halal.
00:08   From meat to candy. Here there’s no pork or alcohol.
00:12   Therefore the judicial decision was served, and it orders the closing
00:16   of the store. Most customers are flabbergasted. —All this
00:20   is idiotic, because in this store there’s everything: there are fruits, vegetables…
00:24   This is discrimination! Yes, yes! Absolutely. All that, because there is no pork and no alcohol!
00:28   It’s not normal that they have to close, because the neighborhood needs it.
00:33   It’s essential… —Are there many people who come here?
00:37   Oh yes! Oh yes! Oh yes! —I don’t know what will be put here instead, but no, it’s,
00:41   it’s ridiculous, in fact. But for others, this grocery store, isn’t really perfect.
00:45   It’s true, that for us, it’s difficult, because there are things that we don’t find, which we need
00:49   for which sometimes we have to go to Leclerc [another grocery], which we could have bought here.
00:53   The landlord of this grocery store is the town hall of Colombes. And the contract stipulates:
00:57   “a general grocery store”. For the court in Nanterre,
01:01   a halal grocery store isn’t a general grocery store.
01:05   “The special orientation of the business towards selling products destined not for all customers,
01:09   but for specific buyers — halal products, oriental products — is restrictive and doesn’t correspond
01:13   to the expansive notion of the general grocery.” This decision is a victory
01:18   for the mayor, who, for the past two years, tried to convince the manager
01:22   to diversify his business. —This is a public property.
01:26   It’s subordinate to the municipal office of the neighborhood.
01:30   So it was a service we were offering to the population. And I am the mayor, and I am secular.
01:34   We need to respect secularism in the neighborhood! The manager of
01:38   the store has already announced that he’ll appeal the eviction.

2 thoughts on “Halal Grocery Shut Down in Nanterre

  1. Uh, why couldn’t a Mono/Miniprix or Carrefour Express go into this location?

    […] there are plenty of small Carrefour markets in alpine villages across France?

  2. One small step forward for the French population and hopefully one giant step back for the halal customers.

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