A halal shop in Colombes faces closure after the landlord won a lawsuit against the tenant, which violated its lease by refusing to stock alcohol and pork.
The landlord, a public rent control organisation, or HLM office as they are known in France, is led by conservative Republican mayor of Colombes Nicole Goueta, who took the matter to court to get the halal grocer Good Price to either stock alcohol and pork or be evicted.
The HLM office has said that the shop owners have violated their lease which stipulated that they were using the commercial property for “a general trade of food”, L’Express reports.
“This is a case that may seem unique but is still quite simple,” said the lawyer for the HLM office François Meyer. “Colombes gave a lease to the company Good Price and, in the clauses of the lease, is inserted a mention for this business to be a general shop,” he added.
The lawyer for Good Price dismissed the claims against the shop saying that alcohol “is not part of the general diet. It is called compliment, so there are no obligations.”
On Monday afternoon, the court in Nanterre ruled in favour of the HLM office with the judge in the case saying the sale of halal products “is restrictive and does not fit the broad notion of general food”.
The court also ordered the shopkeepers to be evicted from the commercial space and said that the HLM office could use the police, if required, to make the shop owners leave. The shopkeepers have also been forced to pay €4,000 in legal costs.
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In countries around Europe, halal slaughter practices have been heavily criticised by animal rights campaigners who view their methods as cruel. In the UK earlier this year, the government announced that CCTV cameras would be placed in abattoirs to prevent cruelty after a charity secretly filmed halal butchers engaging in cruelty in Yorkshire.
Islamic leaders were also up in arms in October after schools in Lancashire decided to ban halal meat from animals that had not been stunned before slaughter.