AFP, Dec. 10, 2002
EVRY, France, Dec 10 (AFP) – The Socialist mayor of a high-immigration Paris suburb has threatened to call in the police unless the Muslim managers of a local supermarket stock the full range of standard items including alcohol and pork.
When brothers Mohamed and Abdel Djaiziri took over the Evry branch of the Franprix supermarket chain in October, they removed products that are banned by Islam, prompting the anger of mayor Manuel Valls who said their action encouraged “sectarianism.”
“I was alerted by residents, some of them in fact Muslims, who want their neighbourhood to remain diverse and fear that some of the inhabitants might leave,” Valls, a socialist, said Tuesday.
In a letter sent two weeks ago to the Djaiziri brothers, Valls demanded that they “re-establish the normal functioning of the shop … as soon as possible,” or else he said he would resort to “all the police powers at my disposal.”
Muhamed Djaiziri said he was ready to discuss the matter, “but we did not appreciate the tone of the letter.”
He said the decision to ban alcohol was in order to avoid the attentions of young Muslim radicals in the area, while the ban on pork was to qualify for a “halal” meat certificate from the Muslim authorities.
However the Franprix chain said it had written to the brothers reminding them that it is in their contract that they sell the whole range of Franprix products.