Cafe Owner Ordered To Remove Extractor Fan As Offensive To Muslims Due To Smell Of Bacon

Councillors at Stockport Council in Greater Manchester have a rather broad notion of accommodating religious sensitivities. Acting under its authority of “residential amenity,” the Council has ordered a cafe to remove an extractor fan because the fan blows the smell of food outside, including the smell of bacon that offends Muslim neighbors.

Beverley Akciecek, 49, was told her next-door neighbour’s Muslim friends felt “physically sick” and complained of the “foul odour.” As an offensive element to Muslims, she had to tear down the fan system.

She is appealing and noted that her husband Cetin, 50, is a Muslim and that she has a significant number of Muslim customers.

For the Council, this could be a case of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. I fail to see how the council can force the removal of smell or sounds that might be offensive to one religion or another. Where does such an enforcement policy end? What about Church bells or the “call to the faithful”? How about incense from Buddhist ceremonies?

There may be a stronger claim to act in cases of clear malicious acts. We have seen such malicious acts directed against Muslim communities in the United States, as with the recent controversy of pig races in Texas. Even with aesthetic nuisances (which are generally not actionable), there is an exception for malicious acts such as “spite fences.” The problem is that such acts can be an exercise of free speech and raise countervailing constitutional issues.

Source: Daily Mail

9 thoughts on “Cafe Owner Ordered To Remove Extractor Fan As Offensive To Muslims Due To Smell Of Bacon”

  1. I haven’t read the Daily Mail story that this is based on, but in general, I wouldn’t trust most UK newspapers to either get the facts right on a story like this or to not spin it like crazy.

  2. As an atheïstic agnost, I’ve always been heavily offended by the smell of mosques, cathedrals, temples and other places of worship…

    There’s just no stink like religion.

  3. I’m not going to go into the religion thing, because religion wasn’t an issue, we were basically religion-free at the time. When I lived with my parents oh about thirty years ago the butcher next door used to cure saveloys and the air coming from his extractor fan was absolutely rotten. When those guys say it made them feel “physically sick” I know what they mean, and it has nothing to do with a religious aversion to ritually unclean animals.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saveloy

    It’s a bit dumb to have religious laws that allow this kind of thing, but it’s also a bit dumb to let people do this crap in a residential area. You don’t want to live near that stink, believe me.

  4. One of the reasons given was that the smell of bacon was making their anorexic daughter sick. Buy a clue folks. If the smell of food cooking makes an anorexic sick, it may not be the fact it is bacon, but rather the kid’s body is reacting to being starved. Instead of objecting to the smell of food cooking, how about getting her into treatment.

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