• France's news in English
French Muslim shopowner fined for sexist opening hours

French Muslim shopowner fined for sexist opening hours

The Local/AFP · 26 Apr 2016, 12:44

Published: 26 Apr 2016 12:44 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A Muslim shopkeeper has been fined €500 ($560) for ordering different opening hours for men and women at his store in the French city of Bordeaux, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Jean-Baptiste Michalon, the owner of a general store and who converted to Islam in 2012, created an uproar when he pasted a notice outside the shop in June 2015 indicating different shopping hours for men and women.

"Sisters" were invited to shop on Saturdays and Sundays only, while "brothers" were told they could shop on week days.

Michalon quickly abandoned the plan faced with a swell of negative reaction, and his shop has since closed its doors.

"We put this in place at the request of the sisters who preferred when my wife was behind the counter. It is a shop where we sell clothes," Michalon told AFP at the time.

Michalon's lawyer Tristram Heliot told AFP that the shop owner "admitted it was a blunder and tactless".

Politicians slammed the move, as did Bordeaux's chief Imam Tareq Oubrou.

"We never saw this during the time of the Prophet. Markets were mixed. It seems a bit strange to me in a world where social mixing is an established culture," he said.

Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppé called out on Twitter for "an end to such a discriminatory practice".
Naima Charai, the head of French equality group ACSE, tweeted her disdain too, saying that gendered opening hours are "unimaginable and unacceptable".
"Respect for the republic should be seven days a week," she wrote. 
Marik Fetouh, the deputy mayor of Bordeaux tasked with equality, told French newspaper 20 Minutes that the shop was not in line with typical practices for Muslims in the region.
Story continues below…
"This is the first time we've seen something like this in Bordeaux," he said.
"It's problematic because it creates a bad image for the Muslim community, who actually abide by 99 percent of the laws of France."

The Local/AFP (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available