Brit Muslim catering manager claims discrimination in pork handling row

May 12th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 12 (ANI): A Muslim catering manager, Hasanali Khoja, who refused to cook sausages and bacon because it was against his religion, has claimed that he was religiously discriminated against.

Khoja, 60, told a tribunal here that he feared he would be splashed with fat from the pork products and that even wearing gloves and using tongs to cook would not protect him.

Islam forbids Muslims to eat or handle pork products.

According to The Telegraph, Khoja alleges he was discriminated against due to his religion and that, during a meeting to resolve the situation, a human resources manager pulled faces and made racist gestures.

He said he had raised the issue of pork handling at his interview in 2004 for a senior catering manager job with the Metropolitan Police Service and was told no food handling would be involved as it was a supervisory role.

Khoja was successful and started the job at Hendon police training centre on March 7, 2005 but was found to have inadequate IT skills and in August that year accepted a job as higher catering manager at the same site.

His objections to touching pork products were respected and, during training assessments, a colleague cooked sausages and bacon for a so-called 999 breakfast while he cooked toast and eggs, he said.

On February 1, 2007 Mr Khoja said he was told he was being transferred to a kitchen at Heathrow Airport.

When he reported to Heathrow he was told he was expected to prepare, cook and serve all food and immediately voiced his objections to touching pork products.

A meeting was arranged to discuss the problem on February 12, which continued on February 13.

During the second day, Khoja said the human resources manager, Paul Bell, told him his job was at risk if he did not follow instructions. Bell then pulled faces and made racist gestures, Khoja said.

Khoja told the tribunal in Watford, Hertfordshire, that he had refused to handle pork products even if gloves and tongs were provided. (ANI)

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