Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Muslim catering manager has accused the Metropolitan Police of religious discrimination as he was told he may have to handle sausages and bacon

Hasanali Khoja was told he would be expected to handle pork products at his new job at the Empress State Building in Earls Court, west London. His lawyer said Khoja was excused from pork meat in his previous job at Hendon Police College in north London. An informal agreement was reached with the force but he wants it formalized. An employment tribunal in Watford will consider his claim in May 2009. A Metropolitan Police (Met) spokesman said it was defending a claim of religious discrimination brought against it at an employment tribunal. Islam forbids the consumption of pork meat or products containing pork. Khoja, a senior catering manager, has been working with the Met since 2005 and filed the claim in the tribunal in 2007. He said: "Obviously nobody in my situation would be happy. Pork handling is the issue." His lawyer Khalid Sofi said: "The claim is about his religious beliefs. They failed to accommodate him as they had a duty to do under the law. He would have had to do certain things and bacon would have been involved."

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