News

Smell of bacon gets up Muslims’ noses

A STOCKPORT café-owner has been ordered to tear down an extractor fan – because the smell of her frying bacon “offends” Muslims.

Mrs Akciecek preparing a fry-up

According to this report, planning bosses acted against Beverley Akciecek, 49, after being told her next-door neighbour’s Muslim friends had felt “physically sick” due to the “foul odour”.

The fan has been in Beverley’s Snack Shack takeaway in the Shaw Heath area of the town for the past three years.

Mrs Akciecek and her husband Cetin, 50 – himself a Turkish Muslim – work more than 50 hours a week buying, preparing and cooking hot and cold sandwiches and hot-pots for their customers.

The mother-of-seven said she plans to appeal against the decision.

I just think it’s crazy. Cetin’s friends actually visit the shop, they’re regular visitors, they’re Muslim people, they come in a couple of times a week. I have Muslim people come in for cheese toasties. Cetin cooks the food himself, he cooks the bacon.

She added:

When we go to a cafe my husband wouldn’t be offended by the smell of bacon. His friends are not offended by it, we have three visitors who come here for a sandwich, friends of my husband, and the smell doesn’t offend them at all. My brother-in-law doesn’t flinch if he comes and we’ve just taken out three trays of bacon.

The couple took over the take-away in 2007 from the previous owner and replaced the existing extractor fan, which had been there for six years, with a new modern one.

They claim they received no complaints about the cafe which is open from 7.30am-2.30pm six days a week, until around 18 months ago when they received a letter from environmental services to say their neighbour Graham Webb-Lee had complained about the smell.

Mr Webb-Lee said:

The vent is 12 inches from my front door. Every morning the smell of bacon comes through and makes me physically sick. I have a lot of Muslim friends. They refuse to visit me anymore because they can’t stand the smell of bacon.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

49 responses to “Smell of bacon gets up Muslims’ noses”

  1. Malcolm Armsteen says:

    But this is nothing to do with Islam, it’s to do with Islamophobic reporting. It’s a planning issue, which the defendants have skewed to gain sympathy and the Mail and other sources have run with as it suits their agenda.

    The Webb-Lees have denied that they made the statement quoted. It seems to have been manufactured by the Daily Mail.

    I am second to no-one in my contempt for religion in all its forms, but you must see the need for accurate reporting if we are ever to lose the reputation of merely being ranty nutters. You really need to look at these stories critically, or all you do is give our opponents ammunition.

  2. barriejohn says:

    I am not convinced by the furious back-pedalling that is now going on over this story. It seems to me very likely that the complainant DID bring so-called Muslim objections into his argument, and as there was an extractor fan in situ for SIX YEARS previous to the installation of this one, one has to wonder what the motives of the complainant were.

  3. Enzyme says:

    Oh, dear: you really are going to have to stop taking the Daily Fail‘s headlines quite so seriously.

    This has nothing to do with offending Muslims. It’s a planning violation. For a debunk, see http://tabloid-watch.blogspot.com/2010/10/mail-blames-muslims-over-planning.html

  4. Daz says:

    If some bastard put an extractor fan, probably smelling of semi-rancid fry-up grease twelve inches from my door, I’d complain too.

  5. Peter Hearty says:

    I’m glad to see that commenters here have the very good sense to be suspicious of anything being hyped by the Daily Mail. I agree entirely with the comments made so far.

  6. Harry says:

    So what she needs is a pipe going from the extractor up above the building.

  7. barriejohn says:

    I am trying without fail here to ask why, if there has been an extractor fan in the same position for nearly NINE YEARS, this man has suddenly decided to object to it. What is his agenda? And why was planning permission needed for something which already existed? If you live next door to an eaterie, then you are going to get smells!

  8. Angela_K says:

    I agree with the previous posts. However, it was the neighbour, Graham Webb-Lee who dragged religion into the case by whinging that his muzzie friends are upset by the smell of bacon.

  9. Malcolm Armsteen says:

    Angela Рit was the caf̩ owner who played the Muslim card, the Webb-Lees were actually much more concerned about their daughter, who has an eating disorder.

    And I see this article is still being tweeted despite several comments pointing out that it is a highly suspect story.
    That isn’t honest, and does our case no good at all.
    This is the comment of the Webb-Lees:

    i am the neighbour who complained! well done DM for asking for my comments on the matter, but if you had there would be No story to print! this vent is affecting my childrens health & that is why the council denied planning!! yes i have some muslim friends who it offended, but nothing was said about my english friends who avoid my house within opening hours of the shop! shame on you “daily mail” you have stirred up lots of racial tention in my area now, so for you its “mission accomplished”
    – SARAH & GRAHAM WEBB-LEE,

    So, by continuing to publish, you have advanced the Mail’s intolerance agenda. Well done, you.

  10. chrsbol says:

    You would never guess by the photo that the lady runs a fry-up caf.
    As for extractor fans I am one myself having really liked them once.

  11. Broadsword says:

    @Harry

    I think I’ve seen them rising up the rear walls of takeaways. They’re almost 1′ wide constructed of stainless steel. They’re too wide for chimneys but just right so as not to retard the airflow from a fan. They are expensive-looking which may be the root of this case. I see lots of them when I’m delivering goods round the backs of rows of shops.

    @chrsbol
    “You would never guess by the photo that the lady runs a fry-up caf.”
    You should see the guys who deliver pies and pasties. Talk about enjoying your work.

  12. Ellen says:

    For my UK cousins, here is something that may be useful:

    http://www.dalehollowoutdoors.com/a-way-scent-web-smokey-bacon.html

    “radicals begone” spray…

  13. barriejohn says:

    I don’t believe a word of what Mr Webb-Lee is saying now. How come the extractor fan wasn’t affecting his children’s health over the past nine years?

  14. There is no evidence that any Muslim complained to the council about this extractor fan, and Muslim sensitivities weren’t mentioned in the council’s decision. This is just nasty Daily Mail shit-stirring.

  15. barriejohn says:

    The story appears in other than The Mail. If no one mentioned Muslims, then why did Mrs Akciecek? Something doesn’t add up.

  16. Harry says:

    Well, barriejohn, the article says it happenned when they replaced the extractor fan so I would deduce from this that they took some shortcuts. As you say, the normal approach is to have those metal chimneys on the extractors to allow the smell to dissipate before anyone has to breathe it in.

    I note the article doesn’t mention what the old extractor was like, but since they were refused planning permission it wasn’t as simple as just a straight swap. You don’t need planning permission to replace an existing extractor fan with a similar one.

    From the timeline given in the article, they installed the new system in 2007 and first got a complaint around a year later. Given that this complaint had gone through the government bureaucracy first that’s not a huge delay on the complainant’s part.

  17. Bubblecar says:

    Have to agree that this article is a waste of space. The headline about Muslims is flatly contradicted by the quotes from Mrs Akciecek. Mr Web-Lee may have legitimate cause for complaint but this really has nothing to do with religion.

  18. jaffacakes says:

    It wouldnt be the Daily Mail if they didnt have at least one of these storiesa week and one about cheese causing cancer.
    Enzyme are you the Enzyme from B3ta?

  19. Daz says:

    Don’t worry, they’ll be trotting out all the ‘winterval,’ and ‘Muslims stole our christmas’ rubbish soon. Oh, joy.

  20. Meee says:

    I used to think that hating on the Daily Mail is just the trendy thing to do, the same way people who weren’t even alive when Thatcher was in power hate on Thatcher.

    But seriously, over the last couple of years I’ve grown to realise that the daily mail is *exactly* as shit as their reputation makes them out to be. It’s not offended left wing wimps hating on the paper because they disagree with it, it’s people with a brain hating on the paper because it’s a piece of shit.

    In many ways, though, it’s actually quite informative; if there’s a story about muslims in it, believe the exact opposite. You’ll usually be right. They’re like an opposite day paper. If you see a story about one of the following:

    – Benefit cheats
    – Muslims
    – Health and Safety GONE MAAAAAD
    – Homosexuality in any way
    – Oppression of Christianity
    – Anything with Richard Littlejohn in it

    completely ignore it. It’s absolutely false. Hell, just read back a few entries in tabloid-watch that was linked in the second post to see the kind of shit tabloids get away with.

    I know it’s easy to see a negative story about muslims or religion in general and immediately latch onto it because it fits our worldview, but that is exactly the kind of thing we should be guarding against, because otherwise we end up the same as the thing we hate.

    /rant

  21. tony e says:

    Give me a bacon sandwich, slight amount of butter and fresh bread over quorn-burgers any day. If I want to chew cardboard I’ll cut up boxes.

  22. Don says:

    Quite right, everybody. While rationally opposing religious intrusion into public life, let’s keep one eye open for plain bigots who try to twist everything into an attack on the otherness they hate and fear, and who try to use secularism as a stalking horse for their petty prejudices.

    Just don’t link to the Daily Bile as anything other than a xenophobic hate-rag.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Here’s another Daily Mail story for you all to read:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1034546/SUZANNE-MOORE-What–Firemen-choosing-save.html

    Is that bigoted enough for you?

  24. Harry says:

    Aha, so that’s what the fuck-me shoes woman is up to now.

    Sadly, all the related stories on that article seem to be the Mail taking the registrar’s side and saying that you shouldn’t have to do your job if your invisible friend says it’s okay.

  25. eveningperson says:

    This is the second time I recall you falling for a tabloid hoax (the first was something about a swimming pool).

    One more and you’re off my reading list. I suggest you follow the Tabloid Watch blog.

  26. Malcolm Armsteen says:

    Or read this

    http://failymail.wordpress.com/

    Ditto – you’re going off my read list soon. Secularism, yes. Bigotry – no.

  27. Harry says:

    That extractor does rather take the proverbial.

    http://failymail.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cafe-extractor-fan.jpg

    I’d hypothesise that the old one didn’t work so they replaced it with one that actually did the job. Still, somebody deliberately put the exhaust as close to next door’s front door as possible.

  28. Enzyme says:

    @jaffacakes – Yes I am.

    @barriejohn – why throw in a completely unrelated Daily Wail story? Chaff? There is no backpedalling here; nothing that doesn’t add up. The paper decided that Teh Muzlimz were to blame for something they plainly weren’t ; you’ve decided the same thing.

  29. drcancerman says:

    I wonder why people seem so uptight when muslims are criticized… Are they more special than christians in any way? Should islam be protected in some way? I’m sure many people who defend islam would jump without thinking if some orthodox jew was complaining about the same thing.

  30. barriejohn says:

    Enzyme: No I haven’t. Someone told the woman that Muslims had objected to the smell, or why would she have mentioned it, having a Muslim husband herself? I don’t think her neighbour has been telling the truth here. And I linked to the Suzanne Moore article as I get sick of knee-jerk reactions to any story carried by the Daily Mail, which I thought would have been obvious.

  31. Harry says:

    Because, cancerman, the more times criticism of islam gets revealed as a bare-faced lie, the less likely people are to believe truthful criticism of islam. The one you link is most likely true, but thanks to the daily mail story fewer people will believe it than if that story hadn’t been printed.

    Not that the mail care. They get the extra papers sold either way.

  32. barriejohn says:

    Someone has told Mrs Akciecek that Muslims are offended by the smell emanating from her premises. Who was it and why did they say so? As she is married to a Muslim herself I see no reason why she would make up such a story. If there is no truth in it then what was their agenda?

  33. drcancerman says:

    @Harry

    The problem is that many atheists who come here defend islam like they were muslims themselves. In this case, I have no doubt about the dialymail report,; Muslims have done similar things in the past before. Even if this was “fake” which would certainly be prejudicial to Mrs Akciecek as they could be sued, it won’t change the fact that muslims are hellbent in their desire to impose their will in our democracy. I wouldn’t want to live in another dark ages with inquisition 2: the return… Would you like that? I can even quote the prince in Saudi Arabi who killed his boytoy, he will is facing death in Saudi Arabia, not by killing his boytoy but by being gay.

  34. Harry says:

    barriejohn, £100 says the person who brought up islam in this story was the journalist. That’s what they do, find a popular theme they can hang a story on. It’ll have gone something like this:

    Neighbor: Yeah, my friends don’t visit me anymore since this place stinks.
    Reporter: Are your friends muslims?
    Neighbor: Huh? Some of them, why?
    Reporter: Oh, no reason.

    Later

    Reporter: Yeah, your neighbor says his muslim friends are staying away because of this smell.
    Owner: That’s ridiculous, muslims aren’t offended by bacon, hell, my husband’s a muslim?
    Reporter: Really? That’s interesting. (Mentally: Ka-Ching! Sensationalist angle alert!)

    Cancerman, if you have no doubt that the story is true then how do you deal with the fact that not a single muslim has complained?

  35. barriejohn says:

    I see. It was in the Daily Mail so it can’t be true. I give up!

  36. drcancerman says:

    @Harry

    complain to where? To who?

    @barriejohn

    I’m pretty sure if this was the BBC they would say the same thing… Remember, islam is immune to criticism.

  37. Broadsword says:

    @drcancerman

    After a break, nice to see you back.

    B

  38. barriejohn says:

    Drcancerman: I think he meant that “not a single Muslim has complained” about the smell. We don’t know that for sure, but someone has certainly given the impression that they did, and it wasn’t the Mail! I can’t see that Mrs Akciecek would, given that her husband is Moslem, so that leaves either the local council or Mr Webb-Lee as the originators of the story. I wonder whether he was having a dig at her because her husband is a Muslim, and is helping to produce food sourced from pork? Will we ever know?

  39. elainek123 says:

    I love my bacon. Since I was a little girl the smell of bacon was great, my favourite breakfast, although being born in to a family regarded as jewish. No one can tell me what to eat and what to cook.
    How far will this go.
    Lets first look into the way food is obtained and the cruelty that religion imposes.

  40. Dan says:

    I think there is a big difference between “the smell of bacon”, and fumes from cooking fried bacon being delivered almost to my front door. I like the first; I think the second would rapidly become a pain in the neck.

    There may be rights and wrongs on both sides of this argument, but whatever they are they are nothing to do with being ordered to dismantle an extractor fan “in case it upsets Muslims”.

    Barriejohn and drcancerman are *way* too credulous of the Daily Mail. It is clear to me that the origin of the story is Beverley Akciecek. There is something of a meme these days of “people married to Muslims” using that fact when counter-complaining.

    I hope our editor will be more careful about reposting articles found by Barriejohn, as this one will have done the Freethinker’s credibility no good at all.

    drcancerman said: “the problem is that many atheists who come here defend islam like they were muslims themselves.” This is drivel. Atheists who point out that tabloid rubbish is tabloid rubbish are simply being rational. You’ll remember the concept of rationalism. It involves not being prejudiced, among other things. There’s plenty of real religious abuse out there without lapping up the xenophobic bullshit like sheep.

    Dan

  41. Harry says:

    Barriejohn, why do you insist that it wasn’t the mail that brought up islam in relation to this story? It’s not like they have a history of neutrality towards islam.

    Please stop this. There is a real campaign to be waged against islam but it can’t be done while it gets tarred with the same brush as those who carelessly lie about islam. Islam does genuinely bad things, it kills and rapes and enslaves. False accusations of petty complaints about extractor fans or swimming pools serve them, not us.

  42. barriejohn says:

    You all need to read the actual story. Mrs Akciecek attended the meeting and then complained to the paper, rightly or wrongly, that she was not given a fair hearing. She has stated that Mr Webb-Lee claimed that he had Muslim friends who were offended at the smell of bacon emanating from her premises. Either he did say that, or someone on the council has given her that impression, or she has made it up, or someone has misunderstood what was said. It certainly wasn’t The Mail that “brought up Islam” here, and my own suspicion is that Webb-Lee DID say it, as a jibe against the Akcieceks, and then denied it when the heat was on.

  43. barriejohn says:

    Dan: I don’t acually write the fucking articles, and Barry is quite capable of making up his own mind what is and is not suitable for publication, I’m sure.

  44. drcancerman says:

    @Broadsword

    I’m always reading, visiting multiple times a day, sometimes I just don’t have the time to comment or everyone else said what needed to be said. Freethinker is actually one of the first websites I visit every day after waking up.

    Thanks 🙂

    @barriejohn

    True true, but it wouldn’t be a stretch, if I remember correctly a bar/pub in America had to close down(Or block it’s windows… ) because it was on the same block as a mosque(Considering that the Bar/pub was there first).

    Sufi saint Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624), letter #163

    “The honour of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs . One who respects the kafirs dishonours the Muslims… The real purpose of levying jiziya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honour and might of Islam.”

    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur'an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Jizya

    @elainek123

    Anything with bacon tastes better…oh…dear… I’m hungry now!

  45. Proud Infidel says:

    malcolm – If YOU had bothered to actually research this story you would have discovered that the webb-lee family DID in fact use the complaint that their muslim friends are offended by the smell of bacon in order to get the end result they wanted. The webb-lee’s made direct comments to The Sun & The Express stating their muslim friends no longer visit them. The webb-lee’s played the muslim angle after 2 YEARS of being denied what they wanted. Did you know that the Stockport Council sent out letters to 23 neighbours and NOT ONE of them responded or lodged a complaint against the Snack Shack (which has been in business almost 9 years btw). The vent was existing there for 6 years and merely the replaced with the exact same fan just new model. Council came out and took emission readings and everything was LEGIT – the council could find NO FAULT with the Snack Shack. In a last ditch effort, the webb-lee’s played the muslim card to get what they wanted. Now that it has come to light – they are backtracking. If you look at the official complaint you will see the webb-lee’s made those statements about their muslim friends.Did you know another application was submitted for another diner 2 streets away? It’s possible the webb-lee’s(or their family/friends) are financially invested in the other diner and merely wish to close down the Snack Shack to further their own profits.

    We Infidels are TIRED of the muslim card being played. We are no longer going to blindly allow you to take over the world simply because Christianity teaches us to turn the other cheek whilst islam teaches you to lie, cheat, rape, murder, and steal your way to conquest.

  46. Milz says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBT6OSr1TI
    you gotta watch this people, it sums up everything!
    I know it must be true because i read it in the daily mail! hehe

  47. DanJBye says:

    Right. Christians, of course, never had empires or anything. .

    Without getting into whether there’s a real actual case involving bacon here, since I have no idea, how did the “muslims complaining” thing get into the story.

    Well, one way might be that the complainant introduced the impact of the fumes on his life as part of the complaint. If you’re trying to explain the effect of the smell, then you’d probably want to say “none of my friends visit me any more, it’s so bad”. If your friends happen to be Muslim, then maybe they do have a cultural aversion to bacon. That’s possible. And if there’s a strong smell of greasy bacon in your house, then to say that they found it particularly off-putting is an obvious point to make in order to illustrate how bad it is.

    Alright. But what this isn’t, is a story of how *offended Muslims* are causing the destruction of extractor fans.

    Dan