London, Nov 8(ANI): British supermarket giant Asda has risked sparking a racial backlash by closing its traditional fresh meat counter and replacing it with a halal only section.
The chain has decided to make the move at its large store on the Isle of Dogs in east London.
Following the decision, the Muslim customers will have a wider choice from the halal counter, while anyone wanting fresh pork chops or ham off the bone will have to go to the pre-packed meat section.
Asda has said that it was "responding to customer demand" and had done a deal with a local halal butcher to reflect the ethnic make up of the area's population.
Several politicians have voiced their concern that the move could ignite racial tension in the borough.
"As the major supplier on the island, Asda should not be restricting choice," The Sunday Express quoted Jim Fitzpatrick, local MP, as saying.
While, leader of the Tories on Tower Hamlets Council Peter Golds said the decision was "insensitive". (ANI)