“But an attorney for Sindbad Market asked for and received an exemption in September on grounds that suspension would cause a hardship for Muslim food stamp recipients, who rely on the market for its preparation of halal meat, in accordance with Islamic law.”
Of course. To have taken any other course of action would have been “Islamophobic.”
“Islamic Market Guilty of Food Stamp Fraud Gets a Pass,” by Brendan Kirby, PoliZette, March 27, 2017 (thanks to Maurice):
Maine Gov. Paul LePage is objecting to a break the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Obama administration gave a halal market that made fraudulent food stamp transactions.
But federal officials told LifeZette the decision is final.
“If you have rules, you need to follow the rules. The problem with the previous administration is they were very, very weak on fraud.”
The case involves Sindbad Market in Portland. According to the Agriculture Department’s Office of Inspector General, the market made four fraudulent transactions with three ineligible customers. Because the owner was personally involved in one of the transactions, that ordinarily would trigger a one-year suspension of the ability to accept food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
But an attorney for Sindbad Market asked for and received an exemption in September on grounds that suspension would cause a hardship for Muslim food stamp recipients, who rely on the market for its preparation of halal meat, in accordance with Islamic law. The federal government agreed to impose a $33,000 fine instead.
“In consideration of the attorney’s response and our analysis of other SNAP retailers in the area, it was our determination that disqualification of Sindibad [sic] Market LLC would cause a hardship for SNAP households due to no comparable stores within a one mile radius,” a federal document states….