Marks & Spencer shop in Manchester
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Paul Diamond: 'Religious accommodation with outer limit'

Marks and Spencer has apologised after a Muslim member of staff refused to serve a customer trying to buy alcohol.

Asked about whether it is right for Muslims to facilitate the sale of alcohol, Islamic law consultant Khola Hasan explained: "I think there's a difference between working in an off-licence, where you're only dealing with alcohol, [and] a larger store where there is so much sold."

"If you've chosen to work in a supermarket, you know exactly what is sold there," she added.

Barrister Paul Diamond said that in his view "a reasonable employer… should be able to organise a shift pattern [that accommodates people's religious beliefs and practices]".

But he added that he also thought there should be "an outer limit to religious accommodation" and that M&S had set a "very high benchmark".

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 23 December 2013.