This wasn't true.
The fan has to be removed because the cafe owners (one of whom is Muslim) were refused planning permission for it. Moreover, the only person who officially complained about the smell during the planning application process was a member of the non-Muslim family who lived next door to the cafe.
Three people complained to the PCC about the story - versions of which also appeared in the Metro and Telegraph - but it has rejected the complaints. Apparently, despite the Mail saying the fan was being 'torn down' because 'the smell of frying bacon 'offends' Muslims' the PCC says:
readers would not be misled as to the circumstances surrounding the refusal for planning permission.
Here's the full PCC ruling :
The Commission made clear that, given the brief and limited nature of headlines, it considers them in the context of the article as a whole rather than as stand alone statements. In this instance, the Commission noted that the headlines reflected Mr Webb-Lee’s testimony that his Muslim friends would not visit because of the smell of bacon that came from the fan.
While it acknowledged the complainants’ argument that this was not the specific reason given by the council for the refusal of the application, it noted that this was indeed an aspect of Mr Webb-Lee’s complaint which had led to the refusal of retrospective planning permission.
The Commission was satisfied that the body of the articles in the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail made clear the situation and that, when the headline was read in conjunction with the article, readers would not be misled as to the circumstances surrounding the refusal for planning permission. In regard to the Metro’s article, the Commission acknowledged that it had not included specific details of Mr Webb-Lee’s complaint.
However, given that his complaint had referred to his Muslim friends’ refusal to visit his house on account of the smell given off by the extractor fan, the Commission was satisfied that the sub-headline “A café boss has been ordered to change her extractor fan because the smell of frying bacon offends Muslims next door” was reflective of this complaint. The body of the article also made clear that the council’s decision was based on the smell being “unacceptable on the grounds of residential amenity”.
While it considered that the newspaper could have included further details about the complaint, it did not, on balance, consider that the absence of such details were misleading in such a way as to warrant correction under the terms of the Code. It could not, therefore, establish a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code.
Under the terms of Clause 12 (Discrimination) newspapers must avoid making prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s religion. However, the clause does not cover generalised remarks about groups of people. Given that the complainants considered the article to discriminate against Muslim people in general, the Commission could not establish a breach of Clause 12 of the Editors’ Code of Practice.
(Hat-tip to Dave, one of the complainants)
UPDATE: Roy Greenslade has written an excellent post which points out that the vast majority of the 544 comments that appeared on the Mail's article were written by people who had clearly been 'misled' - despite the PCC saying that 'would not' happen. He writes:
The articles were clearly prejudicial because the headlines and intros were misleading. The end result was to feed anti-Muslim bigotry.
To build a story based on one man's unsupported statement when it involves the delicate matter of religious intolerance shows a reckless disregard for the pubic interest and social cohesion.
In the PCC's opinion, "the body of the articles" in the Mail and Telegraph made the situation "clear."
Come off it! The papers did not run this story because it involved the removal of an extractor fan. They ran it because it fitted their own anti-Muslim agendas.