DTT Comment: Muslims are not the only people that don’t eat pork, there are religious and non-religious that don’t eat pork. They’re not asking for any special treatment. Nor are they asking for Halal or Kosher food, all they asking for is that they be given a ‘meal with substitute protein’.
A mayor in France has stirred up a hornet’s nest by deciding Muslim pupils at the local school will not be given an alternative meal to pork. The mayor has justified his stance by claiming it’s in the name of secularism.
Another week in France and another row has broken out surrounding secularism or laïcité as it’s is called.
After town halls were told to remove nativity scenes because they were against the principle of “laicïté” one mayor in the south of France has used the same argument to justify “a pork or nothing” policy in his school.
From January 1st pupils in the little town of Sargé-lès-Le Mans in the Sarthe department of north-western France will not be offered a substitute meal if they don’t eat pork.
This will affect the 15 Muslim pupils in the school who cannot eat pork because it against the dietary rules of their religion. Eating pork is also against the rules of the Jewish religion but it is not believed there are any Jewish pupils at the school.
Mayor Marcel Mortreau says his decision is based on the “principle of Republican neutrality”.
“The mayor is not required to provide meals that respond to religious requirements. This is the principle of secularism,” Mortreau told Europe1 radio.
The Town Hall has also backed its decision on the grounds of logistics claiming its new school meals provider has complained about the extra workload that comes with providing alternative meals when pork is on the menu.
The mayor bowed to their complaints even though providing a second meal costs no extra money, according to France Bleu radio.
Muslim parents and pupils have reacted angrily to Mortreau’s decision.
“Eating two starters is not the same as eating a meat dish. Meat is something the body needs to work and to think. I need meat, it’s important,” one pupil named Tarik told Europe1 radio.
Read the rest here… 10 Dec 2014