April 5, 2014
National Front leader Marine Le Pen has said her party will not pander to Jewish and Muslim children by offering non-Pork alternatives for lunch.
School canteens will no longer offer non-pork meal options in the 11 towns the far-right party won in local elections, because such arrangements are contrary to France’s secular values, she said.
“We will not accept any religious demands in school menus,” Le Pen told RTL radio. “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that’s the law.”
Considering pork is forbidden under Jewish and Muslim dietary law, her comments have sparked a significant backlash.
But she defended the decision saying it was necessary to “save secularism”.
Le Pen launched a fierce row before 2012’s presidential elections when she claimed all meat from slaughter-houses in the Paris region was prepared using Islamic halal traditions and non-Muslim consumers in the capital were being misled.
Her anti-immigrant party made historic gains in last week’s municipal elections, which was seen as a significant electoral breakthrough for the party.