France’s newly elected far-right mayors will re-instate school cafeteria menus featuring pork in the cities they govern, the National Front party’s leader, Marine Le Pen, announced on Friday.
Most French public schools offer an option with no pork for Muslim and Jewish students who follow their religions’ dietary restrictions.
“We will not except any religious requirements when it comes to school cafeteria menus,” Le Pen declared on French radio network RTL, in response to a question about the measures the National Front would implement in the cities they won in last week’s municipal elections. “There is absolutely no reason for religion to enter into the public sphere; that’s the law.”
France is a strictly secular country – with a Catholic majority and sizable Muslim and Jewish minorities – and has in recent years prohibited the wearing of religious garb (like the Muslim headscarf or Jewish kippah) in public buildings like schools and hospitals.
In her radio interview on Friday, Le Pen said that France’s tradition of secularism was being threatened, and she accused mayors from both the Socialist Party and the right-wing UMP of catering to religious minorities in the hopes of getting their votes.
France’s Communist Party was quick to condemn Le Pen’s statement. “Marine Le Pen is promoting backwards secularism,” the party said in a statement, denouncing “a thinly veiled anti-Muslim offensive.”
Date created : 2014-04-04