Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

French Leader Bans Non-Pork Options from School Menus

Non-pork options for Jewish and Muslim students will no longer be offered in school menus in towns where the far-right National Front party won local elections, the head of the party said.

“We will not accept any religious demands in school menus,” National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said in an interview on RTL radio on Friday. “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that’s the law.”

National Front candidates were elected mayors in 11 municipalities in the vote on March 30 — a dramatic increase over the party’s previous record of four mayors in 1997, the news site europe1.fr reported. A record number of French voters did not cast ballots, however.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association, strongly condemned Marine Le Pen’s “vicious call that undermines religious freedom in France.”

Margolin told JTA that he has called upon all “enlightened forces” in France and the European Union, “to unite against the exclusion of entire populations from educational institutions in the country.”

A law passed in 2004 in France bans the wearing of all conspicuous religious symbols in public schools, including kippahs and Islamic veils and headscarves. A law passed in 2010 bans the wearing of veils in public places.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.