To avoid offending Muslims, schools in France consider going vegetarian

To avoid offending Muslims, schools in France consider going vegetarian

To serve or not to serve pork in the canteens of France’s secular state schools?

As a new school year begins, the divisive issue has once again come to the fore as mayors from three towns have banned non-pork options in canteens to respect the country’s strict divide between education and religion, triggering accusations of discrimination.

Enter Yves Jego, a lawmaker who wants to introduce a draft bill making vegetarian meals obligatory in schools as a pragmatic way of bypassing secularity rules and accommodating Jews and Muslims who do not eat pork, or Hindus, many of whom shun meat in general.

“Can we force a Catholic child to eat meat on Good Friday because nothing else is available, or a Jewish or Muslim kid to eat pork?,” the lawmaker from the centrist UDI party asks on his online petition, which has garnered more than 123,000 signatures so far.

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