2017-07-19 20:22:19 UTC
MUSLIMS have been left furious after a French mayor announced Islamic
children will no longer be offered a pork-free option at lunch in a
By ROMINA MCGUINNESS
Marcel Berthomé, the centrist mayor of Saint-Seurin, a town in western
France, said Muslims would have to make do with a side dish on pork days
because the “struggling” Saint-Seurin-sur-l'Isle primary school could no
longer afford to offer children a non-pork alternative.
But Mr Berhomé’s decision to scrap pork-free meals from the menu has caused
consternation among Muslim parents, who claim their children are being
discriminated against because of their faith.
Sonia, a mother whose five-year-old son does not eat pork, said the mayor
had launched a scathing attack on the local Muslim community.
The town is in debt and we cannot afford to cook two different dishes a day.
So, if you’re not happy, don’t eat at school!
She told the French daily France Bleu: “The mayor took this decision alone.
We, as parents, were not consulted.
"I am a Muslim, yes, but I am also a citizen. We’re no different than anyone
"We pay local taxes and we pay for our children’s school meals. It should
not be up to the mayor to decide what’s in my child’s plate.
"He’s basically saying: ‘You eat or you go’.
Another Muslim mother said: “How hard can it be to cook 10 or 15 beef
patties once or twice a week?”
But Mr Berhomé hit back after parents threatened to protest against the new
menu, insisting he removed pork-free options for “financial reasons”.
He said: “Some children don’t eat pork, some don’t eat fish and some don’t
eat beef. This is not a politically motivated decision. I do not want
Muslims to feel stigmatized. The town is in debt and we cannot afford to
cook two different dishes a day. So, if you’re not happy, don’t eat at
A spokesman for the mayor’s office said a handful of Muslim school
children – no more than 15 – would be affected by the new pork-studded menu.