Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said on Friday it would prevent schools from offering special lunches to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns it won in local elections, saying such arrangements were contrary to France’s secular values.
France’s republic has a strict secular tradition enforceable by law, but faith-related demands have risen in recent years, especially from the country’s five-million-strong Muslim minority, the largest in Europe.
“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.”
The anti-immigrant National Front has consistently bemoaned the rising influence of Islam in French pubic life.