Excerpt:

A leader of France's top Muslim organization is criticizing a court decision that could jeopardize a decades-old policy in which public schools offer substitutes to pork when the meat turns up on lunch menus.

Abdullah Zekri of the French Council of the Muslim Faith said Thursday he is worried that the ruling a day earlier in eastern Dijon could sow discord in France — a country that in recent years has struggled to find a balance between its secular principles and its respect for religious beliefs.

A legal defense team for Muslims had sought to block application of an order earlier this year by Gilles Platret, the conservative mayor of nearby Chalons-sur-Saone, to pull pork substitutes from school menus. Such substitutes are offered across France, in addition to vegetarian alternatives.


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