The popular American adage, “elections have consequences,” holds true no matter where the elections take place. In this instance, the incessant Muslim push for special status in France met up with a popular movement that said enough is enough; In fact, it’s already too much.
Major gains were made by what is described as a “Far-right” party, France’s National Front during recent elections.
Party leader Marine Le Pen is quick to shift the focus of policy in those areas in which they made gains from one of acquiescence to one of honoring traditional French values. On Friday, le Pen said schools will be prohibited from offering non-pork alternatives to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns in which her party won local elections. She labeled the Muslim menus as being contrary to France’s secular values.
While France has the largest Muslim minority in Europe, at five million, their government is strictly secular and faith-based demands cannot legally be enforced.
Le Pen told RTL radio, “We will not accept any religious demands in school menus. There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that’s the law.”
Those alternative menus which are currently in operation will be discontinued. They cite the reasons for the change as a financial consideration, driven by waste concerns.
In the town of Hayanges, the new NF mayor, Fabien Engelmann has even proposed a “Pork Fest” to “liven up” the town center. He insists it is not intended to enrage the Muslim population.
The National Front has a strong anti-immigrant position and a record of lamenting the rising influence of Islam in French society.
The NF won control of 11 town halls and a large portion of Marseille, more than doubling its record from the 1990’s. They clearly see themselves as having a mandate from a fed-up citizenry.
Ms Le Pen regards her party’s victories as an indicator that they have established themselves as a legitimate political force, holding the third place position behind the ruling Socialists and the mainstream Conservatives.
She also predicts similar gains in the May European Parliament elections.