French court to rule on 'pork soup' case

7th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 5, 2007 (AFP) - France's top administrative court is to rule on a decision to allow an extreme-right group to hand out pork soup to the homeless, criticised as a racist ploy to exclude observant Muslims and Jews.

PARIS, Jan 5, 2007 (AFP) - France's top administrative court is to rule on a decision to allow an extreme-right group to hand out pork soup to the homeless, criticised as a racist ploy to exclude observant Muslims and Jews.

The group, called Solidarity of the French, has managed to have two decrees banning the handouts overturned in a Paris court, most recently on Tuesday, despite protests from the city's Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoe.

The State Council, which was seized by the French interior ministry, was to issue a decisive verdict last Friday in the case, which has drawn protests from France's anti-discrimination body the HALDE.

According to the ministry's representative in court, Jean-Francois Boutet, the group's xenophobic aims are made clear by a sentence from its website that reads: "No soup, no desert: ours before others."

But the group's lawyer Bruno Le Griel rejected the charge, arguing that no Muslim or Jewish organisation had so far complained and insisting the soup was a traditional popular fare in France.

"When Muslim people refuse to eat pork, we offer them something else," he said, before adding: "Those who do not want to eat pork can always turn towards Muslim charities."

Several French far-right groups have run into trouble for trying to distribute pork soup to the homeless, in the eastern city of Strasbourg and the Mediterranean port of Marseille, both of which have large Muslim minorities.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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