On Monday, a Muslim organization in France won a legal case against a right-wing local authority in Chalon-sur-Saône, Burgundy, after it stopped providing alternatives to pork school lunches in 2015, The Guardian reported.
"A French court has ruled that schools should provide an alternative to pork school lunches in the interest of Muslim and Jewish children who do not eat the meat," the British publication wrote.
Annulling the 2015 decision, "the judge said he was not concerned with religious considerations but ruled that the town’s failure to provide an alternative meal, which meant many local Muslim children went without lunch, was 'not in keeping with the spirit of the international convention on the rights of children.'"
At a hearing on Friday, a state legal expert told the court they had come to the same conclusion.
The latest ruling comes two years after The Ligue de Défense Judiciaire des Musulmans (LDJM – the Muslim Legal Defence League), rejected the town hall's decision and sought legal action against its officials, claiming that not providing non-pork meals was “illegal, discriminatory and a violation of the freedom of conscience and religion."
Chalon-sur-Saône officials said they would appeal the decision.
They also added that because the order comes just a few days before the start of the next school term "it is materially impossible for the town of Chalon-sur-Saône to change the operation of a public service in such a short time without risking the continuity of that service."
Not offering alternative meals was a decision made to uphold "French secularism"
At the time when he decided to stop offering non-pork alternatives at local schools in his town, Gilles Platret, the mayor of Chalon-sur-Saône for the right-wing Les Républicains party, claimed he was upholding the French Republic’s principle of secularism.
However, his decision was deemed controversial.
According to The Guardian, "the French national consultative committee on human rights said the town hall’s action relied on an 'erroneous interpretation of the principles of secularism and equality.'"
LDJM lawyer Nicolas Gardères also argued that "secular principles come second to children’s rights."
Not the only discriminatory debate or decision
"Since 2015, decisions by some right-wing mayors to end pork-free school meals – with the full support of the former president Sarkozy – have sparked outrage, petitions and court battles in France."
People who were against such a move warned that the controversial menu changes are sending a discriminatory message to Muslim and Jewish children "that to be truly French, they must eat roast pork."
This type of discrimination isn't only seen when it comes to food.
Muslims and other minorities often face discriminatory rulings across Europe.
These include a decision that basically allows employers to ban religious clothing at work places.
The decision affects people of all religions, including millions of Muslim women who wear the hijab.