The French Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative court in France, forbids private charities from distributing pork soup to the homeless. On Friday night the high court ruled that offering soup containing pork meat or lard is an act of racism because some of the homeless might be Muslims or Jews whose religion forbids the consuming of pork. The court said distributing pork soup threatens public order because it could spark angry reactions.
The Conseil d’Etat overruled last Tuesday’s decision by a Paris court of first instance that private charities are allowed to distribute whatever soup they please. Last December, the Paris police had issued a prohibition on the distribution to the homeless of “soupe au cochon” (pork soup), a traditional French dish, since some people in need might not be allowed to eat pork.
Solidarité des Français (SdF), a charity organization that runs soup kitchens in Paris, Strasburg and Nice which distribute only soupe au cochon, took the case to court. After they received a ruling allowing them to resume the distribution of the soup the Paris police prefecture and Bertrand Delanoë, the Socialist mayor of Paris, appealed to the Conseil d’Etat, denouncing the “xenophobic character of a charity that excludes people of Jewish and Muslim confessions.”
Odile Bonnivard, the SdF director, admitted that her group is a member of Bloc Identitaire, a group which claims to stand for the secular tradition of the French republic. She told the British Financial Times that Muslim or Jewish homeless people were not obliged to eat her organisation’s soup, arguing that there were plenty of other groups that would feed them.
Solidarité des Français claimed that the authorities had succumbed to political correctness and said it would take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.