(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
One city in Denmark is taking a ham-fisted approach at preserving the country's culinary traditions by ordering pork be made mandatory on all of its municipal menus, including schools and daycare centers, while politicians insist the move isn't aimed at provoking religious groups, Al Jazeera reported Friday.
Dietary laws in Judaism and Islam forbid the consumption pork products.
In a narrowly approved decision passed earlier this week, representatives from the city council of Randers, located 139 miles (224 Km) from the capital of Copenhagen, said that the mandate was passed in order to ensure that pork remains "a central part of Denmark's food culture."
"The signal we want to send here is that if you're a Muslim and you plan to come to Randers, don't expect you can impose eating habits on others. Pork here is on an equal footing with other food," Frank Noergaard, a member of the anti-immigration, populist Danish People's Party (DF) and Randers city council member, was quoted as saying.
He added that vegetarian, halal, or other foods designated for specific groups would still be available, Al Jazeera noted.
The issue last made headlines in 2013, when then prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt angrily castigated some nurseries after they started serving halal-butchered meat instead of pork because Muslim children had refused to eat it, according to Al Jazeera.
Since last year, over 20,000 refugees have poured into Denmark, a majority of which, according to Al Jazeera, originate from Muslim-majority countries.