French body suspends plan for Halal prison meals for Muslim detainees

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France's highest administrative body has suspended a plan to provide Halal meals for Muslim inmates in one prison.

The council of state said Wednesday that providing Halal meat at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier prison in Grenoble, eastern France, was impractical "owing to its financial cost and high needs for organization."

France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira also argued the plan would infringe France's robust rules on secularism that ban religious expression in public places. France's highest appeals court will have the final say.

The plan — which could have proved a test case — was being considered after the request of a Muslim inmate last November.

France has the largest Muslim population in western Europe, estimated at some 5 million.