Muslim leader decries French court ruling that could pull pork substitutes off school menus

A leader of France's top Muslim organization is criticizing a court decision that could jeopardize a decades-old policy in which public schools can offer substitutes to pork when the meat turns up on lunch menus.

Abdullah Zekri of the French Council of the Muslim Faith said Thursday he is worried that the ruling a day earlier in eastern Dijon could sow discord in France.

A legal defense team for Muslims had sought to block application of an order earlier this year by Gilles Platret, conservative mayor of nearby Chalons-sur-Saone, to pull pork substitutes from school menus. Such substitutes are offered across France.

On Twitter, Platret called the ruling a victory for secularism in France. Zekri called the mayor's order a "provocation" that could pit students against one another.