Québec Mayor Refuses to Remove Pork from Schools?
The names of elected officials refusing to cater to imaginary demands change, but the rumor remains the same.
A persistent rumor about imaginary demands from Muslim parents recurs with some regularity, although the names and locations change with the times.
In this case, Québec’s mayor reportedly stood up to Muslims by refusing to ban pork from schools. However, this is not true, and it is part of a whole genre of stories about elected officials or school administrators “standing up” to demands that never took place to begin with.
An earlier version of this particular rumor falsely claimed that the mayor of Ath, Belgium, had resisted requests from Muslims to remove pork from school lunch menus. “Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Belguim, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that’s where they chose to immigrate,” Ath mayor Marc Duvivier said in the rumor.
However, in real life Duvivier dismissed this claim as “completely wrong,” adding that nobody had requested that pork be removed from school cafeterias, according to a Belgian newspaper report.
It’s not true that Muslim residents asked Québec mayor Régis Labeaume to remove pork from school lunch menus, nor is it true that any other mayor has refused these requests, because they were never made to begin with.
A modified version of the eRumor re-surfaced in November 2014. The new version was exactly the same as the older story, except that references to “the mayor of Ath” were changed to “the mayor of Québec.” Yet another version of this rumor purportedly took place in Maryborough, Australia. (It’s still not true.)
There have not been any credible reports of Muslim parents requesting that pork be removed from any school (although some far-right politicians have opted to ban pork-free substitute meals for schoolchildren who cannot or will not eat pork) leading us to question exactly who is still pushing these rumors — and why. In any case, this rumor is fiction.
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
Let’s hear it for a Quebec mayor…! ! ! ! !
MAYOR REFUSES TO REMOVE PORK FROM SCHOOL CANTEEN- MENU… EXPLAINS WHY
Muslim parents demanded the abolition of pork in all the school canteens of a Montreal suburb.
The mayor of the Montreal suburb of Dorval has refused, and the town clerk sent a note to all parents to explain why…
“Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that’s where they chose to immigrate.
“They must understand that they have to integrate and learn to live in Quebec.
“They must understand that it is for them to change their lifestyle, not the Canadians who so generously welcomed them.
“They must understand that Canadians are neither racist nor xenophobic; they accepted many immigrants before Muslims (whereas the reverse is not true, in that Muslim states do not accept non-Muslim immigrants).
“That no more than other nations, Canadians are not willing to give up their identity, their culture.
“And if Canada is a land of welcome, it’s not the Mayor of Dorval who welcomes foreigners, but the Canadian-Quebecois people as a whole.
“Finally, they must understand that in Canada (Quebec) with its Judeo-Christian roots, Christmas trees, churches and religious festivals, religion must remain in the private domain.
The municipality of Dorval was right to refuse any concessions to Islam and Sharia.
“For Muslims who disagree with secularism and do not feel comfortable in Canada, there are 57 beautiful Muslim countries in the world, most of them under-populated and ready to receive them with open halal arms in accordance with Shariah.
“If you left your country for Canada, and not for other Muslim countries, it is because you have considered that life is better in Canada than elsewhere.
“Ask yourself the question, just once, “Why is it better here in Canada than where you come from?”
“A canteen with pork is part of the answer.”