Rows of bratwurst.

Québec Mayor Refuses to Remove Pork from Schools?

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.