Culinary school in Denmark fined for asking Muslim girl to eat pork

Danish court orders culinary school to pay $6,000 for telling Muslim girl to eat pork, prohibited to eat in Islam

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A Danish court has ordered a culinary school in Denmark's Holstebro town to pay a Muslim woman  $6,000 (40,000 Danish krone)  in damages for forcing her to taste pork as part of her classes, a Danish daily reported on Friday.

According to the daily Politiken, the 24-year-old student studied at the Holstebro Culinary School and was told that she like other students would have to taste her own food that she cooks as part of her education.

The student, who was not named by the paper, filed a complaint against the school with the Equal Treatment Board and said she was being discriminated on religious grounds. She also reportedly stopped going to the school as a result of the requirement to eat pork, which Muslims believe is prohibited to eat in Islam.

The daily said the student had arrived in the country as a baby from Libya and was aware that the school asked students to prepare food with pork and wine. However, the requirement to eat the food also was said to be a recent requirement, according to the paper.

The board had agreed with the student’s claim of discrimination and asked the school to pay the student $75,000 in damages.

The school challenged the board’s verdict at a Danish high court and took the position that the student had in fact taken many leaves and it was because of this reason that she was not being allowed to graduate.

Politiken said the student dismissed the allegation against her and produced an audio recording of the conversation she had with the school’s management about the issue, during which she was apparently told that she was being asked to only taste and not swallow the pork dishes.

After hearing both sides, the court decided that the school would pay the student $6,000 compensation, which was considerably less than the $70,000 asked for.