In a landmark legal ruling, a French court has ordered Saint-Quentin-Fallayier prison -- near Grenoble in southeastern France -- to begin making halal meals (meals allowed under Islamic law) available to Muslim inmates, citing detainees' right to "free exercise of religion," the France 24 website reports today (December 4, 2013).
The administrative tribunal in Grenoble in southeastern France ruled that the nearby Saint-Quentin-Fallavier prison must begin serving halal meals in its canteen, citing French laws guaranteeing "free exercise of religion."
A Muslim inmate at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier made a request to the prison's warden in March this year asking for Muslim detainees to be offered the option of halal meals. The request was denied, prompting the inmate to appeal to the administrative tribunal.
In its decision, the court ruled in favor of the inmate and ordered the prison to provide "regular" menus with halal meat options "within three months." It is the first time a French legal institution has ruled that a prison must provide certain food to accommodate inmates' religious beliefs.