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Denmark city makes pork mandatory to restrict Muslim refugees

Refugees enter a train to Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 12, 2015 at the railway station in Flensburg, northern Germany, where refugees in transit wait to continue their trip through Europe. (AFP photo)

A Danish city has made serving pork mandatory in an apparent bid to tighten restrictions for Muslim refugees coming to the country.

Frank Noergaard, a member of the council in Randers, said on Thursday that the council has ordered pork to be a mandatory feature on municipal menus, including in schools and daycare centers.

The move was first proposed by the anti-immigration, populist Danish People's Party and approved by Randers City Council.

Noergaard, himself a member of People's Party, denied the move was directly linked to increasing restrictions being imposed on the refugees arriving in Denmark, saying the council approved the decision earlier this week to ensure that pork remains "a central part of Denmark's food culture."

He said, however, that there have been “several complaints about too many concessions” being made to Muslims in the small, predominantly Lutheran country.

“The signal we want to send here is that if you're a Muslim and you plan to come to Randers, don't expect you can impose eating habits on others," he added.

The government in Denmark has already faced huge criticism over its decisions to tighten immigration with officials in the United Nations refugee agency saying some of the measures, like the one which forces asylum-seekers to hand over valuables to cover up their housing and food costs, are targeting the dignity of the refugees.

Denmark has a history of opposing Muslims’ habit of eating, with former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt lashing out at some nurseries in 2013 for serving halal-butchered meat instead of pork because Muslim children had refused to eat.

Most of the refugees arriving in Denmark over the past months have been Muslims fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

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