The Mutt’s Nuts

Where religion is about as attractive as a two week holiday in Afghanistan

Posts Tagged ‘minorities

Sainsbury’s Muslim staff can refuse to handle alcohol

with 8 comments

So Sainsbury’s, one of Britains biggest supermarkets, is allowing its Muslim checkout staff to opt-out of picking up and scanning bottles and cans of alcohol because it offends their religious beliefs. This despite the fact that nowhere in the Koran does it say that touching alcohol is banned, although the consumption of alcohol is prohibited.

Sainsbury’s have explained that Muslim staff who object to handling alcohol when it appears at their checkout, are able to raise their hand and have another colleague come and scan the offending objects for them. Having experienced how busy the supermarket gets at peak shopping times, such as Friday evenings and weekends, I can’t help thinking that calling over another member of staff to scan a person’s alcoholic purchases might take more than a little time. Surely keeping people waiting even longer than necessary in an already lengthy queue can’t be considered good customer care? Exactly who are Sainsbury’s making their priority here?

To be fair, some prominent British Muslims have spoken out against this bizarre policy. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the Muslim Parliament, said: “This is some kind of overenthusiasm. One expects professional behaviour from people working in a professional capacity and this shows a lack of maturity.”

To me, Sainsbury’s is setting a very foolish precedent. By seeking to accommodate the prejudices of one religious community, they are opening the door to requests from every other group of people with strongly-held beliefs. Before long they will be asked to exempt Jewish staff from touching pork chops and sausages, Hindus from selling beef, Buddhists from serving any food that has been killed and Catholics from handling condoms. Vegetarians could weigh in with a refusal to deal with meat products, vegans will stop serving dairy foods and animal rights activists will have nothing to do with the stock or sale of battery chickens and eggs. Where will it all end?

I think that this story is symptomatic of the constant pandering to minority religious groups in this country that is building up a lot of resentment among native Brits. Although the government appears to be back-peddling rather quickly on their determination to impose multi-culturalism at all costs and are now starting to make integration their big “cause”, it has come too late, in my opinion. By encouraging minority religious groups to insist on having their cultural differences not only respected but promoted, often at the expense of the prevailing national culture, the government and others have laid the foundation of more and more demands for special treatment on the one hand and a growing feeling of justifiable grievance on the other.



Written by islaskye

October 7, 2007 at 9:04 am