Friday, August 01, 2008

This story out of Tulsa shows just how entitled the religious have become:

Islamic group files suit against Tulsa store
The Oklahoman

A religious discrimination complaint has been filed on behalf of a Muslim teen who said she was denied employment at a Tulsa store because of her headscarf, the Council on American Islamic Relations Oklahoma chapter announced today.

Razi Hashmi, the council's Oklahoma chapter executive director, said the young woman applied for a job at the Abercrombie children's clothing store in Woodland Hills Mall and was told her Islamic headscarf, or hijab, "does not fit the company's image."

Hashmi said the council filed a complaint on the teen's behalf with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in mid-July, citing religious discrimination.

He said the council is asking the store to offer the applicant a formal apology. Hashmi said the organization also wants the store's policy on religious accommodation clarified. The group also is asking for Abercrombie employees to receive workplace sensitivity and diversity training.
OK, we need to clarify something here. Religious freedom does not mean that you can have any job you want. It simply means that you can practice whatever religion you want without being hindered by the government. You are not entitled to a job at a trendy clothing store that routinely incorporates nekkidness in its advertising (for clothes, no less) if you don't look convincing in that role. They don't generally hire wrinkled people to work at Abercrombie either. Or, for that matter, ugly people. There is a certain amount of discrimination inherent to hiring practices, which is why we have these things called "applications" and "interviews." Whether you like it or not, A&F is about appearing over-priced and high energy, and there's no room for overt demonstrations of modesty in their idiom. The last thing they want is to make customers feel guilty about their vanity.

Besides, they didn't tell her she couldn't wear the thing just that they weren't going to hire her to wear it in their store. That's not illegal.


At 9:09 PM, Blogger StickyKeys said...

It's one thing to tell someone they don't fit the Abercrombie schematic, but it's another to tell her that something obviously inherent to her religion and culture wasn't appropriate.

Now mind you, I don't know why she was applying at an Abercrombie anyway, it's obvious that she wasn't going to use the discount. And I don't know what the Islamic stance on women working is anyway, the whole thing seems like a setup to me. I personally woulnd't be caught dead in an Abercrombie, H&M, or oh what's that crazy one... AMERICAN APPAREL! Those places creep me out.

Ultimately though, if you don't want the Islamic girl wearing her scarf in your store then just say she's ugly, the truth will get you sued and more often then not, though it may be silly, it's probably for the best.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Shell said...

I see what you're saying but I still disagree. They didn't decline to hire her because of her religion--she would've been free to practice her religion all she wanted outside of work. What they objected to was her inability to fit in with their dress code. Lots of clothing stores require employees to wear their brand on the job. That's not the same thing as limiting someone's freedom of religion. We have to get past this crazy idea that anything and everything someone claims as a matter of his/her religion obligates everyone else to bow to it. I think many things people do in the name of religion are not just nutty but evil. If this were a man who believed because of his religion that no woman should be raised above him in the job would it be discriminatory for the female supervisor not to hire his ass? Ridiculous. I am not obligated to "respect" anyone's beliefs unless I find them respectable on objective grounds.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Shell said...

But, yeah, you may be right about the setup. Wouldn't surprise me. The whole business just burns me up.

Oh--and I agree that they're creepy, even vaguely pedophilic with their sexualized pre-teen looking models. Yuck!

At 4:21 AM, Blogger The Freelance Guru said...

The Wife was ery upset to find that Abercrombie & Fitch stores aren't actually staffed entirely by half naked men when we went to the states.

Anrd what really annoys me about this is that now she'll get the job even though she wasn't right for it in the first place. Either that or they're have to pay her lots of money and their prices will get even higher.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger StickyKeys said...

Sorry it took me years to see your response, but I've been on and off the radar.

Ultimately I'm not one to tie apparel to my religion. I don't like cross chains or things like that. However, in her culture the jihab (I believe that's what it's called) is a requirement. The whole garb would have been a bit much, and I think if she could have worn the uniform and just the scarf on her head or however it was worn it would have been fine.

I don't even know if you can separate the religious from the cultural influences in this case though. The two aren't too far removed.

Ultimately Abercrombie shouldn't hire scarves the way they shouldn't hire fatties or ugly people. It's effing Abercrombie and they can do what they want *shrugs*.

Again though, there's no way she should have been applying to work there. I once went by a Hollister that I couldn't figure out how to get in! I figure if they don't want me in, I'm not going in!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Number of online users in last 3 minutes