Wal-Mart Apologizes for Anti-Muslim Remark

In very little do I agree with the Muslim religion, and with much do I vehemently take issue. However, I fully defend the right of all persons to choose and practice his/her religious beliefs. It is astonishing that a Wal-Mart clerk would make derogatory remarks to a veiled Muslim who came through her check-out line. I applaud Wal-Mart for their public apology.

“Please, don’t stick me up,” a cashier told the shopper on Feb. 2, according to The Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Wal-Mart apologized Monday in a letter signed by Rolando Rodriquez, a vice president and regional general manager. It was released Tuesday by the council’s Nevada chapter.

“I can assure you that the associate in question was disciplined in accordance with our employment policies as a result of the situation,” Rodriguez said without disclosing details.

Rodriguez said employees at the Riverdale store would undergo “sensitivity training,” specifically in the Islamic faith and Muslim culture.

At Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., spokesman Phillip Keene confirmed the letter and declined further comment.

“We applaud Wal-Mart for taking appropriate action to resolve this incident,” said Yasser Moten, executive director of the council’s Nevada chapter. The group doesn’t have an office in Utah.

In private, in one’s home, and in classroom and forum settings it is appropriate to discuss the pros and cons of different religions and of other belief systems. In public, though, to point out dissimilarities, and to cast aspersions on others is highly offensive and rude.

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My devotional blog is here.

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4 thoughts on “Wal-Mart Apologizes for Anti-Muslim Remark

  1. Good evening, Jay–

    This really is a touchy issue because the wearing of the veil is part of the woman’s religious beliefs. Yet, it seems fair that retail clerks should not be placed in a state of apprehension because of such attire.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Like

  2. Jay Burns

    On occassion when filling up with gas on my motorcycle I enter the store to pay wearing my helmet. It simply takes a lot of time to take it off only to be in the store a matter of seconds. However, most covenience stores ask me to take it off the moment I walk through the door.

    The first thing I thought was that the clerk was honestly afraid, as RGuy pointed out.

    While I respect the right to worship anyway one seems fit, I can understand the response. I can also understand being offended at the comment.

    Though it is a double negative I have always felt the best way to put this is simply, “You donot have the right not to be offended.” You do on the other hand have the right to disassociate with people or businesses that offend you.

    In my humble opinion,
    Jay

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  3. There you are, R Guy. Good to hear from you.

    You raise an interesting angle to this story–one that frankly I had not even considered. From the tone of the article, I assumed (should know better) that the clerk was being sarcastic–or at the least–playful. I did not think of her being truly alarmed.

    How should this be handled? No one has ever asked me to remove my sunglasses, although I do not usually wear them in a place of business. I wouldn’t have a problem removing them, but I suspect a Muslim woman would not be comfortable removing her veil……..and I know that is not what you are suggesting.

    In your opinion, what should the clerk have done if she were sincerely frightened? Is the presence of a veiled person enough to frighten a clerk?

    Like

  4. renaissanceguy

    One year when I was in college my friends and I were wearing masks as some kind of prank. We walked into a convenience store to get some gum, and the clerk immediately told us to take off the masks. I’ve also been told more than once to remove my sunglasses in a place of business. It makes the cashiers pretty nervous to see anybody hiding their identity.

    I think we should at least entertain the possibility that the cashier in question was legitimately frightened by a veiled person–who could have been a man with a gun pretending to be a Muslim woman.

    Like

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