Marks & Spencer have now announced that they are allowing their Muslim employees to blank refuse to sell customers any alcohol or pork products due to 'religious reasons'. Obviously Muslims have been banned from drinking alcohol or pork because Allah told them not to. However this new initiative seems to cross the line from 'consuming' to handling'.
Customers in future will have to wait until there is another member of staff available, and then that non-Muslim would serve them for the transaction. Customers who do not have any pork products or alcohol could then skip ahead of the alcohol-customer so that the Muslim till operator can serve them.
A spokesman for M&S said: “We recognise that some of our employees practise religions that restrict the food or drink they can handle."
M&S said they re-wrote these rules with the help and advice of religious groups. This is not the first time M&S has seen controvery over their Muslim checkout operators, in 2008 one refused to serve an elderly woman wanting to buy a book called "First Bible Stories" for her grandson, calling the book unclean.
M&S - Allow Muslims to refuse to serve customers
Sainsburys - No reason why Muslims should not handle foods
Tesco - Makes no sense to employ someone who refuses to handle food
Asda - Muslims who refuse will not been allowed on checkout tills
Morrisons - Same rules as M&S - Muslims can refuse to serve alcohol or pork products
There are now nearly 3 million Muslims in the UK and Islam is now the most practiced religion in the country. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the UK: between 2001 and 2009 the Muslim population increased almost 10 times faster than the non-Muslim population. Of course it is presumed that the majority of Muslims will not refuse to serve customers alcohol and pork, or would alternatively not want to go on checkout tills.
Do you agree with Marks & Spencer's stance?
Would you be annoyed or concerned if a Muslim were to refuse to serve you?
Is it not discrimination to force Muslims to serve customers?
Have stores been too tolerant and accomodating of religious beliefs?
Are Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys being discriminatory, Islamophobic or anti-multicultural?