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Muslims refuse to sell alcohol and pork at M&S. Yay or Nay?

muslims islam M&S

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#21 Jerry the Berry

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:31 PM

A crazy decision by M&S and a worrying precedent.



#22 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:52 PM

I'm saying the telegraph has a similar agenda to that of the tabloids

Does that alter whether it is true or not?

 

Does it only become true if the Guardian bother to cover it?

 

I'd suggest that M&S policy on pork and alcohol is something that is easily verified or debunked. And yet nobody has.


Edited by Northern Sol, 22 December 2013 - 06:53 PM.


#23 bearman

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:56 PM

imagine if a Roman Catholic decided they would not serve someone with meat on a Friday, declaiming that despite the Vatican's easing of the eating of fish regulations they were a traditionalist that did not adhere to that doctrine.
Or a Hindu that would not serve beef.
Or a Buddhist that would not serve any form of meat.
Or a Pastafarian that refused to serve anyone unless they had at least one item of pasta in their basket ( May you be touched with his noodle)
Or A vegan that refused to touch any animal products.
Would M&S or Morrisons be so accommodating?
Apologies to Martyn Sadler post No 17 on this thread who had already made the same point (but I had missed it)

Edited by bearman, 22 December 2013 - 07:11 PM.

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#24 Padge

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:01 PM

imagine if a Roman Catholic decided they would not serve someone with meat on a Friday, declaiming that despite the Vatican's easing of the eating of fish regulations they were a traditionalist that did not adhere to that doctrine.
Or a Hindu that would not serve beef.
Or a Buddhist that would not serve any form of meat.
Or a Pastafarian that refused to serve anyone unless they had at least one item of pasta in their basket ( May you be touched with his noodle)
Or A vegan that refused to touch any animal products.

Would M&S or Morrison's be so accommodating?

 

Hindu's don't have a problem with beef, they will eat it but generally don't. 



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#25 ckn

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:13 PM

Hindu's don't have a problem with beef, they will eat it but generally don't.

My Hindu father in law says that it's only Indian cows that are holy :P

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#26 Johnoco

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:43 PM

Drinking is my religion (along with rock n roll) as such I find this sacrilegious. I may threaten to kick someone's head in if they refuse to serve me alcohol in M&S. It seems to be a good way of getting what you want. :)

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#27 Li0nhead

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 08:29 PM

I personally approach this in a 'you are employed to serve me products from your company. Won't serve me those products? I won't use your company. Enough of us refuse to use your company and your out of a job. Goodbye' kind of way.



#28 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:19 PM

Hindu's don't have a problem with beef, they will eat it but generally don't.

I think he's mixed Hindus up with Sikhs.
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#29 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:23 PM

As for the opening post, it's a worrying precedent if other stores follow suit or if some law is brought in to follow this.

However, I'm hoping common sense will prevail. If something you believe in prevents you from doing something, you shouldn't expect that something to change for you. So if you can't follow the rules in the workplace, you shouldn't be in that job. Similar to that of my feelings on laws if the land.
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#30 Padge

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:48 PM

The more I think about this the more I get annoyed.

 

I  use M&S on a casual basis and am not a big spender in there, however until this policy is reversed they have lost the little money they did take from my wallet.

 

This isn't about religion its about common sense.


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#31 John Drake

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:53 PM

It would be interesting to know exactly how many members of staff this involves, to see if it truly justifies the amount of huffing and puffing there will be in certain quarters in reaction to it. Not all muslim staff members will refuse to serve these products, even if they are now able to, and all it would really take is a bit of sensible management within any M & S branch affected to reallocate such staff to other duties within the store. After all, most M & S stores sell lots of other things besides food.

 

I'm sure some M & S staff must be allergic to certain products the stores sell, and are more than likely allocated duties to keep them away from such products for the sake of their health, without the earth tilting off its axis. But no one would have any reason to get annoyed about that, so it'll never be reported in the papers.

 

I'm always wary of 'dog whistle' stories like this.

 

Living in Bradford, as I have all my life, I have never once been to a shop of any kind here (or anywhere else for that matter) where a member of staff has refused to sell me something because of their religion, suggesting that this isn't really much of a story at all, regardless of the 'policies' each shop may have in place.


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#32 Shadow

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:02 PM

Does that alter whether it is true or not?

 

Does it only become true if the Guardian bother to cover it?

 

I'd suggest that M&S policy on pork and alcohol is something that is easily verified or debunked. And yet nobody has.

I don't doubt there's a germ of truth in there but the spin the papers, tabloids and broadsheets alike, are putting on it seems designed to deliver little in the way of facts and to ensure the outrage bus is fully laden.

It seems quite possible to employ people with differing responsibilities, I have a slight problem with heights so my employer tries to avoid sending me up in  a cherry picker, equally when working in a large department store such as M & S it's entirely possible to rota people with a genuine objection to working with alcohol or pork to work in the bakery or clothing departments. Sadly stories about employers being flexible and supportive to their staff's needs don't sell papers or bring hits to their websites whereas storm in a teacup rubbish designed to get the knee jerk brigade dribbling at the mouth with apoplexy does.


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#33 ckn

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:04 PM

The thing is that there's no defined case law on the subject. The likes of M&S will use the same guide as they do for disabled people and make "reasonable adjustments" to roles to avoid accusations of discrimination. The problem is that the law would only be about 60-70% likely to back them up if an employee sued because they don't want to sell something that goes against their religion. That means they take the weasel route of appeasement rather than risk a law suit.

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#34 Padge

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:09 PM

What a load of rubbish, not just any old rubbish, this is M&S rubbish.*

 

 

 

*Stolen but think its great.



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#35 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:10 PM

It would be interesting to know exactly how many members of staff this involves, to see if it truly justifies the amount of huffing and puffing there will be in certain quarters in reaction to it. Not all muslim staff members will refuse to serve these products, even if they are now able to, and all it would really take is a bit of sensible management within any M & S branch affected to reallocate such staff to other duties within the store. After all, most M & S stores sell lots of other things besides food.

 

I'm sure some M & S staff must be allergic to certain products the stores sell, and are more than likely allocated duties to keep them away from such products for the sake of their health, without the earth tilting off its axis. But no one would have any reason to get annoyed about that, so it'll never be reported in the papers.

 

I'm always wary of 'dog whistle' stories like this.

 

Living in Bradford, as I have all my life, I have never once been to a shop of any kind here (or anywhere else for that matter) where a member of staff has refused to sell me something because of their religion, suggesting that this isn't really much of a story at all, regardless of the 'policies' each shop may have in place.

More than likely but given that the products are invariably wrapped up, I can't see how this could be a problem.



#36 Padge

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:14 PM

It would be interesting to know exactly how many members of staff this involves, to see if it truly justifies the amount of huffing and puffing there will be in certain quarters in reaction to it. Not all muslim staff members will refuse to serve these products, even if they are now able to, and all it would really take is a bit of sensible management within any M & S branch affected to reallocate such staff to other duties within the store. After all, most M & S stores sell lots of other things besides food.

 

I'm sure some M & S staff must be allergic to certain products the stores sell, and are more than likely allocated duties to keep them away from such products for the sake of their health, without the earth tilting off its axis. But no one would have any reason to get annoyed about that, so it'll never be reported in the papers.

 

I'm always wary of 'dog whistle' stories like this.

 

Living in Bradford, as I have all my life, I have never once been to a shop of any kind here (or anywhere else for that matter) where a member of staff has refused to sell me something because of their religion, suggesting that this isn't really much of a story at all, regardless of the 'policies' each shop may have in place.

 

The fact that M&S have allowed this to become a story shows the incompetence of the organisation. If you work on a till you are paid to make things go beep, regardless of what the beep means.

 

As I said earlier, I'm tolerant but m&S have blown it with allowing this to happen.

 

I expect M&S in the morning to issue a statement saying that one manager in one shop didn't understand a company policy and is being sent on a training course.



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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007
Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.


#37 Shadow

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:16 PM

The fact that M&S have allowed this to become a story shows the incompetence of the organisation. If you work on a till you are paid to make things go beep, regardless of what the beep means.

 

As I said earlier, I'm tolerant but m&S have blown it with allowing this to happen.

 

I expect M&S in the morning to issue a statement saying that one manager in one shop didn't understand a company policy and is being sent on a training course.

Thinking this through for more than half a second suggests that anyone with a religious objection will not be on the till.


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#38 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:18 PM

I don't doubt there's a germ of truth in there but the spin the papers, tabloids and broadsheets alike, are putting on it seems designed to deliver little in the way of facts and to ensure the outrage bus is fully laden.

It seems quite possible to employ people with differing responsibilities, I have a slight problem with heights so my employer tries to avoid sending me up in  a cherry picker, equally when working in a large department store such as M & S it's entirely possible to rota people with a genuine objection to working with alcohol or pork to work in the bakery or clothing departments. Sadly stories about employers being flexible and supportive to their staff's needs don't sell papers or bring hits to their websites whereas storm in a teacup rubbish designed to get the knee jerk brigade dribbling at the mouth with apoplexy does.

I think that all the different stores have policies in places suggests that people have used the "It's against my religion" line. Added to which the Telegraph has stories when this has happened.

 

I don't think very many people would have a problem with a Muslim who didn't want to work in the meat section because it would involve handling pork but I think it is fair to get really annoyed with someone who worked at the meat counter but refused to handle pork.



#39 Shadow

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:24 PM

I think that all the different stores have policies in places suggests that people have used the "It's against my religion" line. Added to which the Telegraph has stories when this has happened.

 

I don't think very many people would have a problem with a Muslim who didn't want to work in the meat section because it would involve handling pork but I think it is fair to get really annoyed with someone who worked at the meat counter but refused to handle pork.

And you have evidence that this has happened of course?


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#40 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:29 PM

I'm just spitballing here, and could be well off (and to be honest, I'm hoping I am!) but could this be a hypothetical situation:

It's against the law to discriminate on terms of religion, including (I believe) in the recruitment process. Could someone whose religion prevents them from handing pork not apply for a job in a butchers, get hired because an employer was afraid they'd be sued for racial discrimination and then spend most of the time doing very little?
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