Wednesday, 16 January 2008

"A very multicultural store"

A MUSLIM store worker refused to serve a customer buying a children’s book on Christianity because she said it was “unclean”.

Shopper Sally Friday felt publicly humiliated at [the Reading] branch of Marks & Spencer when she tried to pay for First Bible Stories as a gift for her young grandson.

When she put the book on the check-out counter, the young assistant refused to touch it, declared it was unclean and summoned another member of staff to serve instead.
This, presumably, is the kind of "community diversity" that the Bishop of Oxford (in whose diocese this store is) wants us all to relax and enjoy. In a similar vein to the Bishop's remarks, an M&S spokesman said:
Reading is a very multicultural store and we are surprised and disappointed by this reported incident.
He seems to regard multiculturalism as a bar to this kind of thing happening, and thinks that this has happened in spite of the multiculturalism of this particular store. When, in reality, it is the very failure to assert British cultural values, combined with the promotion of cultures which are in many ways completely incompatible native British culture, which has caused this, and similar, incidents. After all, regarding other religions as unclean is a part of Islamic culture, and if the government and others, in the name of multiculturalism, encourage Muslims to maintain all of their traditional attitudes and values, even when they openly conflict with British ones, then this kind of thing is inevitable.

An individual bearing the wonderful title of "a source close to the shop assistant" has claimed that Mrs Friday misheard what was said. And that is, of course, always a possibility. But while the apparent use of the word 'unclean' serves to exacerbate the situation, the fact is that, no matter how polite the worker was, she still refused to serve a customer. Even if the word 'unclean' had not been used at all, then it would still have been left hanging deafeningly in the air. And it is simply unacceptable, if only because it is exceptionally rude, for an employee - who has, one assumes, agreed to take up their position of their own free will - to refuse to serve a customer, on the grounds that they regard the customer's purchases as somehow immoral.

Hat-tip: JuliaM, in the comments

1 comment:

Jellyboy said...

To some extent Im OK with muslims not selling Christian books or letting guide dogs into their taxis. I think that a certain amount of tolerance is acceptable.

As long as they understand that, in turn, we are allowed to deny any of them the right to live in our country in the first place.