Hell is other people?
There’s a fairly straight forward seeming employment law issue brewing in Walmart Arkansas, the law suit argues that a straight up and productive senior consultant was fired into a poor economy with a bad review a little while after after his co-workers didn’t want him to use the company washroom to prepare for his daily prayers. That’s basically the sort of religious discrimination action many would sell children to be able to represent. It seems a pretty hamfisted handling of the situation by Walmart. Regardless, it will run and run, the case is still in early days yet and Walmart has its right of reply and so on. The interesting thing is the sort of reaction these stories get in terms of anonymous comments: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/09/wal-mart_deloitte_civil_rights.php
There are two main sides to the discussion in the comments thread. Very few people leaving a comment don’t have some sort of opinion on the topic. There are two lists, one is comments from people who give if definitely not their real or full name and the other are people who give a not a name as their handle. I’m cherry picking for the two lists but I think it’s a trend I’ve noticed by other users anonymous commenting. Remember, all of these people had the choice (and may have) to leave a false name. Why do the people who leave a name not advise that the Muslim worker commit suicide while those who leave a handle do?
I blog anonymously, I really like that I can make infantile, ill-thought out comments on law without a future employer googling my name and discovering that, back in 2007-2008, I knew pretty much nothing about whatever topic. I’m not particularly right wing, if you’re not liberal when you’re young you’ve not got a heart, so it’s not really comparable for my sort of anonymity but my plan is to avoid writing anything on the blog that I can’t defend in real life discussion.
Examples of the first list:
“Wudu is the process where muslims clean themselves up(face,hands, foot, mouth rinse) with water from any dirt or germs that they may have collected during work or any other activity. This entire process takes less than 5 mins. Being a businessman and handling 74 employees i can’t think of any burden/complexity/hardship this process can bring to the employer. Shame on Walmart.”
David Ross says:
“Just terrible. Why can’t Muslims enjoy the same rights and freedoms in America that Christians and Jews enjoy in Saudi Arabia?”
“A Muslim prayer is essentially a few minutes (5 minutes max) devoted to gloifying the Lord and he/she emerges after that short experience cleaner, more relaxed relieved of tension, anger and hostility, in short, with a more positive attitude to one’s workplace. This is why the afternoon prayer is ordained and the corporate world should in fact welcome it.
The “wazu” or wudu (former spelling is more common in Non Arabic countries) is a psychological gesture of purification as well as a good reason to clean up. Its a healthy thing to do. We all should at least once in the middle of our work should rinse their hands up to the elbows, splash some cold water on our faces and behind the necks, gargle and clean our throat and noses of junk that may have accumulated therein. A most commendable hygienic habit if you think rationally, laying your angers prejudices aside for a moment.”
Examples of the second list:
“Kidding right? What if my religious beliefs required me to spend a few minutes upside down each day at work? Or required me to smoke some dope? Or, what if I walked the aisles praying aloud to my God of choice in whispers? What if I chose to wear a dull sword or a light wand to symbolize my religious faith?
This is medieval superstition, pure and simple, whether the guy is a Muslim or evangelical Christian or a devotee of Thor or Wohan. If people want to delude themselves by talking to some non-existent being, they are free to do so at home. Tolerance of religion is not a virtue, it’s a regress into the past. Just like the dumb-ass judge who wanted to hang the 10 Commandments in his courthouse, this foolishness ought to be rewarded with a good-bye, please work elsewhere.”
Good Riddance says:
“I think it’s good he was fired.
Fundamentalism should not be tolerated.
If he is unable to integrate into a secular society(work a whole shift without being disruptive) then he should move to Pakistan.”
US Citizen says:
“His religion prevented him from doing a standard professional job. Walmart should hold its ground here. If they don’t, Walmart will lose my respect.
If he wants to be a Muslim, he can go back home. Or he could kill himself, which would be much better.”
On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog. But they might guess you’re just a tiny bit racist.