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Monday, 29 September 2008

Muslim sues Tesco over booze

If I were an employer, would I employ a Muslim? It’s something I’ve often thought about. It’s against the law to discriminate on the grounds of religion, but I’m sure I’d find myself looking for some way of saying no.

I’m not an employer, so the situation will never arise.

But many employers – and others – will be enraged by a story that comes from Leicestershire (it’s in the Loughborough Echo) about a Muslim who is suing Tesco because he had to handle crates of booze in a warehouse.

Poor, dear Mohammed Ahmed was employed at Tesco’s Litchfield depot in September 2007 to move stuff about on a forklift truck.

But the 32-year-old Saudi told an employment tribunal that he hadn’t been told that he would be moving alcoholic drinks.

What did he think he would be moving? The stores sell alcoholic drinks, so did he think that, by some magic, they wouldn’t be part of his job?

Ahmed moved to Derby in 2006. He made his complaint to Tesco in February (not when he was moving the alcohol about several months before?) and claims he was treated unfairly as a result. After eight months of working for the chain, he left in protest.

To the relief of his managers, I would guess.

Tesco say he was told he’d be handling booze. He says he wasn’t. Either way, why are we always having to bow to the sensitivities of Muslims (more than to other religions, it seems), as a couple were made to over the morning-after pill earlier this year?

Tesco say they have an open-door policy and try to be sensitive to people’s beliefs. Perhaps these idiot religious types should just be told, “Look, mate, the job’s yours if want it but you’ll have to do it – all of it. If you have any qualms, bugger off and find an employer in Saudi Arabia or somewhere, where your superstitions will be kowtowed to.”

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