Monday, September 28, 2009

Separation of Church (or Mosque) and Retail

A Muslim teenager claims in a federal lawsuit that she was denied a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store at a Tulsa mall because she wore a head scarf. The manager of the store apparently told the teen that her Hijab (head scarf) violated the company's "Look" policy. After reading the details of the case, I felt compelled to take the retailer's side in that issue.

Before I get accused of Islamophobia, hear me out. I am all for women wearing the hijab if indeed it is their personal decision. I was also outraged by France's decision to crack down on women who wore the hijab simply because, again, it is an issue of choice. It's a bad choice, in my humble opinion, but nevertheless it is their right.

That said, the line needs to be drawn when those decisions affect others... businesses included. Companies such as Abercrombie and Fitch have spent years and millions of dollars trying to build a particular image of their brand. That brand, or look if you prefer, extends to all consumer touch points, and in particular, their retail outlets. If an employee's appearance is not in line with the brand, that would result in loss of business. And it is not just a religious issue, but I'm sure other attributes apply here too. An old man working at "Forever 21" or "Victoria's Secret"? It is fair? probably not, but if you don't like it, you don't have to shop there...I have yet to taste them wings at Hooters

I have to wonder why, in the first place,would a religious person, such as this young lady, apply for a job at A&E, a company that is famous for its hedonistic image? does she really want to be surrounded by loud techno music and images of semi naked teens all day?

Again, I am all for women (and men) embracing and displaying their religious choices, that's what freedom is all about. But you can't have your cake and eat it too... if you choose a more religious orthodox life, than don't expect the world to bend over and accommodate your needs especially when they are not in line with established goals, business or otherwise.

1 comment:

Rondell said...

I'm sorry y'all but I have to agree with the store. It's like this: if I walk into a KFC and there's a skinny bitch working behind the counter, I'm gonna be all like what the hell?! Naw y'all! I'd just wanna rub some that chicken all over her to fatten her up like Rondell's curves. Kyah kyah!