ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, January 22, 2007

Perhaps if she had asked for a Hookah?

H/T to Lileks

It appears that in addition to not being able to get a taxi ride if you might be bringing back a liter of single-malt Scotch from Scotland, the infidels can't buy a pack of smokes at their local quickie-mart:

Muslim store worker refuses smoker cigs

A 31-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified, was shocked when she attempted to buy a pack of 20 cigarettes at the WH Smith store in Market Street and was turned down.

She said: "I asked for a pack of 20 Lambert & Butler and the woman behind the desk asked me if they were cigarettes.

"When I said they were she told me that it was against her religion to sell them - I couldn't believe my ears.

"I rang up the manager to complain and he said the shop assistant has to ask someone else to serve them for her if a customer wants tobacco.

"If she had just said, I can't serve you, then that would have been fair enough, but the thing that really annoyed me was the way she gave me a lecture as well.

"She started saying she doesn't agree with smoking, that it kills you - I was really gob-smacked."

When contacted by the News, the store's assistant manager, who refused to give her name, said: "It is true that Muslims can't sell cigarettes - I used to be Jehovah's Witness and I wouldn't on religious grounds either."

She said the customer should have realised the shop assistant was a Muslim, and would not sell her tobacco, because she was "sitting there in her full robes".

Asked why the store had someone who would not sell tobacco working behind the till, she said: "It is against the law to discriminate against people on religious grounds".
[...]
The store manager, self-confident and smug in her "worldly understanding," is a complete idiot. I mean, to assert that because someone is dressed in a robes means I should assume that I can't purchase tobacco from them?

I suppose that I could also take this to the other extreme and assume that anyone "sitting there in her full robes" is a terrorist with a belt of explosives concealed underneath.

As the story goes on to explain, it's not against Islam to sell cigarettes or tobacco. I mean, has the gal ever heard of a hookah and its historical prominence in the Middle East? Perhaps if the customer had asked for a hookah, she would've been accommodated.

From Wikipedia:
William Hickey wrote in his Memoirs that shortly after his arrival in Calcutta in 1775:
The most highly-dressed and splendid hookah was prepared for me. I tried it, but did not like it. As after several trials I still found it disagreeable, I with much gravity requested to know whether it was indispensably necessary that I should become a smoker, which was answered with equal gravity, 'Undoubtedly it is, for you might as well be out of the world as out of the fashion. Here everybody uses a hookah, and it is impossible to get on without'.....[I] have frequently heard men declare they would much rather be deprived of their dinner than their hookah.
I can just imagine the smug levels that must hang throughout that little shop... I wonder if they sell liquor in that store... and what the reaction would be should someone dare to ask for a bottle from someone dress in full robes.

*** UPDATE ***
OliverWillis points to this story about a new UK cop who wouldn't shake the hand of the head of the Metropolitan Police (ie, her boss) because it was against her faith. To which I commented:
Great points, Oliver... your detractors notwithstanding.

Of course, now Muslim taxi drivers refuse to pickup travelers at the airport, lest they have liquor or a seeing-eye dog in their midsts. Oh, and forget about buying cigs from a Muslim. That's apparently verboten to some, as well.

I'm surprised that the officer isn't being more true to her religion - donning a hijab, refusing to operate an automobile, refusing to get an education, and submitting to her male overlords.

It seems that (to her) some Islamic customs require absolute dedication, while others can be ignored.

I think it's great that a female Muslim has chosen to become a police officer and wish her luck. It's one of a million indications of how accepting the West can be - and it certainly is an accomplishment for her, given her faith's view of women.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (1)
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