CAIR sues Abercrombie & Fitch over Tulsa hijab decision; Coburn protests ISNA grants

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As See-Dubya says, "Whom to root against?"

The worst reactionary impulses of the seventh century, or the engines of postmodern degradation? A pox on both their houses.

That's in reference to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint filed by the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) on behalf of an 18-year-old Tulsa woman who was refused employment in the Abercrombie Kids store at Woodland Hills Mall because she, a Muslim, wears a hijab. The girl alleges that the store manager told her that the headscarf doesn't fit Abercrombie's image.

This ought to be laughed out of court. Of course a company ought to have the freedom to hire whom it pleases and to consider its public image in whom it hires to deal directly with the public. Freedom of association is a fundamental First Amendment right which is meaningless without the freedom not to associate.

Anyway, this is not about religion, it's about clothing and appearance. The hijab is not mandated by religion; it is mandated by culture, and its use and appearance varies from one Islamic country to another. The zTruth blog pointed out, regarding a CAIR hiring complaint against McDonald's in Dearborn, Michigastan:

Muslims insist this is a obligatory dress code, which I contend is not. I've only read in the Quran that women should dress modestly and cover their breasts. Nowhere have I read in the Quran that hair and/or the face is to be covered up but, perhaps, I missed it.

See-Dubya notes the strangeness of the situation:

This plaintiff is fighting to preserve her modesty while going to work for a company that's injected more soft porn into our cultural bloodstream than Cinemax?

I have to wonder if the choice of Abercrombie and Fitch was deliberate on CAIR-OK's part: Send a young Muslim woman in a hijab to apply for a job at a company that has been the subject of protests from conservative Christians for its skanky catalogs and advertising. Perhaps CAIR thought that they could build an alliance with conservative Christians by making A&F their target.

I won't defend A&F's "image," but that isn't what's under attack. It's the right any organization -- whether a Christian bookstore or a vintage clothing consignment shop or a church or a school -- should have to set dress standards in line with the organization's purpose.

Noting the Jamal Miftah case, See--Dubya says, "This is radical Islam asserting itself yet again in the heartland." Left-wing politicians in Oklahoma aren't offering any resistance. Gov. Brad Henry set up a special state commission to promote Muslim concerns, but disguised its purpose with the name "Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council." The zTruth blog reported last November that State Sen. Andrew Rice, the Democratic nominee for U. S. Senate, was the main speaker at CAIR-OK's fundraising banquet in Tulsa, praising CAIR's work, despite the organization's connections with radical groups Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans are keeping a close eye on the activities of groups connected with radical Islamist groups. On July 30, Sen. Tom Coburn joined Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl in writing Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to object to Federal funding of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA):

Earlier this year, it came to our attention that at least two State Department grantees were funding Muslim outreach programs operated by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an unindicted coconspirator in a recent terror financing trial, and a leader of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS). The Muslim Brotherhood, whose radical and violent agenda has been extensively documented, is an Islamist organization opposed to Western liberal democracy and considers both entities part of its U.S. network....

Despite the Muslim Brotherhood link to these entities, in December 2007, a grant of nearly $500,000 was awarded by the U.S. State Department to the University of Delaware which employs a leader of the AMSS, Muqtedar Khan, to manage the grant. The grant is meant to foster dialogue between the U.S. and clerics in Muslim countries.
In 2006 and 2007, the National Peace Foundation received State Department grants of $466,000 and $499,999 to conduct similar programs in partnership with ISNA.

Staff from the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Governmental lnformation, Federal Services, and International Security met with State Department officials from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs which manages these grants. When explaining the vetting procedures used for these grantees, your staff admitted that they do not vet the grantees used to implement these Muslim outreach programs. Instead, they rely on the grantees to vet themselves. Accordingly, the Slate Department is funding organizations without having a proper understanding of their membership, affiliation or whether they may be pursuing an agenda that is at odds with
U.S. policy -- to wage a war of ideas against the extremist ideology that inspires terrorism around the world, including here in the United States.

Even more troubling, the decision to award the grant managed by Mr. Khan of AMSS was based on a recommendation letter from the International Institute of Islamic Thought (lIIT), another unindicted coconspirator in the terror financing trial referenced above. Like ISNA and AMSS, the Muslim Brotherhood considers lIIT part of its U.S. network through which it wages a "civilization-jihadist process" to destroy Western civilization....

When Senator Coburn first learned that the State Department was funding Islamist entities, he requested a meeting with Goli Ameri who, at the time, was the nominee to become the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and would manage the bureau that issues these grants. During the discussion of her nomination, Ms. Ameri promised Senator Coburn that the State Department would stop funding these entities once she was confirmed.

Unfortunately, sometime after Ms. Ameri was confirmed, ISNA announced new sub-grant funding from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to carry out a new Muslim outreach program. An ISNA press release stated that these federal funds paid for a U.S. delegation to meet with Dr. Ali Goma, the Mufti of Egypt. In 2003, Ali Goma was
quoted in Egypt's "AI-haqiqa" newspaper defending terrorist acts in Israel....

We are sure that you would agree that Americans should not have to fund their enemies in the form of misguided "outreach" efforts. To that end, please provide a response to the following questions by August 9, 2008:

(I) By what date will all funding to Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations (including organizations identified in the attached Muslim Brotherhood memorandum) through grants, cooperative agreements. fellowships, contracts or any other funding vehicle, be curtailed?

(2) By what date will you establish Department-wide, standardized procedures to prevent funding from being provided to Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations (including organizations identified in the attached Muslim Brotherhood memorandum)?

That memo was linked from the home page of Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism. Emerson testified recently to the House Terrorism Subcommittee about the State Department's misdirected outreach funding. Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs calls it the "State Department of Islam": "Frightening in its failure .............. deadly in its implications. The damn thing must be scrapped. Top to bottom, starting with Condhimmi."

(Read about Emerson's first encounter with radical Islamism, right here in the heartland, in Oklahoma City on Christmas Day 1992.)

ISNA is the owner of Tulsa's al-Salaam Mosque and is one of the defendants in Jamal Miftah's lawsuit against those who assaulted and defamed him as anti-Muslim for speaking out against terrorism in the name of Islam.

MORE:

zTruth, Islamization Watch, and Overlawyered are also following the Tulsa A&F story.

Rick Moore calls the lawsuit "one of those 'Iran-Iraq War' kinds of disputes in which you wish both sides could lose, but only after a long, bloody and costly serious of battles."

Sharp Right Turn notes this story and news of Tyson Foods' decision to cancel Labor Day as a paid holiday at its Shelbyville, Tenn., plant in favor of Eid al-Fitr.

Tod Robberson at the Dallas Morning News opinion blog challenges readers to justify the hijab as a religious matter:

Religious custom is not the equivalent of religious belief or religious doctrine. I contend that the headscarf has evolved as a custom and expectation in Islam, but it is by no means a requirement for women who adhere to Islam to wear it.

And in case you missed it, CAIR sued Mission Foods earlier this year for requiring its workers to wear pants:

Fatuma Hassan and five of her Muslim co-workers lost their jobs at Mission Foods tortilla factory last month after they said that wearing a new uniform with pants violated their Islamic beliefs.

''For me, wearing pants is the same as being naked,'' said Hassan, 22. ''My culture, my religious beliefs, are more important than a uniform.''...

The Mission Foods clash has also led to a lawsuit. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, filed a religious discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Mission Foods had implemented the new dress code for factory workers and said the traditional Muslim clothing was too loose-fitting and posed a safety hazard near machines.

STILL MORE:

jedijson at Kick the Anthill is another conservative Christian (and a Tulsan, too, apparently) pulling for A&F in this situation:

No, I'm not hip on a company that puts out soft-porn pictures as their advertisements to entice my children into their stores, but still. Whenever a special-interest group tries to overstep a company's policies, it just rankles me to no end.

It's a long rant, but worth reading.

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4 Comments

Mark Author Profile Page said:

Our Christian family gladly boycotts the abomination that is A&F. So I agree with See-Dubya about the dissonance of someone who cares deeply about modesty desiring to work at A&F. Thus it seems clear to me that this employment incident was strategically orchestrated by CAIR to make a point. But so what?

Civil rights struggles that we NOW view as legitimate were made up largely of such orchestrated actions. Do you think those young black men at the Southern lunch counters were all truly hungry and expecting to eat?!? Did they all really need a room in those "white" hotels? Of course not.

How is this situation any different . . . except that we are currently as intolerant of Muslim "infiltration" as we were of Black "integration" during the Jim Crow era?

I hope (and predict) that CAIR cleans A&F's clock on this one. zTruth's argument based on the hijab's absence from the Quran is a "red herring". The employment discrimination laws have never required that the religious practice to be accommodated be specifically mentioned in a religion's seminal text. The law allows for variation as practiced by bona fide adherents, denominations, etc. Are we supposed to believe that a retailer could reject a Jewish yarmulke-wearer because that particular head covering is not specifically described in the Torah; or that a Christian Pentecostal woman could be fired for refusing to wear pants because the Bible doesn't talk about long dresses?!?

[Bonus material for Christians only:] What are we all so afraid of? Do we not have confidence in the strength of our own faith? Why do we Christians waste so much time, treasure and energy worrying about the highly remote threat of Islamic terrorism, rather than considering how we have contributed to their hatred? Do we practice a faith that encourages fear . . . or vengeance . . . or intolerance? Are we not called to look to our own idolatry first? In the competition of ideas, what is more attractive -- a philosophy that is confident enough of its own merit to offer respect for and tolerance of other points of view; or one that is defensive and disrespectful?

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

I think the fear is likely due to fear of what the government can do to (try to do?) to accomodate muslim beliefs while minimizing Christain beliefs. LIke not opeing school or class with a prayer but allowing MUslims ritual foot baths at taxpayer expense. Its not fear of Muslims, its fear of ourselves (our government's actions).

S. Lee Author Profile Page said:

Ah yes. I can see it now. Traditionally dressed Amish women working at Hooters.

highschooljim Author Profile Page said:

yet you are a big supporter of charter schools, and the biggest group of charter schools in Oklahoma and the southwest is run by a group of Muslims.
Nice contradictions

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 3, 2008 1:22 PM.

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