The policy was first reported by the Daily Telegraph after an incident where a customer in central London buying a bottle of champagne was told to use another cash register due to the religion of the sales assistant.
“I had one bottle of champagne, and the lady, who was wearing a headscarf, was very apologetic but said she could not serve me,” the anonymous customer told the Daily Telegraph. “She told me to wait until another member of staff was available.”
“I was taken aback. I was a bit surprised. I’ve never come across that before.”
Customers trying to buy alcohol in preparation for Christmas were also told to wait.
The decision triggered an angry backlash, with thousands of customers declaring that they would boycott the store as a result of the move, which was attacked as putting political correctness before customers.
Facebook user Mandy O’Neill said on the “Boycott Marks and Spencers” Facebook page, “I have shopped in M&S yesterday and have done so for many years. I will never set foot in this store again until they resume back to normality.”
Meanwhile Wendy Mason said “Keep out of politics and religion M&S. By taking up this policy you are opening up a hornet’s nest which will end in misery.”
On Monday, the company apologized for the incident.
“Customer service is our number-one priority. We regret that in the highlighted case this was not delivered to our usual standards,” a statement released by the company read. “We would like to apologize for any resulting confusion and reassure our customers that this was an isolated incident.”
However it wasn’t clear if it had fully walked back the policy, with the company saying that it remained committed to “working closely with any employee with religious beliefs of any denomination that restrict specific food or drink handling.”
“Requests are considered on a case by case basis and may lead to an individual working in a department where conflicts wouldn't arise, such as in clothing or bakery in foods,” the statement read. (Continue Reading.)
Friday, December 27, 2013
U.K. Retailer Marks and Spencer Apologizes for Sharia Compliance
I wonder if the Muslim employees will start suing for religious discrimination now that they're being treated like all other employees. According to the Qur'an, Muslims are "the best of peoples" (3:110), and unbelievers are "the worst of creatures" (98:6). So treating Muslim employees like non-Muslim employees is an insult to Islam.