Muslims in the Workplace
Muslims are special interest groups who regularly ask for special privileges, willingly, unwillingly, knowingly, and unknowingly following a supremist ideology called Islam. The ideology calls for its proponents to ask for special favors in a society with regard to but not limited to prayers, food, and fasting when their numbers are large enough. Until then, they are supposed to blend in with others so as not to defame their ideology or reveal its political agenda. Once made known, the desires and demands usually concern gender segregation, food preference, personal hygiene, product handling, prayer time, special holidays and customer or client interaction.
As a result of praticing Islam, I know that Muslim prayers are not obligatory when work, circumstances, or other situations make it inconvenient or otherwise inappropriate. Muslims are not required to perform any religious ritual or pray anywhere or anytime if it causes a problem–such as when it is not common or convenient. That includes and is not limited to during school and work hours. It is quite acceptable and very common for muslims to make up missed prayers at home, even in the Middle East. Unperformed Muslim prayers can accumulate days upon days if necessary. Muslims simply cannot do them in advance of their prescribed times.
Most reputable organizations want to balance profit, stockholder, corporate, client, and employee needs. In light of such considerations, special interest groups within organizations may take advantage of goodwill policies. While efforts are usually made to grant reasonable requests, others can be counterproductive.
Indeed, Muslims may choose to go to great lengths to pray in out of the ordinary places and odd circumstances because of peer pressure and prestige. It is a good way to separate themselves from the other employees, to gain special recognition, demonstrate an illusion of piousness, mostly all in an effort to set precedent for supremist Islamic Law over all other legal systems and religions.
Spending several months in the Middle East, I saw neither a public, or private “footbath.” Instead, sinks and showers in the home were the acceptable mode of ritually cleansing oneself before prayers.
Interestingly, I learned that a Muslim can even use dirt instead of water to wash before praying if clean water is not available. To read about that fact, click here.
With regards to fasting, a Muslim does not always have to fast, for similar reasons as above. Fasting, unlike to praying, does not have to be made-up.
Footbaths may require an unnecessary expense for a showy ritualistic fraternal practice, while prayer time and space may require inconvenient expenses and scheduling, as well as be perceived as supremist gatherings. Gender segregation can cause unnecessary design adjustments, while changes in procedures and product handling can be unnecesarily offensive to valuable customers, associates, and co-workers.
With regards to fasting during Ramadan, the break-fast time is at sunset. This means that food, beverages, smoking, and sexual activities can only be enjoyed during the hours of darkness. It does not mean that one is required to eat at sunset. It means the aforementioned cannot be indulged during the daylight hours between sunrise and sunset.
A feature of fasting is waking early to eat a meal before sunrise. This practice can lead to fatigue, dizziness, weakness, irritability and disorientation later in the day. An organization must determine if it can safely, efficiently, and productively accommodate employees who are weak with hunger and thirst, and drowsy from rising before sunrise to eat.
People of most faiths pray at home and do not inconvenience others with their religious beliefs and practices. They do not require or demand special privileges and might justifiably resent conforming to superstitous non-productive, non-profitable supremist demands that change daily and yearly, and increase over time.
Significantly overlooked is the reality that special concessions to Muslims are dangerously irreversible, and will lead to further demands once initial weakness is shown and indulgence is made.
Omar Ahmad, the founder of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, said “Islam is not in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.”
Lack of knowledge about the politics of Islam in a naïve and benevolent host society gives a group of Muslims the confidence to ask for special policy, procedure, and concessions. The wishes are that are not genuinely necessary for religious practice, when the real reason behind the special requests is to set precedent and spread an Islamic agenda , creating a system where Muslim rights ultimately precede non-Muslim rights.
Though employers may strive for workplace amiability, giving in to Muslim requests for special privileges is dangerously irreversible. A concession is a victory for Islam, and history shows that Islamic victories lead to larger, less diplomatic and more comprehensive victories. Once gained, new victories are not easily reversed, as decisions for reversal provide Muslims an assumed ‘right’ for retribution.
Organizations and institutions should carefully weigh what is the best interest with regard to permissiveness, expense, safety, client needs, and compatibility with regards to employee and customer loyalty, expenses/profit, and community responsibilities.
Once an Islamic victory is achieved, another will surely follow. In that respect, Islamis like a Russian doll. Therefore, granting special privileges to Muslim employees may seem harmless at first, but will always lead to granting more special privileges. Demands for special privileges will increase promptly and proportionally, until it effects policies and laws, thus causing a systematic risk throughout our country’s policies, institutions, and organizations.
I have received lots of challenges to support the claim that Muslims can postpone prayers and fasting. This is what I was taught when I was being indoctrinated to be a Muslim. This is also what I observed. When Muslims wanted to pray at noon, they went home for lunch–even in a Muslim country. But if they could not go home, they postponed their noon prayer until later in the day. When traveling, they postponed all the days prayers until the end of the day. I saw this many, many times. Now that there are 1.8 million Muslims in America, feeling secure in numbers, the demands are racheting up a notch. Most Westerners do not know the details of Islamic ritual, therefore they are led to believe that it is an absolute requirement to pray at a very specific time. This is desireable of course, as it is inconvenient to accumulate all the prayers till the end of the day.. But even so, the accumulated prayers only take about 20 minutes and require one symbolic ritual washing. Incidentally, the entire foot does not need to be washed in the ritual washing. One merely wets the hand and spreads the moisture from the top of the big toe up to the ankle. The whole foot and the bottom of the foot does not need to be “washed”. If you would like to see Islamic confirmation of these claims, read my other post here.