Retailer forced to apologize for Muslim employees’ refusal to sell alcohol, pork

Bad publicity in the cybersphere paid off in an apology this week by one of Britain’s largest retailers for allowing some of its Muslim employees to refuse to sell alcohol or pork products because of their religion.

marksandspencer1227But some Muslim groups said the retail chain should be deferential to its employees’ beliefs, despite a Facebook campaign by outraged customers.

Marks and Spencer, a United Kingdom chain that sells clothing and groceries, caused a stir the weekend before Christmas when news reports revealed some Muslim employees at a London franchise had declined to serve customers trying to buy alcohol for seasonal celebrations.

In the statement released Monday, the company said the behavior at the London stores didn’t reflect the company’s policies.

“We would like to apologize for any resulting confusion and reassure our customers that this was an isolated incident,” the statement said.

Spokesmen for Muslim organizations told news outlets they thought the original decision to let the employees refuse to serve customers was fine. The whole thing though, was overblown, some said.

“As far as we understand the matter, this story has received far more attention than it deserves and is an isolated event,” said Salman Farsi, media officer of the East London Mosque Trust, according to

Farsi also argued, according to Fox, that the policy would also allow Jews to refuse to sell pork to Marks and Spencer customers.

“We respect Marks & Spencer as a retailer that allows its employees to observe their religious values,” Farsi said.

Here’s a news flash for Mr. Farsi: the only “values” that are relevant in a retail exchange are the value of the currency used by the buyer and the value of the (legal) product to the owner. An employee is an agent of the owner. His beliefs or no-beliefs are irrelevant.

Muslims who don’t wish to part of the sale of alcohol have every right in the Western world (and Israel) not to work at establishments that sell alcohol. Just as they have every right in the Western world (and Israel) not to sell pork, charge interest on loans or eat lunch during Ramadan. (Their “rights” in the Muslim world are irrelevant, since they usually depend on whichever gang happens to have the guns at the moment.)

What they don’t have the right to do is take a job from an employer in good faith, then refuse to perform the service involved. This is the kind of creeping Sharia that masks itself in appeals for tolerance to the liberal useful idiots of the West.

And Britain, for a change, called it out.

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About Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at

  • Gen Smith

    Does it mean that Catholics can refuse to sell condoms?

    • SpencerChaffin

      It should, and if anyone does not want to ” sell ” or work ‘around something they do not support, they are free to work some place else. Imagine a “vegy” getting a job in a butcher shop them refusing to participate in the sale of meat.

  • P00dy

    Just like the Catholic who works for Planned Parenthood? Oh, That’s right if you were Catholic YOU WOULDN”T WORK FOR pLANNED PARENTHOOD. So, Why might you ask why does the Muslim work for the place that opposes his/her religion? ans……..wait for it…………….Because they are stupid too?

  • harry cox

    They don’t do the job they hired in to do…fire them.

  • grannie

    That was just a small first step in getting the acknowledgement(?) of their sharia law.

    • Steve Wolfe

      it WAS small….

      • grannie

        Most of their first steps are small. If they get away with that, the next step is much bigger, longer.

  • Colonoscopy

    But the guy in Colorado has been ordered by an idiot judge to make and sell gay oriented cakes to homosexual newlyweds, despite his religious beliefs against the practice.

    • EliseR

      Different country. What England does, has no bearing on the American courts.

      • grannie

        What? Colorado is in the United States the last time I checked. How did you get England in this?

    • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

      Owners should be able to set store policy, not employees – in any country.

    • Steve Wolfe

      you can bait me ALL YOU WANT, I am NOT going to ask for the recipe.

      • grannie

        You wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway.

  • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

    Good for M&S. Any employee who doesn’t want to do the complete job they were hired to do should be reassigned to a different position. If they don’t want to ring up sales for everything the store sells they shouldn’t be on the register. Put them in another position.

    • Reverend Ken

      Yeah, in some other business preferably in the middle east.

  • Bob Smith

    everyone in a 5 mile area needs to go to that store and buy a package of pork and take it to the check stand that is maned by a muslin and then we will see how much of an isolated incident it was, if any one refused to sell pork they should be showed the door and told to find another job ,the store is in the business of making money and the customer is always right

  • Ihatestupidppl

    Woo Hoo! “Isolated incident” my ass. The store is just trying to cover their ass. They bowed down to Muslims and now they have to answer for it. Of course Muslims don’t see anything wrong with this. It’s part of their take-over plan. Duh! Who cares what Muslims think? I sure don’t. If a white Christian took a job at this chain, then refused to sell meat bc they are vegetarian it wouldn’t be tolerated. Thanks Joe Saunders for telling it like it is.

  • Donna Baccaro

    I hear Dunkin’ Donuts is hiring!

    • Reverend Ken

      I hear islamaburger in Iran is as well.

  • fatmababy105

    Muslins are HYPOCRITS.

    • Steve Wolfe

      and we mean that in the most complimentary of ways…