‘Cringing to Muslims is so pointless’

The right-wing media are predictably making an issue of Sainsbury’s reported decision to allow its Muslim checkout staff to opt out of& selling alcohol. Judging by the account in yesterday’s Sunday Times this would appear to affect a single employee in one Sainsbury’s store (plus two other workers who have apparently asked for dispensation from stacking the drinks shelves).

Ibrahim Mogra, chairman of the inter-faith committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, has said: “Muslim employees should look at the allowances within Muslim law to enable them to be better operating employees and not be seen as rather difficult to cater for.”

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the MCB, has similarly been quoted as saying: “By selling alcohol you are not committing a sin. You are just doing the job you are paid for. Muslim employees have a duty to their employer and in supermarkets most people would accept that in selling alcohol you are merely passing it through a checkout. That is hardly going to count against you on the day of judgement.”

None of which prevents Peter McKay, in today’s Daily Mail, using the Sainsbury’s story as an example of the attempted Islamification of the West:

“There’s no doubt some Muslims living here want us to change so we are more in tune with their beliefs. Some of the wilder ones want to destroy our ‘infidel’ way of life altogether. The Nobel Prizewinning author Sir Vidia Naipaul complained about the latter group to Radio 4’s James Naughtie last week. This is what he said: ‘What I dislike about it is this element of parasitism. These people who want to come to other countries from their own benighted places. They twist the laws, they hire lawyers, they do bad things to get residence. And then, having got that, they wish to destroy (the society) which has welcomed them. I think that is simply awful. At the most basic level it’s a kind of ingratitude.’ Trinidad born, Sir Vidia can speak candidly without fear. No white politician from a major party would dare voice these sentiments. Everyone’s too terrified of sounding ‘racist’.”

Still, it’s good to see that Peter McKay includes the Muslim Council of Britain in the category of “sensible Muslims”, given that the paper regularly features rants by Melanie Phillips denouncing the MCB as an extremist organisation.