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Minnesota Muslim oppressed by pants

By See-Dubya  •  June 17, 2008 05:45 PM


Fatuma Hassan has just enough rice in her near-empty cupboards to make it through the month. The anger she felt when she lost her job in May has given way to a dull, nagging hunger.

Yet this soft-spoken 22-year-old became an unlikely hero within the Somali community when she and five of her Muslim co-workers were dismissed last month from the Mission Foods tortilla factory in New Brighton, Minn., for refusing to wear a new company uniform — a shirt and pants — they consider a violation of their Islamic beliefs.

“For me, wearing pants is the same as being naked,” Hassan said, noting the prophet Mohammed taught that men and women should not dress alike. “My culture, my religious beliefs, are more important than a uniform.”

There’s actually quite a litigious Somali subculture in Minnesota, as we’ve observed with the Minneapolis airport taxi-driver disputes. And then there was that TIZA thing last month. True to form, CAIR has picked this up, and will sue Mission foods on their behalf.

So Mission can either continue to ban unsafe, loose-fitting, but culturally sensitive clothing and be sued and slandered by CAIR, or they can give in and take a hit from a personal-injury lawyer when a burqa-clad employee gets tangled up in an industrial tortilla press. Tough decision.

The article goes on to discuss issues of immigration and assimilation, and the pressure Somalis feel to avoid the latter. Don’t become Americanized, they are told at home.

It looks like the indoctrination’s working, and with CAIR’s help they’re trying to Somalize Minnesota instead.

Meanwhile you’ll be relieved to know that California’s governmental code specifically memorializes workers’ rights to wear pants to work, regardless of their sex.


{Post by See-Dubya. Pants by J. Press.}

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