Thursday, October 16, 2008

Trouble with Chicken

Many Somali immigrants have been in conflict with factory employers over the rigors of Islamic religions ceremonies/prayers.

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids employers to discriminate based on religion and says that employers must “reasonably accommodate” religious practices. But the act offers some exceptions, including instances when adjustments would cause “undue hardship” on the company’s business interests."

I find this problem troubling and am sympathetic with both sides of the argument. What should take precedent: rights to equal protections and religious freedom, or rights to property, contract and free association?

Further muddling my thinking is my deep emotional response to this story. I sympathize with the horror of living in places like Sudan and Somalia. I am also outraged and disgusted by the systematic subjugation of women which this culture embraces. More generally speaking, I am loath to support religious superstitions which I believe to be a weight on our society, economy and minds.


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