Islam and Favoritism in the Workplace

Is it possible?  Is it possible that our fear of the monster in the closet actually creates a monster?

Does our fear of the word “discrimination” capitulate to favoritism toward Muslims in the workplace?

Ask me.  Does my workplace capitulate?


Latest example is within our sturdy volunteer corps upon which we are dependent for many tasks.   As of late, a Muslim woman in hijab is seated at the volunteer desk. This desk is in the front lobby. This area presents the first public face of my mega-corporate hospital with the zillion dollar services.

Did I mention that the volunteer dress code includes a beautiful red jacket, or at times a red vest? Most of our volunteers are retirees and I have always admired the nicely coiffed white hair with the red jacket accent. It speaks of elegance.

There is capitulation for Muslim staff members too and I worry about epidemiology. Nurses tossed their caps years ago because studies showed we were sporting germ harbors on our heads. The caps had to go for the safety of our clients.

The other day I noted a Muslim nurse leaning over a bed. Her scarf with long fringe was not neatly displayed.  The fringes swept across the patient and bed as she provided care.  I observed again as she entered the next room and repeated the process.

  • Perhaps a fringe of scarf on a petri dish in the lab would provide interesting results.

Meantime, non-Muslim nurses are told to keep the fingernails short, not to wear flashy jewelry or excessive rings.  We are to be utilitarian and drab in our look.  All the same, except for our name badges emblazoned with a bold R.N.

Is a head scarf useful as a flash bang cultural grenade?

You decide.

The Last English Prince believes that a minimal respect for Western culture requires a small measure of accommodation by the immigrant.

I consider Hijab a flash bang cultural grenade.

Dear Muslim neighbors:

In public do not stand out.

In private, stand up and give a shout for your Islamic practices.

But if your only claim to fame is that you stand out, a scarf is not a CV. But it just might be a reminder of oppressive practices toward women.

As Americans we must not create the monster in the closet by confusing discrimination with favoritism.

Americans want to be fair.  Let’s be fair with our fellow Americans regarding workplace compliance with grooming standards. Let’s work against morale problems by demanding grooming compliance. It is a small thing to ask of our immigrants.

Anything less, is favoritism and should be open to litigation by the injured parties.


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