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Tyson Foods Adopts Muslim Holiday By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, August 07, 2008


Eid mubarak, Shelbyville! Union employees at Tyson Foods’ poultry processing plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee will enjoy a paid holiday this year on October 1, the date on which the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr falls this year. And on Labor Day, they will be hard at work, per a new agreement that the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) negotiated with Tyson.

The RWDSU explained that the new contract “implements a new holiday to accommodate the...Muslim workers at the plant.”

Since this story has gained attention on Fox News and elsewhere, some observers have called for a boycott of Tyson Foods. But what’s the big deal? The popular blogger “Allahpundit” noted at Hot Air.com that “according to Tyson, fully 80 percent of the union’s 1,000 members agreed to the new holiday arrangement. If a workforce with a huge Muslim contingent wants to make a deal with management to have their biggest religious holiday off, who cares? And why are there rumblings about boycotting Tyson when it’s the union that’s driving this?…What am I missing? Is there an anti-Eid exception to freedom of contract?”

Indeed, insofar as this was an agreement freely entered into by the union, by majority vote, no one can reasonably object to it. One does not require that 100% of the plant employees be Christians in order to give Christmas as a day off, and the same principle is operative here.

However, the reason why anyone has any problem with this decision is not because Tyson is not free to negotiate an agreement with its union -- an agreement that has apparently won the approval of the majority of plant employees. The problem is that the accommodation of Islamic holidays and practices abets, however unwittingly, an avowedly supremacist agenda that is directed toward supplanting American laws and mores and imposing Islamic law here. One notable example of this was the refusal several years ago of Muslim cabbies at the Minneapolis Airport to carry passengers who had alcohol with them.

The whole controversy began after a Muslim American Society fatwa forbidding the cabbies to carry passengers with alcohol. Yet in reality, Islam forbids drinking alcohol, but Muhammad’s curse on those who transport (or sell) it has been largely ignored in the West – until now. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood group, suggesting that the cab crisis was a Brotherhood-led attempt to assert the primacy of Islamic law and mores over American society and laws, in accord with what one Brotherhood operative called “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Tyson’s new holiday schedule, seen in light of the Brotherhood agenda, strikes many Americans as yet another example of how Islamic supremacists are demanding that America adapt to Islam, rather than that Muslims adapt to and assimilate into American society. And since there is indeed such an initiative going on among many Muslims today, the Tyson decision is indeed short-sighted and ill-advised.

Islamic law covers every aspect of life. Once the principle is accepted that Islamic law must be accommodated, and American customs and laws must give way in order to accommodate it, there is always more Islamic law to accommodate. If we do not draw the line somewhere, the calls for accommodation will end only with the complete Islamization of American society.

However, Stuart Appelbaum, the national president of the RWDSU, dismissed such concerns out of hand: “There’s no question,” he asserted, “that there is a lot of bigotry against Muslims and that this agreement has clearly touched a raw nerve among those who are prejudiced against them. However, the RWDSU has always understood that unions are only strong when they work to protect the dignity of workers of all faiths. That includes Muslims. Our union may be the first to negotiate this kind of agreement, but I have no doubt that others will follow our lead.”

Appelbaum issued this statement even as it came to light that while the union had asserted that 700 of the 1200 Shelbyville plant employees were Somali Muslims, Tyson itself stated that only 250 were Somalis. If Tyson’s number is correct, the supremacist character of this holiday initiative becomes even clearer. In any case, Appelbaum is no doubt correct that other unions will follow the RWDSU’s lead; unfortunately, however, it is also virtually certain that none of them will examine the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda before they do so. Yet it is that agenda, and that agenda only, that takes the Tyson plant’s decision out of the realm of simple cultural accommodation, and makes it a matter of concern for all free Americans.


Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.



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