Tuesday, March 22, 2005

30 Muslim workers fired for praying on job at Dell

That is not the headline that most of America saw, but that is what happened. I'm guessing what happened was some racist good 'ol boy/girl from Nashville decided he was going to get revenge for the 9/11 attacks, and told these Muslims they had a choice:

They told us, if we pray, we're going to be fired.

Of course, if you live in America and don't get your news from the internet, and maybe even if you do, you're likely to have seen a different headline: Muslims Quit Their Jobs Over Prayer Dispute. Now, this headline, while technically true, is completely misleading. The headline makes it seem as if some small tiff was responsible for these Muslim folks getting all bent, and being the vengeful and ungratfel people that all Muslims are, just decided to walk off the job because they had better things to do with their time.

With Dell being the world's largest PC manufacturer, and Muslims being so prominent in so many foreign countries where Dell operates, Dell had to quickly go into spin mode. Nonetheless, word hit the streets, and hit hard, especially in India where Dell has been talking new business. ExpressIndia.com, which gets its newswire feeds from Reuters India, had this headline: Nashville probes firing of Dell Muslim workers.

Some might argue that the Muslim folks should have stayed, prayed, and then suffered the indignity of getting told explicitly that they were fired, getting removed from the premises, ass before head, and all the rest. I guess it is possible that their managers were lying to them - only threatening to fire them if they prayed, but that is all besides the point - and hardly a defense. Do we really want all workers in the U.S. to think twice before deciding if their managers are actually lying to them or not? The point is that this racist manager took it upon himself/herself to break company policy - and possibly the law - and prevent these Muslims from praying. A little renegade whitebread manager who got his ass kicked a lot in high school and is too afraid to go fight Muslims on the battlefied thought he'd take his shots on American soil, where he was confident his chances were better. Coward.

Dell would not have come to the negotiation table if it weren't legally culpable for the mess - and legally culpable is bad business for any American-based, worldwide-operating business these days. FOX News only reaches so many racist Americans...the rest of the world is left to think for itself.

And maybe Dell would not have responded at all had the workers not sought the help of legal counsel from CAIR.

So, a settlement has been reached. Am I supposed to be happy now?

I want the name of the manager responsible for this travesty. I want his or her manager's name. I want them to be made public to humiliate them like they humiliated these Muslim workers. I want a public apology from this manager and from Dell. And if we can't get an apology from this manager, then he should be fired.

Time to stick up for the less powerful...

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