Tyson Foods has elected to give its employees at their Shelbyville, TN plant a paid day off for Eid al-Fitr, the Moslem holiday which marks the end of Ramadan. The Islamic holiday will be honored in place of the Federal holiday, Labor Day. The plant of 1,200 workers has approxiately 700 Somali immigrants on its workforce who negotiated this change through their union.
For more information, check the following article from World Net Daily. There are numerous articles on the Internet about this.
Right Minded Fellow appreciates the vital role immigrants play in our society, deplores immigrant bashing and much of the hate rhetoric directed toward visitors and citizens from foreign lands, and embraces President Bush's concept of a "welcoming" society. RMF also deplores in the strongest terms illegal immigration particularly the employers who lure foreign citizens to work in the United States illegally exploiting their victims with substandard wages, un-American working conditions, and exposure to all kinds of risks to their health and safety.
RMF believes it is every person who intends to call the United States of America his or her home must learn English and should participate in cultural celebrations, honoring American holidays, and learning American history along with the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. It is the immigrants' responsibility to assimilate into American culture not for American business to assimilate to foreign cultures except to the extent that employers can help support its immigrant work force become educated in those subjects that will help them live productive American lives. RMF also supports unconditionally the Constitution's provisions regarding that Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free expression there of. This logic also provides sound guidance for corporate policy. Companies should be tolerant of the various religious beliefs of its employees allowing employees to feel comfortable and unthreatened about their beliefs but making specific provisions to accomdate the rituals of an individual religion that impinges on the normal daily work routine where practictioners are granted special favors such as specific break time for religious reasons which is above and beyond break time provided workers as part their daily schedule is unacceptable. In a company's employee compensation package provisions for vacation and personal days should be flexible to allow people of faith the ability to take time off for religious observances that aren't part of the regular company calendar. This approach has worked effectively to give Catholics time to observe Ash Wednesdays and Jews to observe their high holy days. Such sensitivity should also be observed in accomodating Moslems or members of any other less commonly observed faith. Denying American employees from observing a long standing American holiday for the sake of a minority religious holiday is wrong and perhaps shows political correctness running absolutely crazy.
Tyson Food has its American customer base, largely Christian, and many who have serious concerns about the spread of a religion that is quick to demand special accomodation while showing little evidence of vocally policing its own ranks when followers of that religion have resorted to rioting and terrorism in the name of Allah. While Christians and Jews routinely tolerate the satire and often outright abuse of their religious icons, western society is also aware of the riots that swept Europe when a Danish cartoonist mocked Mohammed showing some of the contradictions of the religion versus how some of its members use it it justify horror. When we consider the vile depiction of Jesus in some recent modern art displays some funded by the National Endowment for the Arts including the infamous work of Andres Serrano which includes the image of Jesus submerged in urine. Our tax dollars through the NEA paid for that attrocity!
In the current culture of political correct, elitist, left-wing, anti-American extremism, attrocities against the religions practiced by the vast majority of Americans are common place. Students of science quickly learn atheistic views are at least implied in the lab environment. People of faith who assert themselves in the wrong public settings are vilified, ignored, and pushed out of any public arena while some of the same public organizations who'd ban displays of the ten commendments or other personal religious artifacts, entertain proposals for providing feet washing stations, designated prayer areas aligned to face Mecca, and even providing or storing prayer rugs for Islamic believers. How can the attack on traditional passive icons recognizing Christianity and Judaism be oppressed where even traditional Christmas decorations are increasingly being prohibitted be seen as justified just as all kinds of accomodations are being provided for the religion observed by governments, terrorist groups, and cults sworn to kill us? RMF acknowledges most Moslems particularly residing in America deplore terrorism and are just as American as the next guy. Accomodation for their religious activities should be no more or less than what Christians and Jews enjoy.
The actions supported by Tyson Foods Shelbyville, TN operation has leaped way over the line against traditional American values and in support of recognizing the rituals of one religion over other relgions.
RMF cannot justify supporting Tyson's with his customer choices and asks his audience to do the same. Why not consider Purdue product, a Maryland company and major employer on Maryland's lower Eastern Shore. Perdue Farms is an active corporate citizen in the region sponsoring the DelMarVa Shorebird's stadium and providing significant contributions to Salisbury University and Wor Wic Community College.
Disclaimer: The author of Right Minded Fellow and members of his immediate family are not employees of or contract with Perdue Farms. Nothing written in this piece suggests in any way there is a connection between Tyson Foods and disgraced boxer, Mike Tyson. We do not imply or suggest that the Food companty has anything to do with the criminal and anti-social behavior of the fallen heavy-weight champion.