Jerrybrice's Blog
The intersection of animation, entertainment, and politics

Muslim woman wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf is turned away from market by shop owner

[picapp src=”3/5/c/7/Iraqi_Shiites_Celebrate_5d78.jpg?adImageId=6864194&imageId=3253220″ width=”234″ height=”139″ /]

There is more evidence that the culture and traditions of the Muslim community in the Western world is being targeted unlike any culture has since the freeing of the slaves in America. A lot of cultures choose to wear their traditional garb, and in our melting pot society, they are a testament to the diversity that we enjoy and celebrate here in the western world.

Many cultures freely wear traditional or religious garb,such  as in my community, we enjoy the presence of Tibetan Monks, Hasidic Jews, and expatriated citizens of the Sudan. Hindu’s and Persian’s wear their traditional headdress and clothing, and others enjoy wearing their cultural wear and face paint as well.

It is natural to be curious of a new culture, if you have never seen that community in person, I will admit, that is human nature. It is the vilification and demonizing of other’s traditions that is unusual.

When I worked in India, I was an anomaly there, because I was in western clothing. People would stare, and several had questions for me about my culture,but they were all very respectful, and nice. That was a great feeling.

In an educated society, it is an assumption that people would be more accepting of all the differences that exist in the citizens of the world.It is unreasonable and naive for Americans to measure all other cultures and traditions based on our perception of our own traditions.I do not think we are the measuring stick for people around the world.

Some call it Eurocentric, and I would have to concur.

The nations of the world acquiesce to our arrogance, and they educate their children and the population to be aware of how to speak the english language.

The only downfall there, is that education is not available to everyone in most countries. If you are not wealthy, then most education in other societies teach impoverished children how to read from their religious documents, like the Koran, and other such Bible’s.

That happens because education is provided to the poor by the church’s or religious organizations.

I think it is unfair to discriminate or demand someone adjust their religious beliefs to blend in to the western traditions, unless they choose to. I am aware that we have religious freedom here in the United States.Given than that, then we should treat all religious and cultures fairly, including Muslims, obviously.

I wonder if Hasidic people of the Jewish faith receive the kind of discrimination that Latifa Aimaq, an Arlington citizen got when she went to shop at a local market. They kicked her out of the store for wearing a Burkha, which is the traditional public garb for a muslim women, as is a condition of her faith.

If they do, then that too, is despicable.

The following report of the situation is as follows…

The Cooper Street Farmers Market sits in a highly diversified community in central Arlington — a tossed salad of cultures, colors and accents.

But when Latifa Aimaq went into the market, she found trouble from the proprietor.

Aimaq covers all but her eyes and hands in when in public, but signs posted in the market say faces must be visible at all times while shopping inside the market.

The store manager, Chris Perez, demanded she uncover her face, or he would have to ask he to leave the store. When she refused, manager Perez did in fact unceremoniously kick her out.

“He was very intimidating. He began to yell: ‘Get out! Get out! Get out! We don’t allow people with a face veil in here!'”

He definitely did not act like a gentleman in this case, and for that he should apologize.

Mr Perez explained in his defense,…”I tried to explain to her it’s for our safety and the safety of our customers,”..

He further went on to explain that women in full veil rarely come in, and usually when they do, they discreetly show their faces to his mother. But Perez said there were no women working the day Latifa Aimaq came in.

There is a heavy population of Muslim that live in the area, and who also frequent his establishment regularly, so this issue is nothing new to the store management or the customers.

“We don’t discriminate, period — based on race, religion, color, or any other thing,” Perez maintained.

Muslims account for 40 to 50 percent of his customer base, he stated.How this situation escalated to a screaming match is simply unprofessional.

In an interview with WFAA-TV in Richmond, Latifa Aimaq said that she is urging Muslims and others to boycott the store. She said she has never encountered hostility at an airport, bank or the department of motor vehicles, where she does discreetly reveal her face when the law requires.

She said she chose to begin to fully cover three years ago because she wanted to be more modest.

Click on the link below for more information about the Burkha, in an effort to understand both side’s of the story…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burqa

“I began to cover fully three years ago,” she said. “It’s not mandatory to cover your face, but it’s highly recommended.”

Aimaq is an English teacher at an Islamic school and says she covers for modesty.

Chris Perez says he wants to honor her beliefs and customs if she will honor his store rules.

I believe that these two intelligent people will be able to come to an agreement, or simply agree to disagree. If the store manager is not in violation of any Civil Rights laws, then he has an argument in his favor.

If Mrs Aimaq is not satisfied with the status quo, then she would be in her right to view this as a policy that should be unacceptable in our country, much like Rosa Park’s did when she defied state sanctioned  Jim Crow laws and refused to give up her seat to a healthy white man, and go to the back of the bus…

Rosa Park’s went against the law at that time, and Martin Luther King, Jr. organized a boycott and strike, and the State relented, and the laws were changed, as well as the hearts and minds of the people.

I applaud Mrs Aimaq in her efforts to bring light to this discrimination against her, and her traditions, which could be detrimental to any business, and needs to be changed, in a way that works for all parties, in a respectable manner.

The following clip below illustrates what can happen if this senseless misunderstanding is allowed to fester in our society…

For our country to survive, we must tolerate all cultures and traditions…as if they were our own.

[picapp src=”9/e/6/5/Hassidic_Jews_Celebrate_5a99.jpg?adImageId=6864277&imageId=860172″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /] [picapp src=”1/7/9/e/The_Prince_Of_8d86.jpg?adImageId=6864374&imageId=4160375″ width=”234″ height=”346″ /] [picapp src=”f/c/0/c/Tibetan_Monks_Sand_dd61.jpg?adImageId=6864536&imageId=1572523″ width=”234″ height=”155″ /]

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