Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How Whole Foods Stole Ramadan

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How Whole Food Stole Ramadan

I have always thought that Whole Foods was elitist, but shopped there anyway. It’s very convenient and they offer a variety of brands and goods. Sure, I’m not down with the whole culture of whole food, but when I’m in Silver Spring Maryland, I stop by there and check their cheese collection and baked goods. There’s also a new store opening up in the Foggy Bottom area, in walking distance from my work, I am hoping to find some goods that cater to my every needs.

Now, comes the controversy of Whole Foods and its Halal in time for Ramadan. To read more click here. One of their stores in Texas saw some negative online comments from bloggers and conservatives who accused the company of promoting Ramadan and with it, Islam. So the company sent an internal email, now leaked, that reads:

“It is probably best that we don’t specifically call out or ‘promote’ Ramadan … We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered ‘Celebrating or promoting’ Ramadan.”

I don’t blame them, the company doesn’t want to be distracted by a fight with people who have issues with reason and common sense. I’m mature enough to know that companies are about creating value and making customers happy. I don’t think a given store necessarily endorses a holiday when it promotes certain items that go with that holiday. But the folks complaining about Muslim diet in the Texas store are only giving Texas a bad name.

Whole Foods celebrates Christmas, Easter, Passover, and Hanukkah and I never found anything wrong with that. In fact, I am grateful they do it, it sort of makes me aware of how diverse America is. Such extreme right wing groups have been picking fights with Muslim Americans through every possible outlet. You would think a store like Whole Foods would be a safe from such delusional attacks.

Whole Foods should not have put itself in this position in the first place. People will always be upset. You do the right thing and stick to your decision. Caving in is your first mistake. I do however, give them credit for introducing a Halal food line.

This vocal and angry minority protesting the Ramadan line is pathetic. What’s next? Whole Foods logo is green, Hamas’ flag is green, it must be a conspiracy! How would they feel if an atheist group protested Whole Foods promotion of Christmas goods? While those few anonymous commentators hoped they would steal the spirit of Ramadan, I think they have failed. To get their Halal food, Muslim Americans will do what they have always done, spend their money at their locally owned grocery store that sells Halal food and observes Ramadan. Keeping the money in the community.

Once again Whole Foods’ actions put the crazies in the driver’s seat. Such a hateful bunch won’t live long. Their unbound hatred will damage their mental and physical wellness and none of the fine Whole Foods’ goods will help extend their lives.




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