Sunday, January 29, 2012

Half a million settlement to a Muslim because he felt insulted

Now, I condemn any acts of discrimination on the job by those who manage and control the workplace, and tolerate no slander against those because of their ethnicity.  This episode did not rise to the level of discrimination, as the Muslim had been working in his position for four years, and claimed he had heard what he considered racist comments and jokes directed at him, and he claims his supervisors did nothing.  His work schedule was not a problem, and he had been promoted interdepartmentally to a security position so was not discriminated against by his job or the workplace.  His co-workers made statements he found offensive, not uncommon among people who work close together for a long time.  I myself have been at the receiving end of unkind comments and snide remarks, they did not affect me to the point where I demanded, and got almost half a million dollars.  What was said was rude, uncouth and derogatory, so what?  Having a thick skin is part of working and interacting with many humans, on many levels, day in and day out.  Finding slight in every comment and gesture just means you have little confidence or esteem in yourself, and believe you are the victim of what others say about you.  I am a Jew, you know what I have been accused of, and the names I have been called; I find them crass and shallow and put no credence in them.  Then again, I am not a Muslim, and one who must project on others my own inadequacies and prejudices.

This case, and the resulting jizya settlement is another example of misplaced priorities and acquiescence to the demands of Muslims to change the workplace to accommodate them.  Make no mistake, this is about Islam and a Muslims right not to be insulted.

From SFGate January 25 by Bob Egleko

Jury sides with Muslim guard in harassment case

A San Francisco jury has awarded $465,400 to a Muslim of African descent who quit his job as a security guard after a co-worker called him a "goddamn terrorist," supervisors made racist comments and a top company official endorsed a statement that "Muslims kill people."

The Superior Court jury found Thursday that Abas Idris' employer, Andrews International, was responsible for harassment and a hostile work environment that forced Idris to resign, and awarded him $65,400 for lost wages and emotional distress. On Monday, the jury added $400,000 in punitive damages.

Idris, 27, said Tuesday he's had other security jobs both before and after his 2 1/2-year stint with Andrews, but none in which "co-workers and superiors were referring to me as a terrorist or referring to me as al Qaeda."

He said the court case allowed him to stand up for his rights and to make it clear that "Islam is a religion of peace."

Andrews International, a worldwide security company based in Los Angeles, plans to appeal the verdict, attorney Madonna Herman said Tuesday.

"Andrews does not condone discrimination or harassment of any kind," Herman said in a statement. She said the company promoted Idris to a supervisory position and accommodated his requests for schedule changes.

Idris, of Eritrean descent, was brought to the United States from Saudi Arabia by his parents when he was 2. He was hired by Andrews as a security officer at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio in September 2010 and made $14 an hour.

Idris, represented by attorney Angela Alioto, said in his lawsuit that the office manager told him in January 2008 not to zip up his black rain jacket because he looked "too black," and his supervisor told him a racist joke eight months later.

Ooh, call the NAACP, we have uppity whites needing re-education.

Later, Idris said, one supervisor told him that war was one of the "pillars of Islam," and another said that "Muslims kill people," particularly gays.

OK, lets clear this up.  War is not one of the five pillars of Islam but it is part of the Qur'an and the hadiths of Muhammad.  The murder of gays by Muslims in Islamic countries is a fact, so no problem there.  Except for Idris' being insulted and demeaned, of course.

Idris said a co-worker told him about a January 2010 conversation with a fellow security officer who referred to Idris as a "goddamn terrorist" and added, "You can't trust al Qaeda."

Unfair to call Idris a terrorist, there is no proof.  The fact is, non-Muslims cannot trust Al-Qaeda in any respect so the co-worker is right on that one.  

Idris said no one took his complaints seriously. When the incidents were discussed at a supervisors' meeting in February 2010, he said, the company's regional director, Tom Dinnauer, described Idris as "a rat with an agenda" and said his supervisor, who had declared that Muslims kill people, "has a good point."

Idris said he quit his job that month in fear for his safety.

Uh oh, I see an anti-Muslim backlash in the works.

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