Muslim staff at British supermarket can now refuse to serve alcohol, pork

Many UK supermarkets are divided on whether to allow staff certain exemptions for religious reasons

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Muslims working at British supermarket chain Marks & Spencer are now allowed to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol and pork, according to UK-based daily The Telegraph.

Staff working at the supermarket who do not wish to handle alcohol or pork for religious reasons have been told they can request that customers choose another checkout counter at which to pay.

Many supermarkets in the UK are divided on whether to allow staff certain exemptions for religious reasons.

One chain, Asda, said it would not deploy Muslim workers on checkout counters who objected to handling the goods.

Sainsbury’s, another large supermarket chain, advises that all staff, no matter what their religion, are able to handle meat and alcohol.

“If a [religious] belief involves not eating or drinking something in particular, they can still handle the food or drink as part of their job,” said a Sainsbury’s source.

A former Anglican bishop - who has previously warned of the consequences of Islamic extremism in Britain - said that supermarket customers would feel uncomfortable if they were told they had to wait to be served because of what they were buying.

“If supermarkets do not put up a notice saying this desk does not handle alcoholic beverages, it runs the risk shoppers could be humiliated when they get to the checkout,” said Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, according to the newspaper.

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