Hiring woes

When my kids were at their old preschool, the school hired a very pleasant teaching assistant. At the end of a year, she suddenly showed up at school in a headscarf. The school was in a quandary. A lot of the parents, especially the mothers of the little girls, were very unhappy to see a young women come to school wrapped up like this, especially as her clothes got more voluminous and shapeless with time (although she never went to the full burqa). The school eventually did nothing. The young woman did her job up to all reasonable standards, and the school could only get in trouble for firing someone for religious expression.

It begins to appear that this was not an anomalous occurrence. Gerry Charlotte Phelps writes that some employers in Canada may be getting the feeling that they’re being set up. Young Muslim women apply for jobs in full Western mode. They continue in full Western mode up until the probation period passes and then, when they can no longer be fired without cause, “go sharia”:

One of my best-friends works in a govt-subsidized daycare centre in northern Montreal. Last year they hired a new worker originally from Lebanon. She was dressed in a western manner albeit conservatively, her head was bare, and she aced the interview very well. Their new employees have a probation period for three months. She was very good with the kids, very friendly with the co-workers, etc. So after three months, she was hired with full-benefits.
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All of the sudden, everything changed. She started to wear a abaya (not the veil, she was wearing the full black coat like in Saudi Arabia and Iran) all the time. She stopped chatting with the co-workers like she used to, etc. Once she threw a major public tantrum because at a parents and kids potluck there were not enough hallal sausages or some reason like that.
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So my friend talked to her supervisor. She said that the daycare centre has got to be more careful because it seems like a lot of Muslim women are getting hired because they seem well integrated into our society but then they do a switcheroo. Once they have the job for sure their real selves come out.

Read the rest here.

To my mind, if these women want to go veiled to work, that’s their decision. What’s objectionable is the fact that, rather than taking the potential downside risk of their religious conviction (more limited workplace choices), they engage in this duplicitous behavior.

It’s also interesting that these women can engage in this behavior. If full Muslim wear is so important, how are they avoiding that obligation for the hiring and probationary period? From my experience, absent extraordinary circumstances no Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women, no matter the reason, would appear with her head bared, nor would a religious chew dine in style on shrimp, because doing so violates a fundamental precept of their religious belief. (The rabbis, in their great wisdom, have held that it is okay to violate such rules in life and death situations, which enabled many Jews to survive the death camps despite the absence of kosher food.)

This on again/off again clothing policy that some Muslim women are adopting makes it seem as if the abaya is much more of a political statement, either to be removed when expedient or donned to make a point, than a sign of true religious conviction.

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  • Deana

    Two things:

    1. Is this not just a manifestation of taqiyya?

    2. This is troubling for a variety of reasons but primarily because we have no easy way to battle something like this. How hard would it be for an organization / company to institute a rule regarding what parts of the body MUST be shown at all times?

    Deana

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    If full Muslim wear is so important, how are they avoiding that obligation for the hiring and probationary period?

    No Muslim owes the duty of honesty to an unbeliever, eh?

    This on again/off again clothing policy that some Muslim women are adopting makes it seem as if the abaya is much more of a political statement, either to be removed when expedient or donned to make a point, than a sign of true religious conviction.

    Maybe infidels are special book. Obviously their husbands would beat the ever living daylights out of them if the women ever tried to do the same to Muslims or around Muslims.

  • pacificus

    Here is an example of perhaps the most salient tactical overlap between Islamism and the hard left. “By any means” the left used to say openly (and still subscribe to), and radical Islam as well has no problem lying, cheating, stealing, or murdering–any technique, small or large, innocuous or vicious; if done for the sake of putting forward the rule of Allah, it is sanctioned.

    I think sooner or later we (and the Brits, if its not already too late for them) will be forced to rethink our toleration of Islam. As James Burnham said, our Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact; we do not owe any group that intends our destruction the protection of our constitution. This is a very difficult bind our enemies are able to put us in; in order effectively to counter the threat, we are forced to compromise our principles. The ACLU has long made this their metier, and CAIR has no intention of skipping over such an obvious and useful tactic.

  • pacificus

    BTW Deana–what is “taqiyya”?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Pacificus, it essentially means that Muslims can lie to unbelievers if their lives are threatened or they are in a jihad or some such.

  • Lulu

    Arafat referred to his approach to peace with Israel as a “Trojan Horse”- appear to work with, then destroy from the inside. This teacher’s (possible) strategy, too, sounds like a mini Trojan Horse that will lead only to charges of racism and CAIR lead lawsuits.

    Are these women attempting to indoctrinate kids or proseletyze? Grounds for discipline. Big screaming public tantrums in front of kids and parents? Erratic and unstable behavior, unsuitable for working with kids. Hostile to co-workers? Unacceptable work behavior. Is she nicer to boys, neglecting girls, picking on Jewish kids, insisting girls dress differently? Is she demanding that the entire staff stop eating foods that are forbidden in Islam? This would be a professional problem if not disclosed at the time of interview. She wants halal meat? Bring her own food or eat vegetarian dishes. We need to stop giving in to bullies.

    There are always internal evaluations at jobs. Her performance should be judged and evaluated as would anyone else’s. If she is merely devout but abides by the mores of a secular school in all respects, I see no real problem. perhaps she will even be influenced by American culture. If, as we suspect, she has motives to change the school from within, change our society from within, she should be reminded of the rules of the job. Certainly, as she becomes more devout it is curious why she stays in a secular school and does not teach in a religious school.

    Based on this, and other precedents, I suspect that the day is soon coming when a veiled teacher will demand the right to teach with her face fully covered. Individual schools and school districts should start preparing for how to respond to this BEFORE the lawsuit.

  • Mike Heinz

    Heh. Wait a minute. When I interview for a job, I put on a suit – which I never wear, otherwise – and I shave my beard and get a hair cut. Once I’m hired, I dress the way I usually do, and the beard grows back.

    When I’m first hired, I tend to keep to myself as I try and learn what the corporate culture is. As time goes on, and I’m more accepted, I keep less of a lock on my mouth and worry less about who I offend.

    How is this any different? It sounds like basic behavior for someone trying to land any job anywhere.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com/ Don Quixote

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for commenting and you have a point, although I’m not sure the changes you describe and changes which hide a religious affiliation are entirely comparable. But in a sense you are right. If the place that hired you does not require you to wear the suit, remain clean shaven and keep “a lock” on your mouth then there is no reason you shouldn’t be permitted to pose as one person to get a job and act as another once you are hired. However, I’d question the intelligence of the hiring practices of a company that places entirely different requirements on job applicants than they do on employees. What do others in the Bookwormroom think?

  • pacificus

    Don,

    Differences are these:
    1. Mike, when he goes back to his preferred attire does not intend to make a cultural or religious statement thereby, particularly one that is at such strenuous odds with the majority.
    2. Mike, I would hazard to guess, does not define himself as part of an “us” which is versus a “them”, which he expresses through dress, dietary proscriptions, and other religious requirements–foot baths, prayer time, gender seperation, etc.
    3. Further, Mike does not consider himself part of some elite destined by divine providence to hold utter political, social, and cultural sway over lesser sub-citizens, who must submit to and observe the same rules Mike holds to.
    4. Mike and others like him who prefer a particular form of (casual) dress do not use that wardrobe to set themselves apart in a formal way.

    By dressing and acting as they do, Muslims deliberately lay down a gauntlet before Western societies, giving an outward indication of what they believe. And what do they believe? That sharia law is the only law, that there are believers and infidels, and infidels must eventually submit to the earthly rule of Allah.

    Thousands of moderate muslims practice freely without giving offence with an in your face demonstration of their belief. We should give no quarter to creeping sharia, not now, not ever.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    The dressing part isn’t that important, in my view .It is what it will ultimately lead to. Mike just wants a job. If that was all what people wanted and were willing to do to get, it wouldn’t be a problem. But that’s not how it is in a way. Not with flying Imams, CAIR, Muslim taxi drivers, etc.