Abercrombie & Fitch is all about “the look.” I mean, the whole point of the store is to get people, especially young people, to cough up money for “the look.” To this end, the ads are soft porn, all aimed at showing the ultimate sexy cool.
Have I mentioned that I hate the whole Abercrombie thing? As the mother of a teen, Abercrombie slots neatly into the parenting “pain in the neck” category. Nevertheless, hate it though I do, I recognize that in a free, capitalist society, when a store’s product is “the look” (’cause if you take away “the look,” all you’ve got are fairly ordinary clothes), the government ought not to be interfering with its image.
Yet our federal government is doing just that, solely so that a Muslim sales clerk can augment the unique sexy Abercrombie “look” with a hijab. A federal representative explains the thinking behind this decision to use taxpayer money and government coercion to bully a private corporation:
“This retailer that targets a youth market is sending the message that you cannot aspire to their ‘All American’ brand if you wear a head covering to comply with your faith,” said William Tamayo, the agency’s regional attorney.
As for me, I’m not going to be interviewing at a topless night club any time soon, both because I don’t think I happen to suit “that look” and because professional toplessness offends my belief systems. I’m also not going to go to the feds demanding that they force the club to change its product to suit my sensibilities.
In this latter regard, I’d be acting entirely consistently with practitioners of all other religions, but for Islam. They and I recognize that the demands of faith may close doors. It’s not the government’s job to force those doors open. Faith requires sacrifice, and that sacrifice may mean one doesn’t get to work at the trendiest store in the mall.
It is inconceivable that the Founders ever intended for the Constitutional proscription against the federal government meddling with matters of faith was intended to force private businesses to change their project, nay, to change their very core identity, to accommodate the fact that someone’s religion has become inconvenient in the pursuit of cool.