From the US, a story of religious discrimination. Yes, another one.
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“Growing up in this country where the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion, I felt let down,” Khan, now a college student studying political science, said at a news conference.
Basically they sacked her for wearing it. Now, Abercrombie & Fitch may be being unfair, especially as she says she was wearing the thing when they hired her and told her it was fine as long as it was in company colours before firing her four months later, but I’m not sure that the Bill of Rights’ guarantee of religious freedom means what she thinks it means (my bold).
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Looks to me like what’s been guaranteed is that the federal government won’t establish an official state religion or prevent anyone believing in whatever they want to, but since it doesn’t say a single thing about forcing individuals and private businesses to do likewise it seems you might not be free to practise Religion A on the property of someone who practises Religion B or is determinedly secular. Perhaps I’m reading it wrong and perhaps someone who does actually know something about the US Bill of Rights might correct me, but surely if she’s right then wouldn’t it also allow foam-mouthed Christian lunatics like Pastor Terry Jones, he of Koran burning fame, to walk into his nearest mosque to preach his particular brand of intolerance?
It would seem strange to grant that kind of thing constitutional protection so I guess discrimination is allowed if it isn’t the government doing it. There used to be a word for that, one which is still used a lot but not actually lived up to much these days: freedom. If what Khan says is true then I sympathise with her and I’d agree that Abercrombie & Fitch were being arseholes, but they should be free to be arseholes if that’s what they want. Still, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there isn’t some kind of law against it anyway. In fact I’d be surprised if there isn’t.