How would you feel if a cashier made you swipe your own groceries because of his/her religious beliefs?
I'm a reporter who covers Target for the Star Tribune and the other day, I got a call from someone who said that an employee at the Target store downtown refused to run his bacon through a scanning machine. He was mighty upset, arguing that the cashier had "no right to work as a cashier at Target" if she wasn't prepared to swipe his groceries.
But he was a little vague on the details, so I decided to check it out myself. At the Target store on E. Lake Street, a cashier wearing a hijab looked uncomfortable when I showed up at the cash register with a frozen pepperoni pizza. She immediately called for help, and another employee rang up the pizza and placed it in the basket.
I asked her if it was because she was Muslim, and she nodded her head. "I can't even touch it," she said.
The E. Lake store has only has a few aisles of food. How do Muslim workers adapt in Super Targets where there are full-fledged grocery sections? And is anyone other than this caller bothered by this? Are there some Muslim workers at Target who feel they have to suppress their beliefs to avoid conflicts?
Editor's note: A story about this issue appeared in Wednesday's Star Tribune.