BUSINESS

23 December 2013 Last updated at 04:15 ET

M & u M e s f a r S p o m l c g v e a l y r i h u o s l
Marks & Spencer has apologised after a Muslim member of staff refused to serve a customer trying to buy alcohol. The retailer said it usually tried to assign "suitable roles" to staff who could not handle certain items because of their religious beliefs. It said this policy had not been followed in a case highlighted by the Telegraph over the weekend. Consuming alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and some Muslims refuse to handle it at all. An unnamed customer told the newspaper they had tried to buy a bottle of champagne from an M&S store in London, but the member of staff "was very apologetic but said she could not serve me" and asked the customer to use another till. A spokesperson for M&S said: "Where we have an employee whose religious beliefs restrict food or drink they can handle, we work closely with our member of staff to place them in suitable role, such as in our clothing department or bakery in foods.
'Beyond common sense'

"As a secular business we have an inclusive policy that welcomes all religious beliefs, whether across our customer or employee base... We apologise that this policy was not followed in the case reported."

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"I don't think the Islamic ruling is being so difficult that Muslims cannot cope in society." Comments Sign in or Register to comment and rate comments All posts are reactively-moderated and must obey the house rules. All Comments 1344 Order by: 1344." she said. I don't. adding that Muslims could in theory object on religious grounds to serving customers buying any kind of meat. and would allow similar exceptions for other religions. which is odd because they sit on the same side as these religious bigots! LINK TO THIS REPORT THIS COMMENT +1 1343. but we don't have a policy. told Radio 4's Today programme she thought the M&S employee's refusal to serve the customer was "ridiculous". an Islamic law consultant.But Khola Hasan. LINK TO THIS REPORT THIS COMMENT +2 1341. managing director of John Lewis. I would hope [members of staff] would understand that in their job this was probably going to be required.." he told the programme. "This is taking it one stage beyond common sense. Fokital JUST NOW Latest First Highest Rated Lowest Rated 0 Even satanists lack this level of evangelical zeal. or items like cake or chocolate that contain small amounts of alcohol. Asda chief executive Andy Clarke told BBC Breakfast: "We don't have a policy. said the company did not have a similar policy. why do we have to pander to others ? If they wish to practice their beliefs/culture then do it only in the confines of their own home or . Steve 1 MINUTE AGO Tip of an iceberg issue . Essex Serpent JUST NOW At least a Muslim has the option of what they are handling or eating. britishmale JUST NOW I wonder how other staff following some religious persuasion fit in with the love of money being the root of all evil? LINK TO THIS REPORT THIS COMMENT 0 1342. and questioned whether members of staff should have the right to refuse to serve customers. of course we'll deal with them on an individual basis.. "We certainly have never had any issue with our teams. we've not even had to have a policy on this. when will we get back to 'when in Rome ' syndrome." But speaking to Radio 5 live's On The Money programme on Sunday. to let Muslims avoid handling alcohol or pork. As a non-Muslim I find the slaughtering of halal meat abhorrent but I bet most of the meat I buy in the supermarket has been killed that way to appease the minority. Andy Street. Other retailers said they would work with their employees on a case-by-case basis. If a colleague raises an issue with us. If people do not like the British way of life then please feel free to leave .

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