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Sporting beard cost UK Muslim his job

Sunday April 01, 2012 01:17:48 PM, IINA

Croydon (South London, England): A Muslim man from Croydon has fallen victim to Britain’s rising Islamophobia, as he has been sacked on the first day of his new job at a phone shop because of his beard.

Shahid Saleem who has a beard due to his religious beliefs is now taking legal action after the discrimination he faced at Vodafone shop in Sutton High Street, London.

Saleem had an appointment with the store manager on September 9, 2011 after being placed there by the recruitment agency, Adecco. But he was told that he could not work at the store because of his beard.

The 21-year-old then asked the manager to see the dress code to check whether Vodafone had an official policy through which the employees should be clean shaven. But his request was refused and was instead escorted to the exit door and told to talk to his job agency.

“Throughout the whole time [the store manager] was talking to me, he spoke to me condescendingly in public in front of a Vodafone employee, which completely demoralized and upset me as well as causing me distress,” Saleem said.

“What [the store manager] did was blatant discrimination, and discrimination in this country is illegal, especially in regards to the work place.”

Vodafone then probed Saleem’s complaint and sent him an apology, claiming the manager thought Saleem’s appearance was “rather scruffy and not business appropriate” but confirming he should not discuss about Saleem’s beard.

The store manager was then asked to join a training course to help him comprehend more about the diversity and the company’s policies.




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