Dozens of Muslims are furious this week after a Wisconsin power plant threatened to fire them if they continued taking two five minute prayer breaks during the workday.
According to Daily Mail, this policy change has affected 53 employees of the Ariens Company. Ten of these employees have said they wish to stay in their current positions despite the change, but the rest have either quit or said that they plan to.
Until last Thursday, Muslim employees were allowed to leave the production line twice during a shift to pray. All Muslims are required to pray five times a day by Allah.
The Ariens Company told their employees that they can still pray in the plant, but they must now do so during scheduled breaks. While this sounds like a totally reasonable request, the Muslims were FURIOUS about it.
“We are asking employees to pray during scheduled breaks in designated prayer rooms,” a spokesman for the company said. “Our manufacturing environment does not allow for unscheduled breaks in production.”
“If someone tells you, ‘You pray on your break,’ and the break time is not the prayer time? It will be impossible to pray,” whined Masjid Imam Hasan Abdi.
“We pray by the time. So they say, ‘If you don’t pray at the break time,’ they give us this [unemployment] paper to just leave,” added Ibrahim Mehemmed.
“I have been 35 years in America and I’ve never heard of a company that is not allowing its employees to pray five minutes. It is absolutely discrimination on its face,” said Adan Hurr. “Allow me to pray so that I can go back to work and do what I love to do, which is working for Ariens. But we are not allowed to do that. Yesterday what happened was just a travesty.”
Unsurprisingly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is already all over this, and they have called on the company to reverse their policy. What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.