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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Ingrate Somali Muslim Workers On Rampage - Again- This Time At Colorado Meat Packer, JBS Swift

Ingrate Somali Muslim Workers On Rampage - Again- This Time At Colorado Meat Packer, JBS Swift

September 10, 2008

Ingrate Somali Muslim Workers On Rampage - Again - This Time At Colorado Meat Packer, JBS Swift


September 10, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - If the old bromide is true, that no good deed goes unpunished, then Colorado's JBS & Co. Swift meat packing house is only the latest example.

The 150 year old [now foreign owned] company, headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, finds itself at a tense impasse with the Somali Muslim component of its workforce, battling over what the workers claim is company insensitivity to its prayer requirements.

As reported by the Greeley Times:

"The roughly 250 workers, who've been suspended since walking off the job Friday night, say they will not return to work and may take legal action. They also acknowledge they may face mass terminations."[source, http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20080910/NEWS/109109992/1051&ParentProfile=1001]

Similar confrontation's seem to be endemic when dealing with refugee ethnic Somali workers, brought to the United States on the extremely questionable Refugee Resettlement Program promulgated by the US State Department that has reportedly "resettled" over 40,000 Somalis in this country since 2001.

Because of an absence of job skills, such workers tend to be employed in low-tech industries such as meat packing, assembly and transportation industries.

In recent articles by these writers [see, Shari'a Comes To Shelbyville Tennessee, http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=tysonid=8.5.08%2Ehtm and Creeping Shari'a Turned Back - Tyson Reinstates Labor Day, http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=shelbyvilleid=8.8.08%2Ehtm] we demonstrated how these ungrateful workers once inside the U.S. immediately set out to recreate little Mogadishus in the communities that had the poor judgment to take them in.

Unfortunately, the problem extends beyond these two instances, since taxi drivers at Minneapolis International Airport airport [see, Muslim Taxi Drivers At Minneapolis International Airport Subjecting Fares To Sharia, http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=taxi91906.htm] and assembly workers at Dell Computer [provided by Spherion Staffing] have exhibited the same MO, clamoring unreasonably to force their employers to become Shari'a compliant.

One look at Swift's newly imported labor force comprised of barely literate, fundamentalist Muslim African "refugees," makes one question the future of a country which seems to have lost its ability to separate compassion from wisdom and self preservation.



Colorado meatpacking plant lays off 100 Muslim workers

JBS Swift & Co. fires about one-fourth of 400 workers who had walked off the job, demanding break time to pray during the holy month of Ramadan. The union local says it will fight the action.
By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 11, 2008 GREELEY, COLO. -- A meatpacking company Wednesday laid off about 100 Muslim immigrant workers who walked off the job last week in protest of the firm's refusal to give them time to pray during the holy month of Ramadan.

When Ramadan began Sept. 1, workers said supervisors informally gave them time to break their daylong fast at sundown.

But non-Muslim employees protested, and on Friday, JBS Swift & Co. officials refused to give workers break time to pray and eat.

About 400 workers left the company's meatpacking plant, which dominates this city of 90,000. By Tuesday, 250 had not returned, and Swift warned that those who didn't come back faced immediate termination.

"This action is a direct violation of our collective bargaining agreement," Swift said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

Greeley police were called as angry workers who had arrived for the 3:15 p.m. shift were given their layoff notices.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7, which represents workers at the meatpacking plant, said it would fight the firings.

"The workers weren't given enough notice to get back to their jobs," said union spokesman Manny Gonzales. "We don't feel this was a terminable offense to begin with."

The Muslim workers, mainly Somali immigrants, have recently flocked to the plant, replacing many of the 262 workers, mostly Latinos, who were detained as illegal immigrants following a federal raid in late 2006. Many of the Muslim employees who walked off their jobs last week had been in Greeley only a few months.

One of them, 35-year-old Iman Ibrahim, left Boston for Greeley this summer because a friend told him about jobs at the meatpacking plant.

Ibrahim said Swift supervisors had shut off water fountains Friday evening to prevent Muslim workers from having their traditional drink to break the fast, and in one case a supervisor grabbed an employee by the neck, yanking him from his prayers.

"If I'd known there was a problem with prayer, I would have never come here," Ibrahim said.

Nonetheless, he had returned to work by Wednesday and said supervisors were informally giving time for the requisite sundown prayer. "I like working," he said. "We like to live in this country. We didn't come to cause trouble."

Some other Swift workers, however, were angered by the Muslims' requests for extra prayer time. "Somalis are running our plant," worker Brianna Castillo told the Greeley Tribune. "They are telling us what to do."

Non-Muslim workers complained they had to do additional work when Muslims went to pray, which devout followers do five times a day.

Aziz Dhies, a local nurse who represented Somali workers in negotiations with Swift, said he believed workers of all creeds should share in the breaks.

He added that Muslims had no choice in the matter. "This is not something we're making up ourselves," Dhies said. "This is something written in [holy] books that we have to do."

In its statement, Swift officials said the company was "grateful to employ a multicultural workforce and works closely with all employees and their union representation to accommodate religious practices in a reasonable, safe and fair manner to all involved."

Union officials argue that the contract allows for the extra break time.

"Many companies pay time and a half for working Christian holidays," Gonzales said.

"It's a different time now, and we should respect different people's values."


Roots Of Terrorism Reach Back to 1949 Greeley

An Egyptian man considered the father of Muslim terrorism may have launched his war of hatred against America because of his 1949 experiences in Greeley.

Sayyid Qutb (SIGH-yid KUH-tahb) was a Muslim fundamentalist and is considered one of the founders of the violent jihad, or holy war. Many Muslim leaders believe he had great influence on Osama bin Laden's journey into terrorism. Qutb attended classes at Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado, in 1949, and developed strong feelings about the "lack of morality" in Greeley.

While he was auditing classes on campus (meaning he attended classes but didn't receive credit), Qutb also joined student clubs and even church groups, then began to form a hatred for America and the West. He would later write books of his experiences in Greeley, chastising young people for moral decay and homeowners in Greeley for their dedication to mowing their lawns.

His photo appeared in the CSCE yearbook in 1950 as "Sayed Kotb," a member of the college's International Club. His photo also appears -- with college president William R. Ross -- in the Oct. 17, 1949, edition of the CSCE Bulletin. It identifies him as an author and "an outstanding authority on Arabic literature."

According to UNC records, Qutb audited summer and fall classes at CSCE in 1949, then dropped out and left Greeley in December.

Apparently angered over the behavior of young people and churches in Greeley, Qutb left America the next year and wrote his book, "Mallem Fittareek" or "Milestones," which has been called the "Mein Kampf" for Muslim extremists. In that book, he wrote:"One night, I was at a church in the town of Greeley in the state of Colorado. The religious service had ended in the church:

These boys and girls had sung their hymns and the adults had said their prayers. We made our way through a side door into the dance hall, adjacent to the auditorium devoted to prayer. Only a door separated the two rooms. The minister went up to his office. Every young man took the hand of a young woman. And these were the young men and women who had just been singing their hymns!

"Red and blue lights, with only a few white lamps, illuminated the dance floor. Songs from a record player whipped the dancing into a fury. The room became a confusion of feet and legs; arms were twisted around hips; lips met lips; chests pressed together. The air was thick with passion."

That experience apparently was enough for Qutb to reject America and everything connected to the West. And because of his writings, Greeley has become well-known in the Middle East, according to Michael Doran, a Princeton professor who translated Qutb's "Milestones."

"Many of his writings tell of his experiences in Greeley," Doran said in a telephone interview. "But that doesn't mean Greeley is in danger of a terrorist attack. A terrorist would select targets that are more obvious symbols of Americanism."

Not only did the church dance anger Qutb, but so also did one of the songs played that night in Greeley, "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

He wrote: "The song revolves around a conversation between a teenage boy and girl on their way home from a date. The boy holds the girl up at his house; she begs him to let her continue on home, because the night is late and her mother is waiting.

But whenever she comes up with an excuse to leave, he responds with the refrain, 'But, baby, it's cold outside.' "

In a New York Times story published on Oct. 13, 2001, "The Deep Intellectual Roots of Islamic Terror," writer Robert Worth calls Qutb "the intellectual grandfather to Osama bin Laden and his fellow terrorists." After his stay in the United States, and especially Greeley, Worth said Qutb was disgusted with the morals of some women, also.

From Qutb's writings:

"A young American woman at the teachers college in Greeley, Colo., said to me during a discussion about social norms in America: 'The question of sexual relations is purely biological and you Middle Easterners complicate this simple matter by introducing moral considerations into it. After all, stallions and mares, bulls and cows, rams and ewes, roosters and chickens -- they all conduct sexual relations, and not one of them thinks about this morality tale of yours.' It would appear, indeed, that she leads an utterly carefree life!"

The two men who most directly influenced bin Laden in his terrorist movement, according to Worth, were Abdallah Azzam, a Palestinian killed by a car bomb in 1989, and Safar Al-Hawaii, a Saudi frequently jailed by the authorities. Both were longtime followers of Qutb's ideas.

And the common theme of Qutb's writings, according to the World Press Review, "is his prognosis that the Western secularized world is deeply inferior to Islam, and must be replaced by Islamic world order."

Robert Irwin, writing in the Hindustan Times last year, said: "The most useful insights into the shaping of bin Laden may lie not in the mountains of Afghanistan or the rampant materialism of Saudi Arabia in the '70s, but the biography of Egyptian fundamentalist scholar Sayyid Qutb."

He said Qutb was the most influential advocate of jihad and violent Muslim resistance in the world, and the most famous personality of the Muslim word in the second half of the 20th century.

And, from his writings, Qutb was obviously influenced by his visit to Greeley, and he describes the town in one paragraph in his book:

"When it comes to building churches, no one can surpass the Americans: For instance, in one city with a population less than 10,000, I counted more than 20 (churches).

"Despite all of this, no one is more distant than the Americans from spirituality and piety. Their thoughts, feelings and behavior could not be further from religion."

Regarding Qutb's reactions to his visit to Greeley, Jonathan Raban writes in this month's New Yorker Magazine: "Few men past the age of 40 can ever have felt their immortal souls to be in such danger at a church hop as Qutb did when he attended one in Greeley, Colo."

John Calvert, an expert in Middle Eastern history, wrote of Qutb's American experience, and said he was critical even of the lawns of Greeley: Lawn care "was symptomatic of the American preoccupation with the external, material and selfishly individual dimensions of life."

When he left after six months in Greeley, Qutb had little good to say about Greeley or America, and even once called the country the "rubbish heap of the West."

He would later join the Muslim Brotherhood, which opposed the government of Egypt. He was jailed from 1954-64. While in jail, he finished several books, including a 30-volume interpretation of the Quran. Those books, according to Roxanne Euben, a political philosophy professor at Princeton, described Qutb's writings as "a series of influential books which became the inspiration of radical Muslims practicing violence from the Philippines to Africa."

Qutb became the editor of a newspaper critical of the Egyptian government and, after members of the Muslim Brotherhood tried to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, Qutb again was arrested. He was hanged by the Egyptian government in 1966, a martyr to his cause.

The life of sayyid qutb: 1906-1966

1906 -- Born in the village of Musha in Assyout Province, Egypt.

1918 -- Finished primary education, then dropped out of school because of a revolution of 1919.

1920 -- Moved to Cairo, Egypt, to live with his uncle and complete his high school education.

1929 -- Enrolled in the Darul Oloom teacher's college, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree.

1939 -- Joined the Egyptian Ministry of Education.

1945 -- After an on-going disagreement with many colleagues about philosophy of education and his attitude toward literary arts, he resigned the Ministry of Education to become a free-lance writer. He wrote many articles on the artistic expression in the Quran, and he wrote books titled "Expression of the Quran" and "Scenes From the Day of Judgment."

1948 -- His book, "Social Justice in Islam," is published.

1948 -- Traveled to the United States to study and visit colleges.

1949 -- Took classes at Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, taking summer-quarter classes and then auditing classes in the fall quarter, which means he attended classes but didn't receive credit. He dropped out of CSCE in December. Some accounts indicate he received his Master of Arts degree from CSCE, but college records do not support that.

1950 -- Returned to Egypt to take the job of teacher and inspector for the Ministry of Education.

1952 -- Because of philosophical disagreements, resigned his teaching position.

1954 -- He became editor of a newspaper in Ikhwan, Egypt. He was arrested that year and accused of trying to overthrow the Egyptian government.

1964 -- First sentenced to 15 years in prison, Qutb served 10 years and was released at the request of the Iraqi president.

1965 -- Published his most famous book, "Mallem Fittareek" ("Milestones"), in which he condemned Western morals, partially because of what he witnessed in Greeley. It led to his arrest on the orders of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

1966 -- Despite demonstrations by followers and protests from various Muslim countries, Qutb was hanged on Aug. 29, 1996. Followers said he was smiling when he was executed, knowing he had a "beautiful life ahead in paradise."

Editor's note

Much of the research for this story was done by the staff of the University of Northern Colorado Archives office in the Michener Library.


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