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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Shari'a Comes To Shelbyville Tennessee

Shari'a Comes To Shelbyville Tennessee

August 5, 2008

Shari'a Comes To Shelbyville Tennessee


August 5, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - A recent press release issued by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union [RWDSU] which represents plant workers at Tyson Foods' Inc [the nation largest meat producer] Shelbyville, Tennessee facility, makes clear that efforts to incrementally introduce Shari'a - Islamic law - into the body of mainstream America appear to be alive and thriving in the unlikely setting of the rural South, the caveat being that the issue is more complex than a simple reading of headlines might indicate.

A story broken by Shelbyville Times Gazette reporter Brian Moseley [see, Tyson drops Labor Day holiday for Eid al-Fitr, http://www.t-g.com/story/1449487.html] revealed that last year the company signed a 5 year agreement with the RWDSU which substitutes the Islamic celebration commemorating the end of Ramadan - Eid ul-Fitr [also, Eid al-Fitr] - for the traditional observance of Labor Day, a holiday which was set aside in the late 19th century in recognition of the contributions made by this country's unionized labor force.

About the matter Mr. Moseley wrote:

"Workers at Tyson Foods' poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day, but will instead take the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in the fall.

A recent press release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) stated that a new contract at the Shelbyville facility 'implements a new holiday to accommodate the ... Muslim workers at the plant.'"

Tyson's position on the matter was set forth in a telephone interview conducted on August 5, with Libby Lawson, a Tyson spokesperson.

Ms. Lawson stressed that the agreement [which applies only to Tyson's Shelbyville plant] resulted from an open process involving production workers, joining with union representatives which resulted in the selection of the Muslim holiday not so much in a move to replace the almost iconic Labor Day celebration, but as a practical matter, since many workers had traditionally worked on that day anyway and at a holiday rate which is above the standard hourly compensation.

The labor agreement, inked on November 15, 2007, covers about 1,000 employees at the facility, out of a total of 1,200.

Though the Shelbyville workforce is multicultural, the recent influx of Somali nationals - designated as political refugees under a State Department program - has skewed the traditional weighting of the demographic, with 250 Somalis now being employed.

The Somalis, who are predominantly Muslim, came to the attention of Tyson as a result of a referral made by the Tennessee Dept. of Labor in response to a query made by the company which was seeking additional help.

These writers have noted in previous pieces the defects in this State Department program and the cultural fallout that has come in various settings from the practice of employing Somali nationals [see for example, Are Minneapolis Taxi Fares Going To Support Al-Qaeda?, Muslim Taxi Drivers At Minneapolis International Airport Subjecting Fares To Sharia].

Though Tyson appears to be blameless in this matter, our concerns regarding the larger surrounding issues have not been abated. Nearly every instance in which large numbers of relocated Somalis have been employed in the United States, have been accompanied by unreasonable demands to recognize elements of Shari'a, and this has happened in such diverse settings as Dell computer, taxi drivers at the Minneapolis airport and now at Tyson.

While it is constantly stressed that America is a multi-ethnic society, it is also important to note that there are boundaries which delimit the extent to which that statement has meaning, and that the basic charter - the social contract - under which the United States and the West operates is not philosophically accommodative of supplanting its Judeo-Christian tradition [and its system of secular self-governance] with what constitutes an alien system of culture and belief.

Lack of recognition that the process of incrementally introducing Shari'a is not only taking place, but quickening often paves the way for this process. So too, the failure to understand the phenomenon in a larger context, as part of we have called the stealth jihad, an effort set forth by the Muslim Brotherhood which is crafted to undermine Western democracies, and about which we have written extensively [see for exampleThe Plan - The Muslim Brotherhoods Strategy Of Subversion From Within which stresses a "civilizational jihadist process"] complicates efforts to push back effectively.

With the violent jihad at - least temporarily, and apparently, in partial remission - it behooves citizens of the West to more fully realize that the elemental challenge to our way of life remains in effect, not tracking headlong, but coming from a divergent angle.

That this tactic, of attacking from the inside - using all of the guaranteed citizen rights inherent in our system of governance against us - was specifically selected by our enemies because it was so theoretically enticing.

That theory is now proven to be effective, to an extent about which Daniel Pipes observed [see, How the West Could Lose, http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4227].

"After defeating fascists and communists, can the West now defeat the Islamists?

On the face of it, its military preponderance makes victory seem inevitable?[but]?What do the Islamists have to compare with the Wehrmacht or the Red Army? The SS or Spetznaz? The Gestapo or the KGB? Or, for that matter, to Auschwitz or the gulag?

Yet, more than a few analysts, including myself, worry that it's not so simple. Islamists (defined as persons who demand to live by the sacred law of Islam, the Sharia) might in fact do better than the earlier totalitarians. They could even win. That's because, however strong the Western hardware, its software contains some potentially fatal bugs. Three of them - pacifism, self-hatred, complacency - deserve attention..."

If Dr. Pipes' setting forth of the challenge is thought-provoking, his conclusion is unsettling:

"...Should Islamists get smart and avoid mass destruction, but instead stick to the lawful, political, non-violent route, and should their movement remain vital, it is difficult to see what will stop them."

If the United States is not to become a Balkanized agglomeration of little Mogadishus, Islamabads or Rawalpindis, American citizens must become aware of the grander struggle which is occurring, often under the radar, which threatens our existence in a manner which we have never had to face before and that is why seemingly harmless concessions to Shari'a - such as occurred in the Tyson labor agreement - are potentially so devastating. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=tysonid=8.5.08%2Ehtm

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