Those Poor Muslims Forced to Sell Pork Rinds in Chicago

The Chicago Tribune has a long lament of an article bellyaching about how so many wonderful and devout Muslim grocery store owners in Chicago are somehow forced to sell liquor, lottery tickets and pork products in their stores. The article worries over their Muslim souls for having to violate their un-American Shariah codes. Naturally, a group of do-gooders have a solution. Just as naturally it comes in the form of our tax dollars.

For the Tribune, writer Manya A. Brachear tells us of South Side store owner Mazen Materieh who prays five times a day in Muslim fashion behind his cashier’s counter. Mrs Brachear apparently wants us to feel sorry for Materieh because he is somehow forced to sell lottery tickets, pork products like pork rinds, and liquor in his store. “I’m an honest person. I don’t like to be a man of two faces,” Materieh says about doing what he knows is “wrong,” namely selling the “forbidden” products.

Brachear then gravely inform us that this is a “conflict” that is “common” throughout Chicago.

Materieh’s conflict is common in corner stores across Chicago’s South Side. On one hand, store owners cannot make ends meet without selling what customers demand. On the other, consuming or profiting from products forbidden by their faith is considered sinful. What’s more, neighbors blame the stores for perpetuating violence, addiction and obesity in low-income neighborhoods.

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Writer Brachear goes on to regale us of another Muslim that we are apparently supposed to feel sorry for because he was somehow forced to operate a store that sells the “forbidden items.”

Oh, woe is Materieh and his brethren. Ridiculously, no where in this story is seen the obvious solution to these grave violations of religious principle and “conflict” in such stores: don’t work there if it violates your religious principles. There, problem solved.

The truth is, no one is forcing Mazen Materieh or any other Muslim to work at or own these corner grocery stores. If being near pork and booze is so upsetting to their delicate religious ideals, Muslims can go work at a bank or open a Hallmark Card shop! There is no compulsion in America for these Muslims to work at a store that sells things that violate their religious tenets.

For that matter, they can even open a grocery that is Shariah compliant. It’s their problem if they lose customers because of it.

Oh, but there is another one of those wonderful “community activist” groups that wants to take your tax dollars and give it away to Muslims trying to live up to Shariah law.

Now, a coalition of Arab and African-American Muslims is offering Muslim merchants an opportunity to improve their reputations and renew their religious principles by selling fresh produce and healthy foods, especially in neighborhoods without major groceries. Along the way, they hope, store owners will think twice about selling forbidden products. The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago has provided a grant that will serve as seed money for pioneers in the campaign.

This group wants government grants to subsidize these grocers while they offer fresh vegetables, meats and Shariah compliant products. If this bill passes our tax money will be going to support Shariah compliant stores. And this at a time when we are millions in debt and our state budget is upside down, this is the time they want to spend tax money to assure Muslims a level of religious comfort.

Nashashibi and other activists are backing a bill to create an Illinois Fresh Food Fund, a proposed grant or loan program that would support grocers in neighborhoods that lack easy access to healthy foods. According to the bill, more than half a million Chicagoans — mostly African-American — live in underserved neighborhoods when it comes to proper nutrition.

Notice how Brachear tries to soft sell what this bill does by saying it “supports” the grocers? No, it is not “support,” it is a subsidy, our tax dollars given to stock store shelves with items no one will buy. These Muslims may not want to sell pork products but they sure aren’t against taking government pork, eh?

While I do think it is a good idea to foster fresh foods in the inner city, this is not about good food. It’s about pushing Islam. All of this is an effort to push Muslim Shariah compliant stores on Chicago’s customers, few of whom are Muslim, and quite despite what these customers want to buy. It’s an effort to force Americans to deem Islam the new normal and to begin following Muslim practices by government fiat.

Don’t fall for this garbage, America. This is just a way for Islam to conquer us through the back door. If these Muslim immigrants want to come here to America and open stores to make their fortunes, well all the more power to them. But that these whiners are violating their religious principles while doing so is on them not on us and our tax dollars should NOT go to make them more comfortable in religious practices that are antithetical to American principles.

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