A Saudi Arabian immigrant from Derby-on-Sea is suing a supermarket monopoly for religious discrimination after he was asked to handle crates of alcohol against his spiritual beliefs.
Mohammed Ahmed, a former Mecca Ballroom pole dancer, now a resident of Oasis Crescent in Derby's popular Sandcastle Estate, also accused the supermarket chain of victimisation and harassment during a British taxpayer-funded employment tribunal hearing lasting three months.
Ahmed, originally employed as a trainee rat-twatter at the firm's Piginfield warehouse, was promoted to the position of forklift driver in December last year. However, Ahmed refused to use his forklift truck to move cases of beer, wines or spirits because it was against his religious principles as a muslim and asked to be found other work; preferably something that involved sitting in an office with his feet up and reading newspapers.
Warehouse supervisor, Steve Snotts, allegedly shouted at him and said "Are you takin' the effin' piss or what, Mohammed?" which apparently upset Mr. Ahmed's delicate Islamic sensibilities and made him cry.
The claimant, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and moved to Derby in 2006, now works for a city agency as a registered pigeon strangler, and lodged his grievance with his employers in February but said he was treated unfavourably as a result.
He told the tribunal that his line manager Debbie Twatscratcher then assigned him to the Spam section of the warehouse and again he refused to handle the products as they contained large quantities of dead pig.
Giving evidence on behalf of the supermarket, Ms. Twatscratcher told the tribunal that Mr. Ahmed had been a proverbial pain in the arse since he was hired.
"Mo'ammed complained that there was nowhere in the staff car park to tie up 'is camel, then came into work wearin' steel toe-capped sandals, wiv a bed sheet wrapped around
'im an' a red gingham tea towel on 'is 'ead, wot's in direct breach of company an' HSE safety clothin' statutes.
"Twice every shift 'e'd stop work for 'alf an 'our an' go an' kneel down in the corner then start banging 'is head on the concrete like some loony, an' 'olding' up production summat terrible like.
"I mean, it was very worryin' for me, bein' like the only splitarse on shift an' 'avin' some bloke doin' this kind of shit, cos yer 'ear all about these weirdo religious self-flagellant types whippin' themselves wiv barbed wire an' stuff an' stickin' red chillis up their arses an'tyin''eavy iron weights around their cocks an' what 'ave yer."
Ahmed's solicitor, Mr. Moham Mohammed, advised Ms. Twatscratcher and the tribunal that the kneeling and bowing to the ground was a muslim religious custom, performed during prayers, to which Ms. Twatscratcher replied "Why can't 'e do 'is prayers before 'e goes to bed, like the rest of us do? There's nowt clever about bangin' yer 'ead against the floor like some bleedin' nutter when yer supposed to be workin'. We don't bang our 'eads on the floor when we goes to church on Sunday's, do we, eh"
Summing up the hearing, Tribunal Judge Seymour Rubenstein conjectured that "Under Islamic Sharia law the hypocritical mantra cited by the muslim Taliban in Afghanistan permits them to grow poppies, and process the opium into heroin, as long as it is sold to non-Muslims."
"Thus, according to that premise, why is it not an acceptable practice for Mr. Ahmed to move crates of alcohol with his forklift truck if it is to be bought and consumed by infidel non-muslims?"
"Case dismissed, Insh'allah."
Allergy warning : this article may contain traces of dead pig as it was originally typed on slices of abominable wafer-thin ham.