Whole Foods Market Celebrates Ramadan

Mubarak Ramadan. A Blessed Ramadan.

As a nation, we celebrate world religions and ethnicities; Christmas, Yom Kippur/Rosh Hashanah, Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year. So why not the Islamic holy month of Ramadan?

Whole Foods is celebrating and they are receiving a lot of heat from it; mostly from the anti-Islamic and Islamophobic isolationists within our religious and ethnic diverse boarders. That should come as no surprise.

From those who mistakenly believe that the United States is politically a Christian nation, wanting their god or gods (depending on how one counts) and their holy books to be the soul and sole laws of this nation.

From those most unpatriotic people wanting to rid the Constitution of its pluralism and recognition that all faiths are equal in the eyes of our democratic republic. Who claim that Muslims, all Muslims, are terrorists, including American Muslims fighting side-by-side with those of all faiths against the terrorists who happen to use Islam as their justification.

From those most irreligious American men and women, many of who claim that Islam is a violent religion, discounting any proofs that shows Christianity and Judaism equally as violent. Who will not recognize that many U.S. home-grown terrorists use Christianity as the basis for their actions, including the Ku Klux Klan, the white Christian supremacist movements, and the anti-abortionists who target doctors and women’s facilities with rifles and bombs.

Not all Christians, mind you; just a select few who are hoping that no-one will ask a question and that everyone will turn a blind eye. The true hypocrites of the faith and the Constitution.

One such hypocrite is Debbie Schussel, a “Conservative political commentator, radio talk show host, columnist, and attorney.” She is equally described by her fan club of about 4585 as aConservative Info-Babe Commentator,” and a “Babe-raham Lincoln.” It seems that being good looking, which is a matter of opinion in itself, is all that qualifies one to be a superior female conservative commentator. Brains not required. (See: Ann Coulter’s Demonic.)

From her web site:

Schlussel’s unique expertise on radical Islam/Islamic terrorism and a host of other issues make her a popular speaker and television and radio news talk show guest, both nationally & internationally. (Her online fan club is the Internet’s second largest for a political personality–behind only Ann Coulter.) She is a University of Michigan graduate and holds both Law and MBA degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

As both an attorney and a frequent New York Post and Jerusalem Post columnist, Schlussel’s writings/commentary on radical Islam and her legal actions against radical Islamic parties have gotten a great deal of attention — and results.

For the record, Coulter’s Yahoo fan club has all of 1094 members. If my fine public school mathematics education is correct, 4585 is greater than 1094. But I may be mistaken.

If you were to enter Schussel’s blog, you will find lots of listings but no substance. Each listing I tried, about 20 in all, brings the reader to an error page, “This webpage is not available.” Her own blog, www.politiclusa.com, does not seem to be active. Schussel is at best an enigma.

Like most ultra-right conservative commentators who seem to rage against followers of Mohammad, there is not only a lack of knowledge of the belief of Islam, but a total lack of any interest in finding out. As one right-wing righter-winger Christian political activist told me, Islam is not a religion and therefore should be denounced as a cult. He is an intelligent man and should know better, but he appears to represent a loud, but small, Christian theocratic-centrist movement that also believes that Catholics are nor Christians.

Jews, Christians and Muslims all pray to the same God, the god of Abraham. Jews, Christians and Muslims also have sects that disagree with each other as to what the “faithful” needs to look like or to do in order to be “saved.” As an atheist, I am still not sure what each wants to be saved from.

From the days of Columbus’ first sailing to find a route to the orient, Muslims have been part of the American dream, as have Jews, Buddhists and the multitude of other non-Abrahamic deist religions and those who had no myth-based beliefs. Jews, Baptists, Catholics, and many others have felt the sting of religious discrimination and persecution in the United States. After 500 years, I hoped Americans knew better. Many have, but a select few, and I do mean a few, seem to have an unrelenting hatred of “others,” with equally large voices matched only by the sameness of minds.

The rumors that Whole Foods is bowing to the right-wing right-winger miscreants of hate are unfounded. In a statement from Libba Letton, spokes person for Whole Foods;

Whole Foods Market is NOT cancelling our current halal promotion, which is centered around the timeframe of Ramadan. We invite shoppers seeking out not just halal certified products, but products that also meet our high quality standards, to try Saffron Road and other regional offerings in our stores. We’re excited to be offering high quality halal products for our shoppers and we stand behind them and our promotion of them, just like we do with other seasonal and holiday products.

I am sorry that I have to drive some 150 miles to St. Louis from Columbia to get to a Whole Foods Market.  It is not that I have a demanding preference for free-market coffee, oils and other products; I don’t, unless they are convenient locally. And the $45 savings in gas money can buy a whole lot from Columbia’s Clover’s Natural Market and the farmer’s markets.

Like a lot of hate-rhetoric spewed from the mouths of fools, the story by Schussel is at best misguided. In fact, the Anti-Defamation League is not angered concerning the celebration of the Islamic holy month by a national retailer. In an August 4, 2011 press release, the ADL wrote:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has found no evidence to claims by some bloggers on the Internet that Whole Foods Market is ‘anti-Israel.’

In particular, some have specifically criticized a Whole Foods seasonal promotion around halal foods that meet the company’s high quality standards.  Such criticism is misguided, inappropriate and contrary to American values.  We live in a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith society.   

It is my opinion that people like Debbie Schussel, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly, among others, and those who follow these commentators without questioning their information and rants, represent the worse of America and verifies to me that the super-conservative mission to dumb-down the American people is alive and evil. It is these men and women who are manipulating the American ideology, with their egocentric and theocentric curtains drawn around themselves like flags of honor, are the ones making the United States a second rate country.

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About David Rosman

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com, InkandVoice.com and NYJournalofBooks.com.
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