Fast Food Religiosity

Oct 2nd, 2006, in News, by

The A&W fast food store in downtown Manado is accused of having attempted to force all female employees to wear headscarfs.

Management at the A&W (Roy Allen & Frank Wright) store in Manado Town Square, North Sulawesi, a Christian majority province, told all female staff, including Christians, to wear a jilbab, or headscarf, during the month of Ramadan, according to Harian Komentar. Those who failed to do so would be punished, possibly fired, said the managers.

Some disgruntled staff protested the matter at the regional parliament and won support from parliamentarians. One MP, Amir Liputo, who is a Muslim, threatened to throw businesses like A&W out of the province if they persisted with such a policy. He was of the opinion that relations between faith groups in Manado were very good and anything that would put them at risk had to be rejected. He said that even in Aceh, where sharia is in force, non-Muslim women were not required to cover their hair.

The local manager of A&W, Made Jayana, initially said that the policy came from the head office of the restaurant chain, in Jakarta. He was of the opinion that it was not a serious issue, only symbolic. He admitted that those who did not go along with the policy would be punished.

Later however he transmitted a formal apology from the company. In the apology it was stated that the policy was only meant to show respect for Muslims during Ramadhan. The wearing of headscarfs was only a recommendation, not something compulsory, and they were only to be worn between the hours of 17.00 -20.00. All A&W stores in Indonesia had the same policy and it was largely a marketing tactic to entice more Muslims to visit.

13 Comments on “Fast Food Religiosity”

  1. Mad Muhaa says:

    It’s a good policy. Such as it is, the zimmis need to understand clearly their places. Islam is The Religion of Peace everybody has to acknowledge and respect, otherwise it can easily arrange peaceful riots and peaceful blasts to prove it. So wake up zimmis! Pay your jizyah, cower and whimper, or peaceful Islam will come after you! Peace!

  2. Andrew says:

    Ridiculous policy – apply it to Muslims, I don’t care, but don’t force others.

    BTW, who let the psycho out again?

  3. Mohammed Khafi says:

    All A&W stores in Indonesia had the same policy and it was largely a marketing tactic to entice more Muslims to visit.

    They could do that more easily by producing food that people want to eat and reducing their profit margins! I personally think they were just following a trend. A pity that A&W management are not more freethinking in their style that they have to start dragging religion into their campaigns.

    Religion should be something that people want to apply to themselves in their private lives, not something that they should have forced on them by people who are trying to maximise their company profits. It is shameful to use religion for commercial purposes. It should just be between the individual and God.


  4. Oigal says:

    Makes it easy never to set foot in an A&W store again..thugs

  5. Julita says:

    Great Khafi, Roy Allen & Frank Wright, again cuma jilat supaya dapat ijin, their aim is only money. Shame on you, again they are afraid of some of the people, sorry!!! We know why Menado and Ambon. Poor people.

  6. Tomaculum says:

    Fast food religiosity, ghost catchers wriggle along a TV-Program, a tree cuted bald because of demolision of the believe (read it in an Indonesian newspaper: an old tree in Jakarta was cuted bold by an Islamic youth group, because people believe that there are ghosts reside in this tree. An this believe disturb the Islamic believe. My opinion: if a belief is strong, then it is surely stable enough to resist such disturbance, isn’t it? So maybe this youth group beware of the weakness of their believe? Beside: what about the conviction of the people who believes in the ghosts? is it like an illegal site/place for worship, so to be closed? Like the illegaly or legally closed illegal and “illegal” churchs). Very sad, isn’t it? Or very funny?
    One question: is this all “sesuai dengan kebudayaan Indonesia” (=suitable with the Indonesian culture.

    This was, and maybe still is, a common statement to critisize a foreign culture or impoliteness or something people don’t like. May be we should modificate this sentence nowaday?).

    To Andrews: I’m not agree with you, because there are many Muslimahs who don’t need Jilbab or Burka or else to stable their believe. So why should they be forced to wear those?

  7. Julita says:

    I forgot, how come A&W can sell food and poor abang baso was not allowed. I am really confused.

  8. Molisan Tono says:

    money… my friend… it’s money.

    old Chinese folkrole saying “Man may have so many ideas, but Money always the thing” — it’s always money decide things for you.

    no wonder Mr. Basoman cannot fly high. : (

  9. Miss Indo 07 says:

    u make me sad when u bring out the abang baso again T.T

  10. Molisan Tono says:

    Oh… my bad… but really, Mr baso deserves better than this A&W. they are minor economic people try to earn for living.

  11. Chris says:

    It’s the same this year (2007) in Jakarta, how about in Manado?

  12. Dragonwall says:

    Capitalizing on religion to attract consumer is a mass media failure. Looking at competition like McD, KFC, Popeye, the competition gets tough…Nice try..

  13. Chris says:

    I have noticed that they are doing the same thing this year in my local Alfamart.

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