No, It’s Not Religious Discrimination


I thought I would continue the discussion, via blog with Gretchen over at Skeptic Review on our perspectives of the incident that occurred in Houston at a Hilton Hotel Starbucks and the Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA).

If anyone has not read Gretchen’s take, you can view it here. It’s very well argued and I would say that generally we may agree. I just happen to think that this is not a case of religious discrimination as we are being lead to believe. Her own blog, quoting the Hilton representative, actually supports the argument I made, here.

Gretchen spends a good amount of her post discussing how and if  private business may deny service to people.  It really is worth reading. But in this specific case, does any of that apply?

No, it doesn’t because as the EXMNA people say, they were sitting in the Starbucks enjoying their drinks. They were served.

So where’s the accusation of discrimination? It doesn’t exist. Any business can and actually should decline service based not on religious a  belief, but on their reasonable  conclusion that those, sitting quietly, may present  a threat to their guests.

Gretchen spends a lot of time discussing  when and how a business may discriminate . In this specific case though, there was no discrimination. There was no denial of service. These people from EXMNA were only asked to either change their wardrobe or leave the premises. They chose the later and then decided to create a story of discrimination for the media, where none exists.

The real question comes down to this; Is it reasonable that the management d staff of the hotel and coffee shop conclude that these were indeed protestors? I think the answer to that question is yes as they admitted that what they were doing at the conference in handing out flyers to attendees, is in fact a form of protest.

is there a case for legal action here? i don’t think so. Notice, in my previous post I included the letter fro the FFRF. There wasn’t even an indiction of a legal action there and of course, there shouldn’t have been. An inquiry, receiving a response is appropriate.I don’t see any civil rights violation here and of course I challenge Gretchen to provide, within the law, any that may be considered discrimination in this specific case.

Were the hotel/coffee shop rude to their customers? Yes, they were in my opinion. Were the same in violation of those customers civil rights?  No they weren’t. Notice theres no action against either by  EXMNA  or FFRF. The reason? It’s a loser for both entities. Of course it doesn’t prevent either organization using this to garner new members or donations.

Yeah, I’m a cynic.

One thought on “No, It’s Not Religious Discrimination

  1. “Any business can and actually should decline service based not on religious a belief, but on their reasonable conclusion that those, sitting quietly, may present a threat to their guests.” On what basis would a reasonable person conclude that customers sitting quietly who had already been served (and were presumably enjoying what they had paid for just like all the other customers) pose a threat to anyone? If they were being disruptive, making threats, harassing other customers, I can see the argument. I’m not sure I see that here.


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