Fact Check

Home Depot Embraces Sharia Law with Forced 'Muslim Sensitivity Training'

Rumor: Home Depot employees are being forced to undergo 'Muslim Sensitivity Training' by demand of CAIR.

Published Jun 22, 2015

Claim:   Home Depot employees are being forced to undergo 'Muslim Sensitivity Training' by demand of CAIR.


MIXTURE:








FALSE: Home Depot acquiesced to a demand from CAIR that the chain provide 'Muslim Sensitivity Training' to all their employees.
 
TRUE: CAIR provided cultural awareness training to a few Home Depot stores in Michigan upon request of store management.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2014]


CAIR is a terrorist organization with terror ties that will knock your eyes out. Since 9/11, CAIR associates have been indicted multiple times on terrorism-related charges. Now this same group has demanded and received from home improvement giant Home Depot that it's employees be subjected to "muslim cultural awareness sensitivity training". Look at the bright orange of the Home Depot logo, and then remind yourself what ISIS forces their beheading victims to wear when they are executed and you will begin to get the picture.

Middle East today, middle America tomorrow.


 

Origins:   This item about Home Depot employees supposedly being forced to undergo 'Muslim Sensitivity Training' due to demands by CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) began as an article published on disreputable web sites in September 2014. What it refers to is a press release issued by the Michigan chapter of CAIR in March 2014 announcing that organization had recently provided cultural awareness training to employees at a Home Depot store in Dearborn, Michigan:


The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations yesterday provided cultural awareness training to employees at a Home Depot store in Dearborn, Mich.

CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid and CAIR-MI Safe Spaces Coordinator Warda Kalim discussed issues relating to customer interactions and modesty in Islam and highlighted religious accommodations concerns of Muslim employees.

CAIR-MI has provided similar trainings in the past to other Home Depot locations in Southeastern Michigan.

"We welcome such opportunities to engage Home Depot and other business establishments to better serve their Muslim customers and accommodate the cultural competency of their Muslim employees," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.

CAIR has helped resolve a number of similar cases involving prayer in the workplace and offers a booklet, called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," to help corporate managers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.


 

Contrary to the tenor of the item reproduced above, a representative from CAIR-MI told us that CAIR had not "demanded" that "Home Depot's employees be subjected to forced 'muslim cultural awareness sensitivity training'"; rather, CAIR provided basic cultural awareness training to some employees at a single Home Depot store in Dearborn upon the request of that store's management, and the request was not triggered by any complaint or incident occurring at that store.

Dearborn has been referred to as "America's Muslim capital" and is home to a large Arab-American population as well as the site of the largest mosque in the U.S. A third of Dearborn's population of 97,000 identifies as having Arab heritage, a third of Arab-Americans in Michigan are foreign born, and the Arabic-speaking population in the state grew by 26% from 2000 to 2010, according to the Arab American Institute (AAI). Thus familiarity with the preferences and customs of the employee and customers bases in that area are an essential aspect of business operations:


Demographers say that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. American Muslims are now found in all sectors of society. This growing Muslim population adds a new dimension to be considered by employers when dealing with issues of multiculturalism and diversity.

 

The material used in that cultural awareness training, CAIR's Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices, is pretty basic stuff: a short guide to religiously-mandated practices of Muslim employees that provides brief overviews of Muslim holidays and the Ramadan fast, the timing and observation of daily prayers (and their effect on scheduling considerations for Muslim employees), Muslim dietary and dress requirements, and a few other religiously related employment considerations (e.g., Muslim employees should not be asked to serve or sell alcohol).

Last updated:   22 June 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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