UK: Sharia-compliant Tesco belatedly apologizes after Muslim checkout worker refused to sell customer ham and wine because it was Ramadan


A Muslim cashier at a Tesco store refused to serve a customer buying ham and wine because he said it was Ramadan. The cashier told Julie Cottle he would not touch the items as they are forbidden by Islam and said she should use the self-service tills instead.

UK Daily Mail (h/t Michael & Paris)  When Miss Cottle, 43, from Neasden, north-west London, complained to the manager, he backed the worker’s right to refuse to serve her because it was the holy month of Ramadan and he was fasting. But Tesco has now apologized for Monday’s incident and said the worker had been ‘spoken to.’ (Why wasn’t he fired?)


Miss Cottle, a mother of three, said she went to a Tesco Express to get two packets of ham for her children’s lunches. She also had three bottles of white wine among her shopping.

Miss Cottle said her treatment left her furious. ‘He pointed at the ham and wine in my basket and said “I can’t serve you that because I’m fasting”,’ she said. ‘When I told him he should be serving customers not turning them away he still refused, telling me to go to the self-service. ‘I know he has his beliefs – I’m a Christian myself – but he should be able to do his job properly. I’m disgusted. If he is refusing to do his job he shouldn’t be there.’


‘I started shouting and he went to the back of the shop. I asked to see the manager. He was a temporary manager and he said I had to use the self-service. ‘I was furious so when I got home I rang Tesco customer service to complain. ‘All they said was “that does not sound right but if it is ok with the manager that’s ok”.’

During Ramadan Muslims go without food and drink between dawn and dusk. The devout also refrain from smoking, swearing, arguing, listening to music and having sex to demonstrate their faith. Following the yearly ritual is considered as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. (Who the hell cares?)