Whole Foods Dishes Up Ramadan Tempest
Company embraces Muslim customers ... at first
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2011 2:57 AM CDT
Whole Foods gets slammed by anti-Muslim bloggers after it touts Ramadan to sell food.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Whole Foods has ended up with egg on its face after first touting Ramadan then running scared. The company decided to promote some of its halal foods for the Muslim holy month—then backed off when it was ripped by anti-Muslim bloggers. "Ramadan is fast approaching, and I'm getting my kitchen ready for a month of celebration," food writer Yvonne Mafei noted in the Whole Foods company blog last month. The company offered gift cards and directed customers to its halal-certified foods, reports ABC News. Several customers hailed the new interest. "Finally, a major retailer has recognized its Muslim customers," wrote one reader.

But anti-Muslim bloggers quickly ripped the posts, with one accusing "anti-Israel" Whole Foods for being "a shill for jihadist interests." Then came this internal email, obtained by the Houston Press: "It's probably best that we don't specifically 'promote' Ramadan. We should not highlight Ramadan in signage as that could be considered 'celebrating' Ramadan." Now Whole Foods is getting slammed again for "[capitulating] to a vocal minority that does not believe in the freedom to observe non-Christian religious practices in America," or so wrote a (former?) customer. A Whole Foods rep says it actually hasn't abandoned the campaign, and noted that the company has 12 operating regions, and the email came from one of them: "Every region operates autonomously. They have their own set of leadership, their own offices."

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Aug 10, 2011 10:54 PM CDT
If there are any Americans who seriously believe that everything related to Muslims is somehow evil, then they should move to a country without freedom of religion. They would probably do better in a country without a constitution like the one we have here.
Aug 10, 2011 2:25 PM CDT
Good lord, did anyone read her nonsense? That Whole Foods would cave to such a racist whackjob is beyond words. If a Klan member criticizes them for selling peanut butter because a black man invented it, will they balk at that too? Listen to this hate-spewing crap: Here’s a tip, Whole Foods: there is NOTHING “cosmopolitan” about Islam. In fact, Islam is the antonym to cosmopolitan. Retro is in. Retro back to the year 622 and the values of savages will NEVER be in. It was a freaking BLOG, WF. Man the hell up and ignore the crazy or you will be running yourself right out of business.
Aug 10, 2011 1:27 PM CDT
Whole Foods is anti-Israel because it wants to sell halal foods to Muslims? That's a reach, even for people who falsely equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Hell, who falsely equate Semite with Jew.