August 11, 2011

Dearest Wholefoods Market

Do you really need to outwardly state that you aren't promoting Ramadan, but the halal food products? It's a shame a small portion of your demographic think by insinuating the promotion of Ramadan, you're promoting terrorism. What's more shameful is that you so easily appeased their ignorance. 

Here's a segment from the article, Wholefoods: We Should Not Highlight Ramadan

"Despite a statement from the Anti-Defamation League that Whole Foods and its Ramadan promotion aren't vaguely anti-Semitic, the association between a holiday that represents a time of patience, humility and charity for Muslims across the world and Jihadist terrorism is apparently so strong with a small, vocal minority that Whole Foods has capitulated to these people -- who surely can't represent the chain's larger demographic -- and buried its former Ramadan promotions as if they were a dirty secret."

They go off to say that "It is probably best that we don't specifically call out or 'promote' Ramadan. … We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered 'Celebrating or promoting' Ramadan." 

“What’s important is that the corporation itself stood up to these hate bloggers and did the right thing. It’s doing what any corporation does. It promotes events and products that will hopefully gain more customers.” Ramadan Becomes an Issue for Wholefoods

Its honestly too late to try to justify that your initial blog post mentioning Ramadan and your collaboration with halal products, was just to please all your customers' needs and offer a larger variety. It's just amusing that you spruce up your store to suit different religious holidays yet freak out about Ramadan. I think the world is seeing a lot worse than Ramadan right now. Then again, it's apparent you initially put those signs up to make the smaller upper middle class Muslims feel good and accepted to spend more.

I'm offended by this for many reasons, but really because I love the experience you offer. I get excited at the thought of going to your store and eating your fresh brown rice sushi and freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter. Every time I go I find something new to love that I never would have thought of, like okra chips. Ultimately, I'm just happy there. 

"This is silly, its pure capitalism for Whole Foods to identify a need, a market niche, and attempt to connect with that market.  No one says that commerce should have anything to do with beliefs. Trust me, I am a Muslim and whether I shop at Whole Foods or not has more to do with the price and quality than anything else, it is a purely business relationship,. I am not so dumb as to think that a large corporation is concerned with anything but it's bottom line... as this ridiculous corporate insecurity displays." Comment by S. Ashraf Meer on article Wholefoods Ramadan Marketing Headache

It's sad to be brought back to reality that you're just a business at the end of the day. That’s our only relationship with you; we buy, you sell. 

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