Church Founder Kicked Out of Grocery Store For Not Removing Religious Hood

I love this story because I’m not sure if anyone wins or loses.

Daniel Jones was recently kicked out of a UK Tesco grocery store for wearing religious apparel (a hood). He refused to take it off.

Here’s the story:.

He said he’d gone to the store to buy something to eat during his lunch-break when staff approached him and ordered him to the checkout where they explained he would have to remove the offending hood or leave the store.

‘They said: “Take it off”, and I said “No, its part of my religion. It’s part of my religious right.” I gave them a Jedi church business card.’

Mr Jones claimed the store manager and staff were ‘unco-operative’ and left him feeling ‘emotionally humiliated’ for making fun of his beliefs.

“It was discrimination. They were making a joke against me. I was really upset. Nobody should be treated like that.”

So how did the store respond?

By taking his faith just as seriously as anyone else should:

A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘He hasn’t been banned. Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods.

‘Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.

‘If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.’

Well played, Tesco. Well played.

Though… I wonder what would happen if a woman wearing a burka came into the store. Would they kick her out as well?

If not, then maybe Jones has a case…

(Thanks to Kumaran for the link!)

  • Tony

    The Force was not strong with this one!

  • Valdyr

    Tesco has a point, but I would counter that any Jedi having attained the rank of Master should be allowed to wear his or her hood at all times as a sort of badge of office.

  • littlejohn

    My religion requires constant nudity. We are also required to be at least 50 pounds overweight. My rights are routinely violated at Chuck-E-Cheese.

  • cathy

    Come on, who does a headscarf harm? Wearing a burka, hajib, yamukle (I think I spelled that wrong…), does not impinge upon anyone else’s rights, so people should be allowed to do it. Store owners are not fashion police. What if they refused to serve me for having bad hair or something?

  • Richard Wade

    I don’t understand what the heck is the problem with a hood to begin with? Plenty of sweatshirts have hoods, and people keep them up on cold days. If he came in with a ski mask on, looking like he was going to rob the store, I’d understand their objection, but this doesn’t make sense.

    May the Farce be with you.

  • http://darknova.net Ender

    Tesco doesn’t kick out Muslim women wearing veils, as you’ll find out if you read a better source of news than the Daily Mail: http://news.aol.co.uk/supermarket-bans-jedi-knight/article/20090918041209990001

  • http://camelswithhammers.com Camels With Hammers

    A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘He hasn’t been banned. Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods.

    ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.

    ‘If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.’

    That’s as good a theological argument as any in the officially recognized faiths so I guess they were fair to him. (Assuming, as Richard points out, that there is any good reason to be banning hoods in the first place…)

  • http://darknova.net Ender

    @Richard Wade — here in the UK there’s a huge fear of youths wearing hooded tops to hide their faces from our omniscient CCTV network. Many malls and stores ban the covering of the face with hoods or masks, the only exceptions being for religious requirements.

    This is what happens when you ban handguns: malls live in fear not of a shooting massacre but a few youths in hoodies harassing paying consumers. ;)

  • Santiago

    Some context on the hoodie-hating policy: in the UK a lot of teenage delinquents (or whatever you call those gangs of kids loitering about in the streets, stealing bicycle wheels and so on) take to wearing hoodies with the hood up, so I think this policy is a way to dissuade them from coming in to their stores and shoplifting, or at least to have an excuse for kicking them out.

  • http://deleted Siamang

    Sorry, but he’s not a Jedi. For multiple reasons.

    1. A real Jedi could have used his mind trick to gain service. “You don’t NEEED to see my face…”

    2. A real Jedi could use the Force to levitate whatever he needed to the counter, and his money as well, thereby not needing to even enter the store.

    3. A real Jedi has a real lightsaber, and not a fucking plastic sword with a neon tube. Here’s the deal, Jedi-wannabe: Go three rounds of fencing against me. I get to use a sword, and you have to use your children’s toy. If you beat me, you are a Jedi. If I shatter your toy, you are Bantha-poodoo.

    4. There is only one whiney-ass snot-nosed punk Jedi. So unless your name is Hayden Christiansen, get the hell out of my store.

    Anyway, that would be the tack I would take. “Prove you’re really a Jedi, and not a fucking punk playing dress-up. Levitate something, Comicon fanboi.”

  • http://darknova.net Ender

    @Siamang he’s not a fundamentalist Jedi. He doesn’t believe in a personal Force that allows you to manipulate physical items or minds.

    Just like many Muslims aren’t fundamentalists but want to wear their traditional dress, this is a liberal and progressive Jedi who just wants his religion respected.

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    Wear a hoodie, get an asbo!

    UK is going bonkers.

  • Shane

    This is what happens when you ban handguns: malls live in fear not of a shooting massacre but a few youths in hoodies harassing paying consumers. ;)

    http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF05.htm

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/feb/06/ukcrime.prisonsandprobation
    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Polit/gunsFraser.html

    There is not even any correlation between firearm prohibition and violent crime let alone causality. You brought it up.

  • Richard Wade

    I wonder if some day someone will complain that the whining and mincing liberal and progressive Jedi make it safe for the crazy and dangerous fundamentalist Jedi to promote their lunatic dogma, and that’s why they have infiltrated every level of government, secretly establishing a Forceocracy that will displace our democracy.

    Sheesh. I need to clear my head with some Harry Potter DVD’s.

  • TJ

    Many malls and stores ban the covering of the face with hoods or masks, the only exceptions being for religious requirements.

    That should not be an exception.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I don’t understand what the heck is the problem with a hood to begin with?

    They want their security cameras to get a look at your face, in case there are any issues with shoplifting or whatnot. Since most security cameras are high-mounted in ceilings or walls, your comparison to ski masks is more apt than you seem to realize.

  • Gordon

    apparently he did point out a veiled Muslim woman to no effect!

  • anonymous

    the difference between a burka and a jedi hood is you can make out the face of the woman clearly. with a jedi hood, shadows are cast and you can’t see them nor can the video recorders get them.

    for the same reason we ask people to remove their motercycle helmets and hoodies. it’s a matter of security and how clearly we can see their face. If they robbed/threatened/did illegal things, we have a way of identifying them.

    This is Australia though.

  • Matt D

    hey Siamang

    keep it up bro’ – you’re on fire…another F-bomb!!!

    we know how much you like to swear in your comments.

    I’ll be watching – points will be deducted for any comment devoid of gratuitous profanity.

  • Gabriel G.

    The funny thing about this story is that if the store had kicked out a Muslim women because she didn’t take off her burka, you know people would get seriously pissed off.

    That’s the thing about religion, either all of them are respected or none of them are, that’s including the even more idiotic ones (that’s to say, even the “normal” ones are still idiotic).

  • http://www.sixtyftsixin.com Nate

    Siamang:

    1. The Jedi mind trick only works on the weak minded. From the press release, it’s obvious that this particular Tesco manager was rather clever.

    2. The Force doesn’t just work willy-nilly. It’s not like Magneto with metal. Luke Skywalker had to use all of his energy just to levitate a lightsaber to him. Darth Vader has to focus all of his power just to force choke someone. Even Yoda can only levitate himself a few feet off the ground. If the force were that powerful, lightsabers would be useless as you could simply use the force to turn the opponent’s lightsaber off.

    3. What with handguns being banned in the UK, I would imagine lightsabers are as well.

    4. Luke Skywalker definitely also qualifies as a whiney-ass snot-nosed punk Jedi. So Mark Hamill is allowed too. I’m sure you can find further examples in some extended universe stuff, but I don’t read that noise.

  • AxeGrrl

    TJ nailed the fundamental issue at hand here:

    here in the UK there’s a huge fear of youths wearing hooded tops to hide their faces from our omniscient CCTV network. Many malls and stores ban the covering of the face with hoods or masks, the only exceptions being for religious requirements.

    That should not be an exception.

    If the main issue is the possibility of people covering their faces to avoid identification by the UK’s ‘CCTV network’ (suggesting that they’re ‘disguising’ themselves for potentially nefarious purposes), then I don’t understand why there should be ANY exceptions.

  • gribblethemunchkin

    Sadly this is a genuine case of religious discrimination. If tesco allow women wearing the veil (no the hijab, but Burkas and other coverings that cover the face) because they are religious exceptions, then they must allow this man to wear his hood as a religious exception too.

    To allow burkas but not jedi hooded robes means one thing.

    Namely that Tesco are choosing which religions they accept and which they don’t, if so they need to post clear guidelines as this is discrimination of service on religious grounds and is illegal.

    Since they seem to have a theologian in the Jedi religion working for them to put forward their arguement, will we soon be seeing other tesco theologians putting forward reasons why its perfectly fine for muslim women to not wear the veil inside their stores?

    Their rebuttal was false anyway. Women in islam don’t HAVE to wear veils, they choose to. They might certainly be faced with lose of standing from family and community if they don’t but its still a choice. Jedi likewise choose to have the hood up or down, and it isn’t for tesco to determine how people express their faith. They either allow religious excemptions or they don’t, they can’t pick and choose.

    The church of Jedi is as real a religion as any other (i.e. not at all) and shold be treated as such. If we want to discriminate because its based on science fiction and very new then theres a bunch of scientologists with an army of lawyerswho’d like to have a word.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Right to kick him out, the tesco staff were. Herh herh herh.

  • DutchRonin

    Should have said:
    “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

  • keddaw

    Many malls and stores ban the covering of the face with hoods or masks, the only exceptions being for religious requirements.

    Oh, like no dogs except guide-dogs?

    Tesco have no need to see your face if you are buying something that has no age restrictions.

    When I shop online I can wear whatever I like – I’ll leave that to your imagination…