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Muslim Security Guards Plan Rally At Amazon HQ To Protest Lack Of Prayer Rooms

April 24, 2017

According to reports, Muslims that work for the security firm that watches over the Amazon headquarters in Seattle are planning a rally to protest what they say is the company’s failure to accommodate their faith. Muslims employed by Security Industry Specialists (SIS), the security contractor for Amazon, claim that the tech giant and the security firm have a history of failing to accommodate their daily prayers.

According to PJ Media, angry Muslims are planning to protest on May 1 at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, despite Amazon being an advocate for Muslims during Trump’s temporary immigration ban in January, issuing their “declaration of support” for those of the faith affected.

PJ Media also reported that the Muslim guards are accusing Amazon and SIS “of refusing to allow the guards space to pray five times daily, even though members of other religions are granted the privilege of using prayer rooms.”

A former SIS guard that worked at Amazon named Essag Hassan said he was let go because he asked to be allowed to pray during his work break.

“I was fired and not given a reason why,” Hassan told PJ Media. “I’m speaking out for all Muslim security workers and for workers of any religion. When you ask for a space to pray on your work break, that request should be treated with respect.”

The SEIU told PJ Media that they were planning on sending a “strongly worded letter” to Amazon during the rally on May 1 from the “Seattle faith community.”

“Unlike other companies in locations with large Muslim populations, Amazon has not supported Muslim service workers requesting space to pray during their law-mandated work breaks,” the SEIU wrote in an email to PJ Media.

“Despite granting the high-earning tech workers conference rooms to pray in, there appears to be a double standard for the contracted security officers who protect the tech giant,” the email to PJ Media from the SEIU said.

The President and CFO of SIS said that the allegations are false and that Amazon has been accommodating to Muslims who wish to pray during work hours.

“Our employees assigned to Amazon have always been permitted to access space (when available) to pray on breaks, even before dedicated prayer rooms were formally introduced,” Seltz told ThinkProgress in an email. “Before prayer rooms were introduced, employees generally used a vacant conference room or quiet room, when available. This has been the case for the past four years (since we’ve been at Amazon), and the recent addition of dedicated prayer rooms has just made access even easier. We count ourselves as fortunate that Amazon extends this accommodation to our employees.”