Recent Prayer Incident At Dell Reflects Changes In Nasville

The return of 31 Muslim contract workers to Dell's Nashville fulfillment facility was called a win-win situation by several people involved in negotiating the settlement. “We are pleased,” said Kelvin Jones, executive director of the Nashville Metro Human Relations Commission, “and believe this is a win-win for Nashville.” In early February, the workers, mostly from Somalia, left their jobs when they believed they were being forced to choose between working or saying their sunset prayers (called Magrhib), as prescribed in their Islam faith…

“The situation reflects that there has been a growing immigrant population in the community and it is more diverse than it was even 10 years ago,” Jones said. A number of parties helped work out a settlement, and the entire affair is being called by some as a misunderstanding of employment laws and company policies… The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations also was involved in the settlement process.

The group publishes a booklet called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices" that is designed to prevent just such incidents. The booklet is available by e-mailing


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