In June 2016, Security Industry Specialists (SIS), a security contractor hired by Amazon to protect its campus, held a briefing that included a video on how to recognise terrorists.
Contractor Kulani Yacub, who is a Muslim, said that when she and other Muslims in the room saw a portion of the video that depicted a clean-shaven man next to a bearded man wearing a turban, they left the room in protest.
“A lot of us Muslims in the room felt really emotional about it, so we walked out of the meeting,” Yacub told Motherboard.
“It was really disrespectful for them to show videos that hinder Muslims in this country, where we already experience so much Islamophobia.”
A spokesperson for Amazon told Motherboard that the company requires all of its contractors to follow all employment laws.
“This includes laws relating to religious accommodations and discrimination,” the spokesperson said.
“SIS has thoroughly investigated these allegations and determined them to be unfounded”.
However, Yacub said that she and other Muslims face Islamaphobia on a regular basis.
According to the Service Employees International Union Local 6 (SEIU 6), 21 Amazon contractors have lodged complaints of religious unfairness since 2016, with these incidents increasing after a February “pray-in”.
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, has spoken out about equality in the workplace, but contractors allege that the same rights employees enjoy do not extend to them.
Muslim workers at Amazon claim they often must pray in secret to avoid problems with other employees.
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