SWITZERLAND – Swedish furniture giant IKEA has been receiving endless praise online after jumping to the defense of one of their Muslim employees, following a racist comment online. 

A customer took to the review section of the Aubonne IKEA to share her distaste at the fact that an employee of the store was wearing a hijab. The comment, originally in French, said;

“Too bad to see a cashier in a headscarf. I will not step into that store again.”

The Swiss store responded to the discriminatory comment and explained to the customer that IKEA does not discriminate against people based on race, sexual orientation or religion. Their response continued to add that while the customer has the right to express their opinions in private, they will not be welcomed into the store with such hateful ideas. 

“We do not welcome your comment which is explicitly discriminatory,” read the store’s response, “Of course, you have the right to have your opinions in private, but publishing them openly in this way exposes you to the eyes of the law, and we will in no way mourn the fact that you no longer ‘step into’ our store with such ideas.”

The store’s response to the racist comment quickly went viral, resulting in extensive online praise and thousands of 5-star reviews from shoppers, including people who had never been to the Aubonne location. 

The original comment has since been deleted, but positive reviews continue to pour in for the store’s well-written response. Customers from around the world have taken to the review section to share how touched they are by IKEA’s tolerance and public support for Muslim workers who wish to wear hijab. 

This incident comes in the midst of a debate in Switzerland regarding a ban against facial coverings in public spaces, including the niqab worn by some Muslim women. 

In a time when Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims are alarmingly common, it’s nice to know that companies like IKEA are fighting back against discrimination and publicly sharing their support for those who practice Islam.

By Raye Mocioiu