The southern supermarket chain, Publix, has pulled their free 2010 calendars after receiving numerous complaints concerning the date of December 7. The calendars marked that day as the start of the Islamic New Year while omitting the remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day.
Joyce Kaufman, who broadcasts a radio talk show from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach counties, urged customers to call Publix if the calendar offended them. Her listeners responded en masse, and the calendar, filled with coupons, was pulled. Publix has no plans to reissue the calendar this year.
The free calendar has acknowledged holidays since 2005, the first year of its publication. While American holidays have been on the calendar, Publix has also published many overseas holidays on it, such as Puerto Rico Commonwealth Constitution Day and Haitian Flag Day.
Kimberly Jaeger, a spokeswoman for Publix, issued the following statement:
"We regret that the day of remembrance, Pearl Harbor, is not noted and as a result of customer feedback, we will add Pearl Harbor to next year's calendar."
She also says that days of remembrance were always excluded from the calendar due to the large number of holidays in a calendar year.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islam Relations, a Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, charged that the calendar's protesters focused on the exclusion of the Pearl Harbor anniversary to exploit "the natural patriotism" of Americans and to "marginalize Muslims and demonize Islam." [No, Mr. Hooper, those who have sought to destroy western civilization in the name of Islam have demonized it. -- B &G]
Several Muslims phoned Publix, thanking the company for observing the Islamic New Year, Hooper said.
The supermarket chain plans on including both the Islamic New Year and Pearl Harbor Day on next year's calendars.
Anyone wishing to let your opinion be known can contact Publix at:
Publix Super Markets Corporate Office
ATTN: Consumer Relations
PO Box 407
Lakeland, FL 33802-0407