Sep 21st 2009 By: Caleb Goellner
The hooded Jedi look made popular by the late Alec Guinness in "Star Wars: A New Hope" may meld into the scenery of a comic book convention, but its decidedly less popular with Welsh grocery store management.The Guardian reports
that Daniel Jones aka Morda Hehol, the founder of International Church of Jediism
, was asked by Tesco employees in Wales to remove his hood while shopping in the store - a move he considered contrary to his religious dress code.
"You have a choice of wearing headwear in your home or at work but you have to wear a cover for your head when you are in public." He said he'd gone to the store to buy something to eat during his lunch break when staff approached him and ordered him to the checkout where they explained he would have to remove the offending hood or leave the store. "They said: 'Take it off', and I said: 'No, its part of my religion. It's part of my religious right.' I gave them a Jedi church business card. "They weren't listening to me and were rude. They had three people around me. It was intimidating."
Tesco, who seems to prescribe to Han Solo's stance on "Hokey religions and ancient weapons," denied religious persecution and even cited Star Wars continuity to defend their hood removal request.
Tesco said: "He hasn't been banned. Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood. If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they'll miss lots of special offers."
Religious freedom is a fine thing, but practicing Jedi may face a long road to broad acceptance in a culture dominated by cosplay.