The management of Delizia, a Karachi-based bakery chain, has responded to an incident at a branch in DHA in which one of its workers refused to write 'Merry Christmas' on a cake.
The incident was reported on Facebook group Voice of Customer PK by a woman.
The post said she had visited the Khayaban-e-Jami branch of Delizia to buy a cake but when she asked them to write 'Merry Christmas' on it, the worker refused and said he was not allowed to as he had been given an "order" from the kitchen.
There was an uproar on social media following the post in which many people expressed their shock and anger.
Senior management at Delizia spoke to Images about the incident and said it was the act of an individual. "At the moment we are taking action against him. It was done in an individual capacity and is not company policy. It may have been done due to lack of education and awareness that 'Merry Christmas' means wishing someone a happy Christmas, nothing else."
The senior management official said there is nothing wrong with wishing someone a merry Christmas and expressed their sorrow at the incident. The company plans on releasing a statement on social media "soon" to address the incident and clarify its stance.
A similar incident took place in 2018 at Delizia's Badar Commercial branch and was reported on another Facebook group, Karachi Food Diary. In that incident, a woman was denied a cake with 'Merry Christmas' written on it and told that it was based on "company instructions". The official said that following that incident there were dismissals and that might be the course of action today as well.
Denying someone something as simple as two words written on a cake is indicative of a far greater problem than icing — it shows that we aren't respecting our fellow Pakistanis and their beliefs. That this happened in a multicultural hub like Karachi is even more frightening. This is a city full of diversity and colour where — for the most part — we celebrate our differences and uniqueness.
Discriminating against someone on the basis of their religion is prejudiced, there are no two ways about it. Writing a few words on a cake does not weaken our own beliefs nor does it mean anything more than wishing someone happy holidays. Rather than excluding others and putting down their celebrations, we would do better to try to broaden our horizons and our minds.