Can’t get a job cos I’m Muslim

Muslims and the workplace

By Majed Iqbal-  You maybe surprised by the title and be thinking “Hey , i’m Muslim and i’m in a job!.” or “That cant be true for 2016 can it?.” The reality is, many Muslims are finding it hard to bag jobs when in competition with others. Many out there are being denied access to job roles simply by displaying a Muslim name on their CV or turning up at an interview and receiving a cold shoulder.

Recent reports highlighted how Muslim women are severely disadvantaged when searching for employment, one of the reasons being their identity and overt expression of faith through their attire. Those in jobs already felt an ‘invisibility’ within the workplace, a sense of isolation and non-engagement in the office.

In 2014, the independent newspaper ran a report “British Muslims face worst job discrimination of any minority group, according to research”. It found the following

“Muslim men were up to 76 per cent less likely to have a job of any kind compared to white, male British Christians of the same age and with the same qualifications. And Muslim women were up to 65 per cent less likely to be employed than white Christian counterparts”

Fast forward a year, a research report issued by titled “Rising to the Top” revealed we should “Anonymise CVs to get more British Muslims in top jobs”. The report revealed that British Muslims were less proportionately represented in the managerial and professional occupations than any other religious group, and are also disproportionately likely to be unemployed and economically inactive.

The independent newspaper ran the story on this report with a bold title “Would Muslims get better jobs if bosses didn’t know they were Muslim?”. It highlighted how religion was becomeing more of an issue than skin colour now. Nabil Khattab, one of the authors of the study, offered some thoughts. “[Muslims] are perceived as disloyal and as a threat rather than just as a disadvantaged minority,” Khattab said. “Within this climate, many employers will be discouraged from employing qualified Muslims, especially if there are others from their own groups or others from less threatening groups who can fill these jobs.”

An opinion survey carried out by YouGov backed the findings from the Demos report, continuing to paint a bleak picture. The Huffington Post article read “7/7 Bombings Anniversary Poll Shows More Than Half Of Britons See Muslims As A Threat” revealed a decrease in proportion of people agreeing that most British Muslims were “peaceful, law-abiding citizens who deplore terror attacks in the name of Islam”.

The rising tide of Islamophobia orchestrated and stage managed by successive Governments, Politicians and sensationalist antagonistic media machinery has played an unprecedented role in radicalising the British Population against each other. Sometimes by questioning the loyalty of Muslims to prove how British they are or through manipulating thoughts of young Muslims through the prevent program at schools, colleges, universities, training venues on what is classed as acceptable ideas or through repetition of lies in the media about Muslims living in Britain- All have contributed towards people becoming fearful of Muslims and skeptical about the Islamic faith; This includes employers too.

Muslims must play a pivotal role in counteracting the negativities out there about their communities and Islam through active Dawah and a clear and uncompromising projection of Islam. This can happen across all sections of society including the workplace. Wherever there is discrimination, it needs to be voiced, challenged and resolved.

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