In the face of widespread hate crimes and scapegoating for the world's terrorism, Muslims have a new hurdle to clear — getting a job.
Professor Tariq Modood, director of Bristol University’s Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, has been researching on the topic of discrimination faced by Muslims in the United Kingdom. His team found Muslim men are 76% less likely to be employed than their white Christian counterparts.
In an attempt to study this problem in detail, Inside Out London, a BBC One project, conducted a survey in collaboration with the social scientists at Bristol University.
It sent CV’s of two “fake” candidates to 100 job vacancies, and both the candidates were given the same level of experiences and skills. There was just one difference: one candidate was named as Adam while the other was named Mohamed.
This minor detail was a major player. Adam was offered three times more interviews than Mohammad.
“What we’ve identified very clearly is the Muslim-sounding person CV is only likely to get an interview in one out of three cases,” said Modood after viewing the results of the survey.
“I thought the response rate would be less than 50 percent (for the Muslim-sounding name) so it’s worse than I thought, especially in a city like London. It’s so diverse, people coming in and out of the city, from different parts of the world, looking for work, a city very hungry for talent. Yes, it’s worse than I thought,” he added.
Inside Out spoke to some of the applicants, and they all unanimously felt that religious discrimination was increasing significantly.
“I’ve done everything to make sure I get the qualifications,” said Fayaz, a jobseeker who wanted a career in religious education.
“I’ve applied to over 30 state schools since 2014 and never been shortlisted for any interview. I changed my name to Harry. I was shortlisted for interview.”
“In their minds they have a link between Islam and terrorism, maybe that is playing a role behind why they look at a Muslim name and think, ‘This is someone I don’t want to employ,'” said another applicant, Farhad.
Employment barrister Nabila Mallick also said that prejudice against Muslims in the job market had escalated.
“There’s a perception of Muslim employees being considered disloyal, political ... fundamentalist. Every time there is a terrorist incident you see growth in mistreatment,” she said.
Banner/Spotlight Credits: Reuters