Muslims Facing Job Discrimination
Zack Martinez. World Religion. Kristian Petersen. October 30th, 2013
September 11th 2001, one of the most ominous dates in history, the day where an organized terrorist attack, propelled by the Islamic Terrorist group “al-Qaeda” hijacked and flew 4 commercial passenger airliners into major buildings in New York city, and the Washington, D.C metro-area. Along with the casualties, damage, and trauma, this attack left a burning cultural stigma molded after the exact people who carried out this heinous crime; Muslims. Ever since that day America and its people have created a harsh and generalizing opinion on all of Middle Eastern Islamists and all of those who look, talk or resemble their unique traditional garb. This ongoing stereotype has been growing ever since and is seemingly costing American Muslims fair job opportunities.
In Bristol, England, two undercover reporters went undercover (one wearing Muslim traditional dress, and one as a regular white male) and both submitted 40 applications to jobs being advertised in shop windows. Sadly but assumingly the non-Muslim [Ian] had four times more success in getting job interviews than the Islamic undercover. Both reporters were of similar age, ethnicity, were given equivalent CV’s and applied for the same jobs, yet Ian, quickly received 13 interviews even one on the spot, while the undercover Muslim (who for the trial changed his name to Mohammed) only received three interview. Did it really have to do with religion, culture and ethnicity? Or is the evidence simply skewed? BBC, the news channel that covered the documentary had authors with interesting views on the subject. After assessing the results, some interviewers were asked why choosing one over the other yet they all claimed to not discriminate, but yet they had a “better rapport” with the non-dressed up interviewee. Telling the truth or not, it is hard to find truth in the matter in a world that is constantly fighting and in fear of others and what they might do that it is easy to blame or put another group of people at fault and come together with the often victimized group (in this case its America, the “good guys”, and Iraq or the Middle East as the “bad guys”).
An important point made in this article is made and sheds light on the subject and provides a little irony in favor of the seemingly persecuted and innocent Muslim-America/Muslim-Euro population. The article suggests that, ”If they can’t get work they are more likely to be involved in drug dealing, gang behavior[u]r and, of course, they’d be more likely to be recruited into nasty political causes.” This point is very important and powerful in attempting to understand the subliminal magnitude of the issue. Of course unemployment can trigger bad habits and ideas in order to make money, yet it is not fair to so cautiously protect their innocence that it gets to an extreme. The line is blurred between what is discrimination and simply personal selection upon business owners; after all, they can hire whoever they want. Whatever the case may be, there is a clear hesitance and sometimes even suspicion as repercussion of the event. This issue is still a current event that is continuously hot and buzzing even today a little after 12 years of its occurrence. Our current situation and turmoil in Syria also brings our nations citizens on edge because of the stigma rooted in clashes with al-Qaeda and other extremist Islamic groups. With this, how could this extreme of any religion resort to acts of terrorism upon another country? Does this even qualify it as a religion at all? Surely not all Muslims believe in that extreme of a practice. It is unclear without understanding the teaching of that society directly to its people. Is the Middle Eastern area scared or even prejudice to us as we mistakenly are to them? That would be interesting to find out. Of course these vastly different perspectives are at the hands of many different aspects in which are shaped by the underlying factors of how the individuals themselves are effected by the issue, weather that be economically, religiously, socially, culturally, or even financially.
All in all the United States and even the world has been affected and aware about the atrocities, allegations and threats made by a certain group of people and yes they consequently have effects on not only themselves but their society as a whole. However, it only seems impertinent to believe that it would be in best interest to oppress the hatred, scare, worry, suspicion, loathe, and fear they have about any people for any reason and take a step forward in maturely accepting everyone to help create a safer place to live so that no worries or stigmas can be brought to surface. Is that too much to ask?
- BBC News, “Bristol Muslims Facing Job discrimination”, 28 October, 2013