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The New Arab Staff

People with 'Muslim-sounding names' three times less likely to receive job offer, Islamophobia report finds

The Muslim Council of Britain released an extended report on Islamophobia [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 March, 2021

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The Muslim Council of Britain has released a report with advise about how to combat Islamophobia and discrimination in British institutions.

The Muslim Council of Britain have released a far-reaching report on Islamophobia, extensively documenting discrimination experienced by Muslims at all levels of society, with recommendations for the UK government.

The report, titled "Defining Islamophobia: A contemporary understanding of how expressions of Muslimness are targeted" discusses discrimination faced by Muslims in the public sphere, including in schools, universities, in political parties and in workplaces, as well as other areas in British society.

The MCB found that a job seeker with an English-sounding name was offered three times the number of interviews than an applicant with a Muslim name.

Additionally, applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds had to send 80 percent more applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white person of British origin.

Researchers also identified high levels of discrimination from countries with a sizable Muslim population echoed "strong anti-Muslim attitudes recorded in recent surveys", with Muslim men up to 76 percent less likely to have a job of any kind compared to white, male, British Christians of the same age and with the same qualifications.

Muslim women were up to 65 percent less likely to be employed than white Christian counterparts.

Speaking to The New Arab about the report, British Muslim doctor and co-founder of Advancing Voices of Women Against Islamophobia (AVOW) Siema Iqbal said:

"I think things like handshakes, eye contact etc aren't necessarily specific to Muslims. That's about personal space and can vary from person to person.

"In terms of making workspaces more inclusive for Muslims things to consider would be prayer rooms or social activities that aren't focused around drinking alcohol etc would be helpful."

Politics and discrimination

The UK's ruling Conservative Party has been shadowed by accusations of Islamophobia, and the report furthers the argument that a significant portion of the party continues to hold discriminatory views towards Muslims.

Recent polling of Conservative members found that 58 percent believe the "no-go zones" conspiracy theory that alleges parts of Britain have been taken over by Muslim extremists, while over half – 57 percent - had a negative view of Muslims.

From the 55 per cent who said they see Islam as a threat to the British way of life, a range of reasons were given, including that "Islam breeds intolerance and calls for violence" (50 percent), "Muslims refuse to integrate" (41 per cent) and "Islam promotes physical abuse of women e.g. grooming gangs" (41 per cent).

Worryingly, the MCB notes that while the vast majority of UK political parties, including Labour, have adopted the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims’ (APPG) definition of Islamophobia, the Conservative Party have not adopted the definition.

"What this shows, is that within the Conservative Party, there is an embedded problem of Islamophobia that must be tackled," the report says.

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