Employers in Europe discriminate against Muslims, study finds

Posted on November 23, 2010


By Steve Connor, Science Editor, independent.co.uk

Muslims face “massive discrimination” when applying for jobs, according to the first scientifically validated study of anti-Muslim bias among employers in France.

Researchers now want to study whether there is a similar bias in Britain, where unemployment among Muslims is higher than in any other religious group.

The French study found that a fictional job applicant with a traditionally Christian first name was more than two-and-a-half times more likely to receive a response from a potential French employer than an identical applicant with a Muslim name.

The scientists who carried out the research believe the highly significant difference in response rates was entirely due to the perceived religious affiliations of the job applicant rather than any prejudice connected with differences in race, age or gender.

The unemployment rate among British Muslim men is around 13 per cent, which is approximately three times higher than the rate among men belonging to other faiths. Young Muslims are at even higher risk of being unemployed. Muslims aged between 16 and 24 have the highest jobless rates of any group and are more than twice as likely to be unemployed compared to Christians of the same age, with a jobless rate of 28 per cent compared with 11 per cent, according to the Office of National Statistics. [more]