Muslims face the worst job discrimination of any ethno-religious group in the UK, a study has found. It also said they are the least likely to land a senior role. The unsettling statistics show a discrepancy over 70 percent.
White British Christian men and women are, respectively, 75 and 65 percent more likely to find gainful employment than their Muslim counterparts, the study found.
Using national statistical data, British scientists Dr. Nabil Khattab and Professor Ron Johnston collated information on 14 ethno-religious groups living in the UK today, finding that Muslims were by far the most disadvantaged.
Despite racial prejudice often being associated with skin color, Khattab and Johnston found it to be more closely dependent on religion and cultural background than previously thought.
Instead, Khattab argues that the discrepancy is more likely due to “placing Muslims collectively at the lowest stratum within the country’s racial or ethno-cultural system,” a result of increasing Islamophobia.
It does not appear clear how much the study adjusted for non-discriminatory factors, such as Muslims’ education levels, English-speaking abilities, and female work participation rates.
“They are perceived as disloyal and as a threat rather than just as a disadvantaged minority,” he explains to The Independent, adding that this is what discourages employers from hiring even a highly qualified Muslim, especially if there are others from supposedly less-threatening ethnic groups.
Moreover, the higher up the ladder the researchers looked, the fewer Muslims they saw statistically.
The two scientists believe there is cause for concern, because this model could have a lasting and irreversible effect on minorities’ willingness to integrate into UK society in a way that fosters social cohesion.
“The exclusion of well-qualified black and Muslim individuals could undermine their willingness to integrate in the wider society,” Khattab says.
So it does appear to boil down to cultural-religious factors more than skin color, and white atheists are no exception, it turns out. Christians statistically are more likely to find gainful employment, their men and women scoring 20 and 25 percent more jobs respectively.
British Jews take the grand prize. Compared to white British (Christian) women, their Jewish counterparts are 29 percent more likely to land a job; the figure is 15 percent for men. White British Jews score the highest, with 64 percent in gainful employment.
The thing that makes color a floating factor here is that it’s “dynamic.” Khattab explains that, while one’s other traits are constant, their whiteness may quickly become inferior if it’s combined with an unfavorable religious or cultural background. The same is true in reverse.