29 October 2013
BBC Investigation Highlights 'Anti-Muslim Discrimination'
A new undercover investigation by the BBC has shone a light on the difficulties faced by British Muslims in the job market.
Two reporters, one in traditional Muslim attire and one in jeans and a black sweater, travelled across Bristol to inquire about 40 jobs that were being advertised in shop windows.
It was found that the person wearing non-Islamic clothes was four times more likely to get a job than the person dressed as a Muslim convert - even though they had the same CVs, same accents, same ethnicity and were of a similar age.
At one cafe, Zoltan, the name given to the person wearing the traditional shalwar kameez, was told his CV would be reviewed and was told to assume he had not got the job if he was not contacted.
This was in contrast to Ian, the person wearing jeans and a sweater, who just ten minutes later was immediately given a trial shift.
Adding to this, when the cafe owner saw Zoltan in the distance, he told Ian: "See that guy in the hat? Do not tell him I've given you a trial shift on Saturday.
"If you bump into him in the street and he wants to talk to you, do not tell him because he's just given me his CV and I told him that I won't be making a decision until next week. So don't tell him."
When the cafe manager was contacted by the BBC he denied discrimination and said he found it easier to get along with Ian and struck up a better rapport.
Professor Tariq Madood, director for the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at Bristol University, remarked these findings show this is one of the contributing factors that has given Pakistani men a substantially higher unemployment rate than the national average.
He added the prevention of access to employment was sowing divisions for the next generation.
By Chris Stevenson
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