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Apr-27-2012 11:51printcomments

Islamophobia in the Workplace

There have been cases where an employee was discriminated against because other employees mistakenly thought he was a Muslim.

Image from Cartoon Strip

(SAN FRANCISCO) - Are Muslims discriminated in the workplace? Given the aftermath of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the U.S.-Iran confrontation, and the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya, I assumed there would be some discrimination. However, I expected most of the discrimination would be against women, African Americans, Latinos, and lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender persons.

I was surprised then to learn that although Muslims make up only two percent of the U.S. workforce, they filed nearly 25 percent of religious-discrimination claims in 2009. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (www.eeoc.gov), during the past fiscal year, it received a record high of 100,000 charges of discrimination, a slight increase over fiscal year 2010. In 1997, the religious-discrimination complaints made to the EEOC were 1,709, and by 2010, they had risen to 3,790. Post-9/11 through 2011 saw a 150 percent rise in workplace-discrimination claims by Muslims. The increase in discrimination claims was predominately by Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs or Islamophobia. Most of the complaints alleged harassment and termination of employment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 41 U.S.C.§§2000e, et seq. and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Cal. Gov. Code §§12,900-12,996. prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of religion. Under both federal and state law, an employer must offer a reasonable accommodation to resolve a conflict between an employee's sincerely held religious belief and a condition of employment, unless such accommodation would create and undue hardship for the employee's business.

Employers with 15 or more employees must comply with Title VII, which also covers most unions and employment agencies. Federal law requires employers to accommodate headscarves, prayer breaks, and other religious practices based again on sincere religious beliefs unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

For example, EEOC Guidelines (www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/religion.cfm) state that when an employer has a dress or grooming policy that conflicts with an employee's religious beliefs or practices such as shaving, hair length, religious clothing, jewelry, and head or face coverings, the employee can ask for an exception to the policy as a reasonable accommodation. Absent undue hardship, religious discrimination may be found where an employer fails to accommodate the employee's religious dress or grooming practices.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also prohibits retaliation against persons who complain of discrimination or participate in an EEOC investigation.

Some typical workplace-discrimination claims include comments about praying in the workplace, calling an employee a terrorist or member of al-Qaeda, racial slurs, forbidding women from wearing the traditional head scarf or hijab, and refusing to shave a beard. And there have been cases where an employee was discriminated against because other employees mistakenly thought he was a Muslim. For more information on workplace-discrimination or on Islam, I encourage readers to visit the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) website. (www.cair.com) CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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April 28, 2012 2:27 pm (Pacific time)

Editor: I would not even bother with the likes of anon at 7:38.. Post the comments and move on to more important things. . Your readers are learned, they know.
..Yeesh, I suppose I should make a habit of putting my name, I dont want to be associated with anon 7:38 comments.. I will start putting my name in.  Stephen
 ALtho, on second thought, maybe you did ok. Maybe it is time to address the nonsense.
And you are correct, obama is their man. The elite planned it perfectly. Have dumbcruds from the GOP so that obama is yet again the lesser of the evils. But you are forgetting a monumental change in history, that will be talked about for decades. And that is Ron Paul. Not sure how much you research, but he has become a phenomena even tho the mainstream media ignores and lies about him, even tho the GOP cheats and lies, his support is growing beyond any candidate, including obama. I dont support repub or dem, I support truth. And many are coming to this same conclusion. Giving in to "obama will be re-elected" altho somewhat true, is still a cop out. Learn what Ron Paul is about, and when you do, you will support him. Just learn. Dont give in to being a slave of the elite, who own the media and our education system, stand up and fight for truth. You told me right off "you support the underdog" ..well, here is an opportunity!

Anonymous April 28, 2012 7:38 am (Pacific time)

All people, generally who come into a community as a minority, whether racial or religious, seem to be overtly peaceful. Of course in the case of those who practice Islam, we have a highly documented world record stretching back over 1000 years. Looking at behavior in the "moment" can be quite misleading.

 Editor: Right, facts get in the way of arguments such as yours all the time, don't they?  Say, ever heard of the Spanish Inquisition?  How about burning witches at the stake?  I am a Christian, don't let the fact that my best friends hail from other faiths have any impact, I am an American, raised to view all people of all faiths through open eyes.  Only when they profess hate, and that is a component of this sad little comment, do I have a problem with them. 

Look at what is going on in England, especially the London area, that once boasted peaceful Muslims. Not so now.

 Editor: So do you believe in your delusion that all Christians are the same?  Of course they are not.  Buddhists?  Come on, some are killers.  It isn't so much the name of the faith, but what people do with it.  Christians have been busy trying to reignite the crusades since 2001.  How many Muslims have died versus Christians?  What is it, about a thousand to one?  How about Jews, five thousand to one Muslim?

The endgame for Islam, is a Caliphate with Sharia Law.

 Editor: Oh what a crock, the people who want that are the people the US backs and fights for; the Saudi government first, Talibam sympathizer Hamid Karzai second, and those idiots in Libya who overthrew Gaddafi.  What a joke.  Some Muslims are absolute freaks with religion like everyone else, (READ: like everyone else.)  Of course there are variations in what is Sharia law, I think little of all of that,  however it isn't my business to tell people of other religions what to do, until they begin choking human rights and killing people, then we're coming for you, even if only through journalism, and we will have impact.

That does not work in any type of democratic political system. Look to Europe to see what is happening here. Maybe a trip to Dearborn Michigan can be helpful if you are really interested, but for many of you, I frankly just don't think you will ever grasp reality until the moment happens when you realize it is too late for you, individually. For the rest of us, we know that certain things must happen to secure our way of life, and it is not turning the cheek, but to make sure that outfits like CAIR are exposed for what they are. Tim King and people of his ilk are simply not going to have even a minimal impact on any aspect of American life...they are delusional.

Editor:Tim King scares you.   That is why you and your cohorts spend ten hours a day writing your right wing crap on Salem-News.com?  If you think we're insignificant, then bother somebody else, obviously you know how many tens of thousands a day visit us and it scares the shit out of you, as it should, because we do have impact.  All CAIR does is try to make sure Muslims aren't being abused, not a bad thing at all. 

Just watch how things unfold in the next few months. Obama must be defeated, and there must be massive prosecutions of those associated with that regime to make sure these evils never try what they are trying again.

Editor: By who, Romney?  That is priceless, biggest tire spinner in recent US history.  I am not a big fan, but Obama will be reelected.

Anonymous April 27, 2012 4:15 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for the article..I believe the mass majority of muslims are very peaceful people. I actually enjoy their culture and prayers. All cultures have a few strays, but here in the U.S., I dont believe we have much to worry about, either from muslims to skinheads, or any other cultures. I believe that the elite start all of this, so we are fighting amongst ourselves. Good job on the article Ralph. And what a shame that so many are so ignorant. A muslim prays, so they must be a terrorist..This is all hype to keep us in fear so the elite can control. As a wise man said thousands of years ago...Nothing new under the sun. And excuse me for going a bit off topic but its a burning question. Why is it, that some crazy preacher can burn the quran, which will surely upset those who believe in it, and those in control dont care. But a judge comes out today and wont release pictures of the "alleged" death of osama, because it might upset muslims..The reason is: osama died in 2001, and anyone that does any homework knows it. Its a set up to keep their agenda going using obama. Killing osama will be the headline as obama gets on the campaign trail...on a weird note:I have no clue except to say..isnt it weird how osama and obama sound the same? Come on, I am not making any accusatins here, I dont now, except how weird is that, that our so called president has a name that so close to osama? Just a coincidence I am sure :-) Its still weird tho.

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